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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One example of where the film does not wreck the book
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,...
Published on 23 Oct 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a review of the book, but the product
I will stress this review is not of the novel, which is fantastic, but of the product I ordered from amazon to my kindle. Around 18 per cent through it starts to repeat a section of pages. This lasts for around 20 pages, the same sections of fitness reports for three officers repeated again again. Eventually it ends but there's no way of knowing if it stops at the proper...
Published 11 months ago by onemanlandslide


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent piece of work., 26 Dec 2001
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, detailed and brilliant, 7 Nov 2009
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This review is from: LA Confidential: Classic Noir (Mass Market Paperback)
Every time I picked this book up I found it tricky to get into, but with a bit of perseverance I was hooked again and reluctant to put it down. I was glad to have seen (and loved) the film so many times before as it provided a valuable head start on the characters, world and plots. The book however is hugely more detailed than the film, with a truly epic twisting plot and dozens of supporting characters. It was frequently confusing and even with the very helpful catchup newspaper snippets I lost the plot frequently. This didn't damage my enjoyment of the book however and indeed only encourages me to add it to the very small pile of "books I'd like to read again".
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir Kinda City, 19 Aug 2005
This review is from: LA Confidential: Classic Noir (Mass Market Paperback)
James Ellroy is one of the late XX Century master in noir fiction. His works are in the same level of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Harmmet. His prose has a by flying style and appeal that make almost impossible to put down any of his books once you had started.
I have to admmit that I'd watched "L. A. Confidential" dozen times before reading the novel -- and it is something I don't usually do , I mean I prefer reading the novel before watching a movie. So my work was a bit easier, because I didn't need to picture the characters, I imagined the actors who played them in the movie. But, as my reading went on and on, I noticed how different -- and equally good the novel and the film are.
The novel focuses on the life of three officers of PDLA through seven years. They are Bud White, Jack Vincennes and Ed Exley. And there are hundreds of suporting characters that help to show how these guys went up and down in their carrers.
It is almost impossible to put this novel in a nutshell due to fact it has so many plots, sub-plots and important twist through the story that it would be impossible to tell them without taking away the surprise of who hadn't read the book yet.
Ellroy is really good in character developing. All of them have a past -- and most of them very obscure-- with interesting facts that also have some relation in their present time. Moreover, they are very psychologically believable.
LA has never looked so glamurous and so scary! In this city everyone is an angel, but also a little devil. This is the perfect city where any noir story fits.
When it comes to the movie, the script written by Curtins Hanson and Brian Hellgland is very smart. Many scriptwriters could have fallen into the trap of trying to translate the whole novel to the screen. Such a thing would be very complicated and the film would result in a mess. In the book, many characters and plots work very fine once the readers can move back and forward according to their needs. But in the movie -- once you are in a theatre-- you have to follow what is in the screen, so if you missed an important line, you can miss the whole movie.
More than adaptating everything, they took L.A. Confidential's premisse and worked on their very own story, although it has many things inspired by the novel. They left out many sub-plots and created another ones, that make the story more watchable and interesting. But, they never lost the Ellroy's appeal.
All in all, both novel and movie are great, and they should be experienced by everyone, once they are two different works that complete each other.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book gift, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: LA Confidential: Classic Noir (Mass Market Paperback)
purchased as a gift so cant comment myself but the recipient was very happy with the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Not for the faint hearted', 21 April 2014
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This review is from: LA Confidential: Classic Noir (Mass Market Paperback)
A very pacy,strangely compelling, dark & complex detective story capturing a real feel for how it was in sunny L.A. in the late 1940s to the late 1950s.
It's written in an unusual style, you have to stick with it & you'll be glad you did...
The best way I can describe this style of writing is that if you can remember going out on a particularly wild & eventful Sat night with your mates & then try to tell people all about it, you miss out loads of possibly irrelevant detail & just cover the highlights using a lot of slang; this is the style its written in, also there's a lot of Police procedural slang used, you just have to kind of suss it out & use your imagination more.
In saying that I can see a lot of people not liking this style or able to follow it, thankfully i'm not one of them, this is a book I would def recommend, I liked it a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece., 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: L.A. Confidential (Hardcover)
Couldn't put the book down.
Ellroy is a master of his genre, you won't regret reading L.A. Confidential. And remember, a book is NOT the movie you probably watched.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a review of the book, but the product, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: L.A. Confidential (Kindle Edition)
I will stress this review is not of the novel, which is fantastic, but of the product I ordered from amazon to my kindle. Around 18 per cent through it starts to repeat a section of pages. This lasts for around 20 pages, the same sections of fitness reports for three officers repeated again again. Eventually it ends but there's no way of knowing if it stops at the proper section. Very frustrating. Experienced a similar problem on a smaller scale with the The Big Nowhere (the last book I downloaded before this one) also some words replaced with $$.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A 20th century masterpiece, 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: L.A. Confidential (Kindle Edition)
There's a raw beauty to the writing here. Brutal, authentic, bleak, wickedly funny and always utterly compelling, flowing like the purest rap poetry, I can't think of any novel I have enjoyed so much this year. LA Confidential is a 20th century masterpiece.

Footnote: Ellroy was asked by a member of a book talk audience if he wasn't guilty of overdoing his staccato style just a touch and Ellroy, apparently an absolute pussycat, agreed that, yeh, she was probably right. Personally, I can't get enough of it. (Source, BBC Radio 4)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic, 23 Oct 2013
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This review is from: L.A. Confidential (Hardcover)
This is a multi layered book and took me a couple of reads to fully understand. It is dangerously provocative, unforgiving, brutal, brilliantly written and hugely entertaining. If you have seen the film you will probably have enjoyed it. Now read the book and really enjoy the story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bold and ambitious, but missing something, 28 Jun 2013
This review is from: LA Confidential: Classic Noir (Mass Market Paperback)
Ellroy won't thank me for this, but I preferred the film over his book! First and foremost, any reviewer of this work has to praise the author's ambition in deliberately presenting the book in the style it's written in. The interaction of sentence and characters is an attempt to change the medium, to make the book more like a film. It's a far cry from the usual stodgy fare of lesser authors mulling over descriptions of the weather. In another change of approach, Ellroy's character's are so hard boiled, so grey, as to make them clichéd at times. Bad cops aren't bad, they're superbad!

Overall though, although it didn't quite click for me, I applaud the author's ambition in trying to move your usual standard crime novel to the next level. Maybe I was reading the wrong Ellroy work?
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LA Confidential: Classic Noir
LA Confidential: Classic Noir by James Ellroy (Mass Market Paperback - 17 Feb 1994)
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