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The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
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The Big Nowhere (original 1988; edition 1998)

by James Ellroy

Series: L.A. Quartet (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,855197,777 (4.02)34
Los Angeles, 1950 Red crosscurrents: the Commie Scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, and deceit. Danny Upshaw is a Sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop...and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine is D.A.'s Bureau brass. He's climbing on the Red Scare bandwagon to advance his career and to gain custody of his adopted son, a child he saved from the horror of postwar Europe. Buzz Meeks-bagman, ex-Narco goon, and pimp for Howard Hughes-is fighting communism for the money. All three men have purchased tickets to a nightmare. (100,000 words)… (more)
Member:dakin
Title:The Big Nowhere
Authors:James Ellroy
Info:Mysterious Press (1998), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 406 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy (1988)

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» See also 34 mentions

English (15)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
51/34-Πολύ μπλα μπλα , υπερβολικά πολλά ονόματα .Το "Τούλιπ" ούτε καν διαβάζεται .Το "υπόθεση Γκέητγουντ" είναι το καλύτερο ( )
  Will_Trent | Jul 3, 2022 |
James Ellroy is the only crime fiction writer that I've found to live up to the high quality of writing standard that Dashiell Hammett & [b:Raymond Chandler|2052|The Big Sleep|Raymond Chandler|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGA624Z5L._SL75_.jpg|1222673] set 50 yrs earlier. I didn't learn about him until July, 2007 & I then proceeded to read every bk of his I cd find in quick succession. Admittedly, the brutality of his obssessions was too much for me eventually - I'm glad I'm not him. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
A thrilling novel that weaves its way through plot-lines, characters, events, and discovery. I really liked this particular novel in the L.A Quartet and I feel it has a lot to offer readers. It is NOT predictable nor dull at any point and I felt fully entertained for the duration of the ride. A great novel for those enjoying suspense and detective fiction and, at this point, I would suggest the whole L.A Quartet is most likely worth diving into for those interested in that genre or writing in general. It's worth it.

4 stars! ( )
  DanielSTJ | Sep 29, 2019 |
A sordid murder on New Year's Eve has Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Deputy Danny Upshaw tracing down leads that reveal as much about himself as the killer. Meanwhile, a grand jury probe into possible Communist activities in Hollywood studios promises a Los Angeles Police Department captaincy for Lieutenant Mal Considine and offers enough money to entice indebted former police officer Buzz Meeks in providing muscle for the job.

Unlike the previous two titles I read by Ellroy, this book is told in the third person and follows three separate stories instead of one. Predictably, the three plots end up coming together at some point; I rather preferred when they interacted than when they didn't. The characters were interesting but deeply flawed; while following their stories was compelling, I doubt you'd want to meet any of them in real life. It's worth noting that Ellroy blends fact and fiction with this story, focusing on characters that he invented but having them interact with actual people from the time period (e.g., Mickey Cohen, Howard Hughes, etc.)

As with his previous books, Ellroy pulls no punches when it comes to his language and representations of a misogynistic, racist 1950s police force that is corrupt and brutal. There is also a fair amount of gore described with the murders, although I feel like less so here than in The Black Dahlia, the title preceding this one on the series. Basically, it's not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

The main murder mystery took some winding paths and lead to a conclusion that was both predictable and surprising, which I cannot further elucidate on without giving away spoiler details. Ellroy does, for the most part, plot things out very well and comes full circle with his storylines. With one detail in particular, I went back to the beginning and re-read some parts to see exactly what he had been up to while the reader was unawares.

The last half of the book was a page turner whereas the first half had a lot to introduce with three separate POV characters and storylines, as well as a decent amount of time spent describing the rivalry between LAPD and LASD, a subplot that was somewhat germane to the story but not one I found particularly as interesting. However, it did eventually pan out in a big way. This book does end in a somewhat vague way for one of the characters and not everything is tied up neatly in a bow -- just enough to whet the reader's appetite for the next book in the series. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jul 7, 2019 |
While this is an okay detective yarn, I found the plethora of characters overwhelming and the language dated and very macho, and in today's terms, rather lacking political correctness. There is just too much going on in the book and the somewhat dated language and expressions makes you less keen on reading further. ( )
  geza.tatrallyay | Apr 10, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Ellroyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Oliva, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It was written that I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice --
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Dedication
To Glenda Revelle
First words
Thundershowers hit just before midnight, drowning out horn honks and noisemaker blare that usually signalled New Year's on the Strip, bringing 1950 to the West Hollywood Substation in a wave of hot squeals with meat wagon backup.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Los Angeles, 1950 Red crosscurrents: the Commie Scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, and deceit. Danny Upshaw is a Sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop...and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine is D.A.'s Bureau brass. He's climbing on the Red Scare bandwagon to advance his career and to gain custody of his adopted son, a child he saved from the horror of postwar Europe. Buzz Meeks-bagman, ex-Narco goon, and pimp for Howard Hughes-is fighting communism for the money. All three men have purchased tickets to a nightmare. (100,000 words)

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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446674370, 0445408324, 0892962836

 

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