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L.A. Confidential (Film Tie in) Paperback – 16 Oct 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (16 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099255081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099255086
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.8 x 11 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,163,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the acclaimed LA Quartet, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz, as well as the Underworld USA trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand and Blood's a Rover. He is the author of one work of non-fiction, The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women.

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First Sentence
Bud White in an unmarked, watching the "1951" on the City Hall Christmas tree blink. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
How can anyone say that the film stuck closely to the book? They are completely different and both completely amazing works of art in their own medium and own right. For a start, the film as I remember it is over a time span of, at the msot, 2 years whereas the film is vitually the whole of the 1950's.
As this is a review of the book, I will shut up about the film, but you should see it.
The book is quite simply the best novel I have ever read. I am scared to read any other Ellroy novels, for fear that they just will not compete.
It takes a while to get used to the staccato style but once you do, you realise the brilliance in it - it makes you think in the main character's thought processes, not in narrative action. The character development is quite stunning, one minute you side with Exley, the next with White, the next with Vincennes. and none of them are anywhere near perfect, all flawed characters, we empathise and sympathise at different times. One minute I hated Exley, the next I was almost crying for him.
The ending is, in my mind, better than the films, although (and I am trying not to spoil it for you), there is some unfinished business that makes you mad, until you realise that it is more realistic. The last paragraph before the short ending chapter is quite magnificent in summing up Los Angeles in the 1950's, using the metaphor of 2 of the less major characters.
When I first read it, I was actually in LA which made it all the more real, and it was only after I had travelled up to Alcatraz and seen that Mickey Cohen was a real person (he did time on the island), that I realised some of the bit-part players were 'real-people'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is superb!
The dialog and writing style sets the tone of the novel perfectly. The characters are human - confused, scared, tender, righteous, violent: complex. The intricacies of the plot are spun together like a fine tapestry...An incredible book by a great author. If you enjoy crime writing, read it. If you enjoy great writing, read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
LA 1951: 'A city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals', says the tagline for the movie version. The movie was great, the book is a sheer brilliance. Ellroy is a master at creating intensely twisted plots and graphic detail. Following a ruthless beating of six prisoners in police cells by drunken cops a chain of events unfolds to disclose an unwanted truth behind the LA police force, powerful politicians and the mob. For the first few pages you have no idea what is going on. I had to re-read the introduction so I could get up to speed with the authentic dialogue. If you're a would-be novelist, and we all are this is the kind of book that's makes you say 'I can't write like that' such is the complexity and attention to detail. But technical ability aside, Ellroy has the one thing that all crime fiction should ouse, and that's style. Remember, dear reader, you heard it first here - off the record, on the Q.T. and very Hush-Hush.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "ianthompson4" on 5 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is simply the best work of fiction ever written. The story, for those of you who have only seen the film , covers approximately 20% of the book, is complex yet realistic. The characters are psychologically complex yet complete and the prose style sees the author at the peak of his powers. Dudley smith roams the novel with spectacular menace, Jack Vincennes receives redemption only touched at in the film and Exley, well, hero or villian or both.
All in all, if I ever read a better book I will be in hog heaven
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Breathtaking. So realistic that it hurts; the good guys never win, they don't survive and, hell, there are no good guys afterall. After the first 75 pages the reading becomes compulsive, I had to stop to have a cigarette just to calm down, but then I would put my fag off quickly just to resume... ... and don't rely on the movie to reach any conclusions, it's all in the book...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Dec. 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
It is almost impossible to imagine a James Ellroy book being abridged with any success, but this manages to do it well, perhaps because it isn't quite as tangled a book as American Tabloid or the Cold 6000. Anyway, I loved it. It's very well read too.
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