No emotion is spared; the writing is sparse, the plotting controlled. Not for the faint of heart, this is a big, powerful crime novel and possibly the first important example of the genre in the 1990s' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Christmas 1951, Los Angeles- a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisioners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three L. A. P. D. detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. . . . 'Empty of any unessentials and full of wise-cracking wit' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Ellroy writes as if driven by demons. His brutal, staccato graffiti tips over the into art' SUNDAY TIMES
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James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential is film-noir crime fiction akin to Chinatown, Hollywood Babylon, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Jim Thompson. It's about three tortured souls in the 1950s L.A.P.D.: Ed Exley, the clean-cut cop who lives shivering in the shadow of his dad, a legendary cop in the same department; Jack Vincennes, a cop who advises a Police Squad- like TV show and busts movie stars for payoffs from sleazy Hush-Hush magazine; and Bud White, a detective haunted by the sight of his dad murdering his mom.
Ellroy himself was traumatized as a boy by his party-animal mother's murder. (See his memoir My Dark Places for the whole sordid story.) So it is clear that Bud is partly autobiographical. But Exley, whose shiny reputation conceals a dark secret, and Vincennes, who goes showbiz with a vengeance, reflect parts of Ellroy, too.
L.A. Confidential holds enough plots for two or three books: the cops chase stolen gangland heroin through a landscape littered with not-always-innocent corpses while succumbing to sexy sirens who have been surgically resculpted to resemble movie stars; a vile developer--based (unfairly) on Walt Disney-- schemes to make big bucks off Moochie Mouse; and the cops compete with the crooks to see who can be more corrupt and violent. Ellroy's hardboiled prose is so compressed that some of his rat-a-tat paragraphs are hard to follow. You have to read with attention as intense as his—and that is very intense indeed. But he richly rewards the effort. He may not be as deep and literary as Chandler, but he belongs on the same top-level shelf.From the Publisher:
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK, BY JAMES ELLROY
"Nobody in this generation matches the breadth and depth of Ellroy's way with noir."
-- Detroit News
"Ellroy is a unique voice in American fiction and L.A. Confidential, his premier creation, is destined to be a classic."
-- Jonathan Kellerman
"A blood poet who writes as chain saws crank, Ellroy has vigorously redefined the well-shadowed turf of contemporary crime fiction."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Ellroy spares no sensibilities."
-- Los Angeles Times
"L.A. Confidential is almost seamless, and demands attention for its monstrously original style and evocation of Hollywood in the '50s." --San Diego Union
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Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1931. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099255081