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White Jazz by James Ellroy
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White Jazz (1992)

by James Ellroy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: L.A. Quartet (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Dwell in the fractured mind of a bent L.A cop.

This book is not for the squeamish. It is laced with violence, gore, racism and brilliance. The first person narrative/stream of consciousness left me exhausted, as Ellroy packs more into a paragraph than most authors do into a chapter. The fragmented sentences and hard-hitting style add to the already high level of tension, making this a real page turner.

The ruthless Dave Klein is driven by greed and anger, and has no redeeming side to his character, other than protectiveness of his sister, which itself is engendered by an incestuous love.
All of the usual well-drawn characters are in there, including Ed Exley, Dudley Smith and of course Mickey Cohen.

Overall a great read if you are into that gritty, no-holds-barred noir style.
( )
  ajsendall | Apr 5, 2015 |
Dwell in the fractured mind of a bent L.A cop.

This book is not for the squeamish. It is laced with violence, gore, racism and brilliance. The first person narrative/stream of consciousness left me exhausted, as Ellroy packs more into a paragraph than most authors do into a chapter. The fragmented sentences and hard-hitting style add to the already high level of tension, making this a real page turner.

The ruthless Dave Klein is driven by greed and anger, and has no redeeming side to his character, other than protectiveness of his sister, which itself is engendered by an incestuous love.
All of the usual well-drawn characters are in there, including Ed Exley, Dudley Smith and of course Mickey Cohen.

Overall a great read if you are into that gritty, no-holds-barred noir style.
( )
  ajsendall | Apr 5, 2015 |
This is the last book of the L.A. Quartet series. I enjoyed all four books. This one is following up without much time difference to L.A. Confidential and therefore all main characters are the same ones. This story is closing the unimaginable corruption within the police department, the jealousy between some major players within the LAPD and how one detective/lawyer is trying to solve some of the main puzzles and could go away with his criminal acts to live a peaceful life far away. They are his memories of all actions which are written down. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 6, 2014 |
My first read of James Ellroy. I loved the movie L.A. Confidential, so came into this book thinking the story would be told in a "normal" manner. But if this is his style (and I understand it is) I'll say he's an acquired taste and I'll need a few more samples before I know if I like it a lot or not at all.

Nothing wrong with the plot, although the cast of characters got unwieldy toward the end. I struggled with some of the jargon and slang, but figured much out as I got deeper into the reading. To his credit, Ellroy assumes his reader is intelligent. ( )
  ChrisNorbury | Apr 17, 2014 |
I'd be tough to call the seedy, lurid dime novels that probably influenced James Ellroy great literature, and, honestly, I think I'd also be pretty tough to call the stuff he produces great literature, too, though some people have certainly tried. As with most Ellroy books, everything's a bit too intense to be taken altogether seriously, which gives this stuff a sort of cartoonish feel. In Ellroy's literary universe, evil characters are unimaginably twisted rather than merely venal, rogue cops are one-man crime waves with police badges rather than guys in blue who overstep the law, and hot dames are all-out sexpots rather than just pretty women. This stuff is evolved trash, but, to Ellroy's credit, it can also be really fun evolved trash.

Actually, Ellroy gets a bit of credit for keeping keeping things relatively simple in "White Jazz" and for tamping down some of his more extreme noirish tendencies. The police side of thing is more-or-less limited to the misadventures of a single detective, and the plot's relative economy makes the plot a bit more believable -- not to mention easier to follow -- than most of the other novels that make up the author's "L.A. Quartet." His prose's more reined-in, too, and you can see him developing a sparer, more staccato narrative voice that makes his writing in "The Black Dahlia" seem positively florid. Even so, this doesn't mean that you can't call "White Jazz" minimalist in any sense of the word: the book's too long, and readers who refuse to suspend their disbelief are unlikely to finish it. Still, Ellroy's talent for establishing historical setting -- and for writing snappy, cheerfully profane period dialogue -- is sharp as ever; I suspect he'd be a pretty good historian, or at least a good historical novelist, if he ever wanted to give his neo-noir gig a rest. Anyway, after three or four Ellroy novels, I think I'm ready to take a break from him. It's back to the "literary fiction" section for me. I can always re-watch "The Big Sleep" if I feel the need for a dose of seedy, dangerous mid-century L.A. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Dec 31, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Ellroyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliva, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Het vervolg op L.A. Confidential Strikt Vertrouwelijk.

Verloedering, corruptie en verloren onschuld: het helse Amerika van James Ellroy.
In the end I possess my birthplace and am possessed by its language.
--Ross MacDonald
Dedication
Voor Helen Node
To Helen Node
First words
All I have is the will to remember.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ten slotte is mijn geboorteplaats mijn bezit geworden en word ik bezeten door haar taal. (Rossn MacDonald)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375727361, Paperback)

Los Angeles, 1958. Killings, beatings, bribes, shakedowns--it's standard procedure for Lieutenant Dave Klein, LAPD. He's a slumlord, a bagman, an enforcer--a power in his own small corner of hell. Then the Feds announce a full-out investigation into local police corruption, and everything goes haywire.

Klein's been hung out as bait, "a bad cop to draw the heat," and the heat's coming from all sides: from local politicians, from LAPD brass, from racketeers and drug kingpins--all of them hell-bent on keeping their own secrets hidden. For Klein, "forty-two and going on dead," it's dues time.

Klein tells his own story--his voice clipped, sharp, often as brutal as the events he's describing--taking us with him on a journey through a world shaped by monstrous ambition, avarice, and perversion. It's a world he created, but now he'll do anything to get out of it alive.

Fierce, riveting, and honed to a razor edge, White Jazz is crime fiction at its most shattering.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:23 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Detective and mystery stories. This story describes the life of Lieutenant Dave Klein who is a lawyer, but also something else. Klein stands at the centre of a complex web of plots where violence and death will intersect. Los Angeles, 1958: a city on the make. A boom town at the edge of a new era ripe for plunder. Lieutenant Dave Klein: in turn a lawyer, bagman, slum landlord, mob killer. Klein stands at the centre of a complex web of plots where violence and death will intersect.… (more)

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