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The Onion Field Audiobook

The Onion Field

Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.
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Publisher's Summary

Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.

The Onion Field is the basis for the movie starring James Woods and John Savage.

©1973 Joseph Wambaugh (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“More ambitious than In Cold Blood and equally compelling.” (The New York Times)

“Wambaugh is the best in the business.” (Kathy Reichs)

“No other writer illuminates the heart beneath the badge better or more honestly than Joseph Wambaugh" (Robert Crais)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (491 )
5 star
 (179)
4 star
 (156)
3 star
 (89)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (30)
Overall
3.8 (392 )
5 star
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4 star
 (113)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (28)
Story
4.0 (397 )
5 star
 (163)
4 star
 (129)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-16-15
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-16-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    120
    21
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just too long"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No - not worth 18 hours!


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Abridged it


    What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Conversational style brought it to life


    Was The Onion Field worth the listening time?

    No. It was 5 hours before the central event took place, and that took about 15 minutes to describe. 9 hours in the trial had already taken place, the verdict was in. I have no idea what filled the next 9 hours because I finally decided to cut my losses and move on to something more lively.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Joseph Wambaugh has been a giant in the field of true crime, but I didn't feel that this event merited the meticulous detail in which it was described.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAUL surprise, az, United States 03-20-15
    PAUL surprise, az, United States 03-20-15 Member Since 2011

    my ipod and audible make the daily 10 mile walks a "breeze"....

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    32
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    "GREAT READ...."

    I HAD NEVER HAD THE OCCASION TO READ THE BOOK BUT ONCE I STARTED IT WAS ONE YOU DON'T WANT TO PUT DOWN....THE DETAIL THAT WAMBAUGH GIVES ABOUT THE CHARACTERS IS OUTSTANDING...I SAW THE MOVIE(LONG AGO AND HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT) AND IT WAS OKAY BUT AS ALWAYS...YA JUST CAN'T BEAT THE ORIGINAL...GREAT READ.....I WALK A GREAT DEAL EVERY DAY AND IT IS A PERFECT TIME TO LISTEN TO A BOOK.....ONION FIELD MADE THE MILES FLY BY......HOORAY FOR THE BOOK AND THE EXTRA WALKING....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Payne Prince William, VA United States 02-28-15
    George Payne Prince William, VA United States 02-28-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    8
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    "Worth the trip."

    Saw the movie back in the day so I thought I knew what happens... 30 + years later I get it. What a tale... The American justice system , PTSD and bagpipes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 11-03-10
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    309
    14
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Never a dull moment!"

    Fast paced and really enthralling. Wambaugh draws you in and never lets go. I love his books. Wish more were available on audible. Very credit worthy!

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona 01-30-12
    Fiona 01-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    343
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much minutiae for my taste"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Better suited to someone who enjoys details of how someone's life has led them to this point.


    Has The Onion Field turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No I will still try other books in this genre.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Onion Field?

    I find the minutiae excruciating to read and would prefer more action


    Any additional comments?

    I got about half way before I gave up and still there was no onion field!

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 04-07-11
    Russell 04-07-11 Member Since 2008

    I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    265
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    96
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    30
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    Overall
    "Good.... but LONG"

    This was a good book, but it felt as though it was longer than it should have been.

    I think the author did a good job of injecting feeling and emotions into his work, but he included way too many details and was a bit too wordy. This reminded me of In cold blood by Truman Capote - but much wordier.

    The narrator did a fantastic job - if it was not for this great narration I probably could not have finished this book.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 09-01-14
    Jeremy 09-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Need to listen at 2x speed"

    Not that this makes this dated dud a worthwhile experience, but playing the recording at double speed makes it a quicker one while sacrificing nothing. Just a tip.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzy Kearney, MO, United States 05-10-11
    Suzy Kearney, MO, United States 05-10-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Can't even finish it"

    This book was so slow to start, and I did not find it enjoyable at all.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IndyMcDuff USA 05-17-16
    IndyMcDuff USA 05-17-16 Member Since 2016

    indymcduff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
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    Story
    "Heartbreaking."

    The police are not supposed to surrender their weapons under any circumstances. Easier said than done. I think the author has done an excellent job in showing that.

    Jimmy Buffett has an album or a song "You Had To Be There" ... and boy, we all know that there are times and instances in our lives that we cannot fully explain because...you had to be there.

    I do not understand the mentality of so many of their fellow officers not being able to put themselves in the shoes of these two officers and trying to imagine an unimaginable set of circumstances that would force the officers to do what they did. Are they just supposed to die rather than surrender their weapons? The situation was impossible.

    My heart goes out to the good cops everywhere. The good ones.

    This is an old book, but I think you can see how this one incident ruined lives, ruined by punks. To my mind, the surviving officer was not truly cop material, but was a good man nonetheless. It is well worth the listen just to get a bit of a handle on what cops face from both the criminals and the law-enforcement world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sid 04-27-16
    sid 04-27-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "life is life"

    great book very well done makes think of how the justice in this world works

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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