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White Jazz (L.A. Quartet, #4)
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White Jazz (L.A. Quartet #4)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  4,617 ratings  ·  169 reviews
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 hea
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 24th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1933)
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The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Noir
36th out of 464 books — 516 voters
Caught Stealing by Charlie HustonAlready Dead by Charlie HustonL.A. Confidential by James EllroyGalveston by Nic PizzolattoThe Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski
New School of Noir
12th out of 149 books — 128 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Krok Zero
Feature this is one of Ellroy's best.

Dig the economy: scale back the unsustainable sprawl of L.A. Confidential—streamline it. The catch: still cram a CRAAAZY amount of wild plot into a relatively small frame.

Single protagonist, single POV—a departure. NO redemptive qualities for the protag: Ellroy's most tainted hero. First-person narration—sharp, minimalistic. Fractured consciousness: a dirty cop seen FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

Style: heavy—but not off-putting or hard to read like future Ellroy prose
Wes Freeman
When I was reading them, each entry in the L.A. Quartet was my favorite book. Kinda awe inspiring to watch James Ellroy move from a style your 11th-grade English teacher might have described as "economical" to a one so determinedly spare it makes Hemingway seem profligate. 'Long about L.A. Confidential, we see him start to use sentences like "Bud, soft." and I started to love things about the English language I'd forgotten about, like how having too many words means you don't need as many rules ...more
There's a blurb on the back cover of this, a quote by some critic probably. It says something like "Ellroy has stripped his broad brush down to a hard cutting tool." That's clever, but for me it was less "hard cutting tool" and more "brain-caked block hammer." Ellroy was getting increasingly staccato and blunt by The Big Nowhere but this makes L.A. Confidential look like some Goodnight Moon shit. Twists that alter the nature of the story and the fate of the characters within can come in the form ...more
Phil Mc
The final instalment of Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet and, sadly, the worst by a country mile. The clipped, staccato sentences that work so well in the earlier novels have now become disjointed lists with occasional function words thrown in hither and thither. Ellroy has virtually parodied his own style and it makes for an incredibly annoying and difficult novel to read.

The story focuses on Dave Klein, a corrupt cop, and his attempts to unravel more crimes than I can relate here; however, the real inter
Even burning the dross off of prose leaves something haunted. The menace in Ellroy's streets is a puzzling presence, certainly along the likes of Mieville and Sinclair as it detours into origins and auras, Merleau-Ponty's flux made manifest in gridded streets and contained populations and vices. Ellroy slipped some going into the final act: hyperbole infected his plot and pus reigned supreme. Why have a voyeur/killer plot with incest overtones when one can fashion a virtual tribe of such, all of ...more
Saying that nobody writes like Ellroy is like saying nobody invents atomic bombs like Einstein. Working my way back through my favorite Ellroys begins with White Jazz, which is hands-down my favorite. Clooney should get off his ass and star in the movie already. Although I think Don Draper would make a fine Dave Klein, too. GET IT DONE, ASSBAGS!
LAPD e FBI. corrupção, investigação, subornos, política, violência, hollywood, violência, incesto, violência, narcotráfico, violência, homossexualidade, violência. algumas tiradas com piada, um policial noir muito forte que requer disponibilidade mental dado o grande leque de personagens e a narrativa em estilo cinematográfico.
João Carlos
“White Jazz – Noites Brancas”, publicado inicialmente em 1992, é o último livro do L. A. Quartet, juntamente com “A Dália Negra”, “The Big Nowhere” e L. A. Confidential. Li estes três livros, amplamente divulgados, no início dos anos 90 e confesso que passados estes anos não consigo ter uma avaliação “detalhada” para determinar qual o melhor. Mas numa análise exclusiva a “White Jazz – Noites Brancas” tenho a “sensação” de ser claramente um dos melhores livros do referido quarteto (?).
James Ellr
Tim Niland
The fourth and final installment in James Ellroy's epic L.A. Quartet is one of his bleakest titles (and that is really saying something) but overcomes this with a rollicking and jittery energy that never lets up. Police lieutenant Dave Klein is stuck between a rock and a hard place: he's murdered a suspect, one of many crimes he has committed in the line of duty. The federal prosecutor is bearing down, threatening to prosecute him unless he rolls over on corrupt LAPD colleagues. In the midst of ...more
Holy stream of consciousness, Batman! That's what stands out in this novel is the narrative style chosen by Ellroy. It can be somewhat jarring at first, but once you slip into the patter, it frequently lends something strong and tangible to the story, allowing the reader to come closer to our hero (?) Dave Klein, an uber-crooked cop, trying to solve a few mysteries, work a side gig for Howard Hughes, track down a malicious voyeur, and juggle the L.A. Mob, the LAPD, and the Feds.

But while the st
May 02, 2008 Jeff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hepcats
Recommended to Jeff by: jacob hatley/stephen brower
hush-hush magazine, 5/2/08

feature this hepcats:

north-carolinian noir knuckleheads hook respectable rushdie reader on amphetamine-amped narratively-novel nonsense lit. _white jazz_ delivers double dose of goofball graft and convoluted criminal crosses, but chavez ravine/fed-LAPD probe context can't compete with _american tabloid_'s epic evisceration of early 60s political posturing.

all on the QT and very hush-hush.
Maria Grazia
Meno conosciuto di altre opere di Ellroy, come Dalia Nera e L.A. Confidential, White Jazz è invece uno dei suoi lavori migliori.
Scritto col consueto stile che mescola articoli di giornale, veline della polizia, dialoghi serrati e scene di violenza estrema, è una storia dove si trova la quintessenza del marciume poliziesco, dove non esistono né buoni né cattivi, e dove il più marcio di tutti è quello dall'animo migliore.
Ivailo Sarandev
Chaotic. Frenetic. Maddeningly tense & sometimes, often, what am I saying - always! - fascinatingly CRAAAAZY!

'White Jazz' is as close as you can get, when reading a book, to the adrenaline of a 'running-out-of-time' high-speed chase around a gritty, merciless town, exhausting option after option, losing minute after minute, hoping for your miraculous salvation, never having it in sight, always on the brink of despair and running out of hope, juice and simply feeling the life slip through you
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Finalmente sappiamo come andò a finire. Degna conclusione della quadrilogia di Los Angeles, un ciclo leggendario, come viene comunemente chiamata la raccolta di libri che parte con la "Dalia Nera" e finisce con questo "White Jazz" passando per "Il Grande Nulla" e "LA Confidential". Meno chiassoso, fiammeggiante e ambizioso dei precedenti, ma sicuramente un bel finale. Solita ambientazione in una Los Angeles cupa e meschina, dove la polizia e i criminali si scambiano i ruoli, si uniscono, entrano ...more
Mar 08, 2008 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime fiction, Ellroy, Jerry Orbach
Great book, one of Ellroy's best, but if you can score the audio cassette version GET IT!!!! Read by Jerry Orbach and read outrageously, Jerry plays all the characters, from Dudley Smith's Irish brogue to jiving black pimp to breathy noir vixen to Lt. Dave Klein, Jerry does them all. Jerry's reading rules, RIP you devil.

*Updated (3/8/08): "White Jazz" is now up on iTunes for $12.99. If you want the Jerry Orbach reading order the "Abridged" version because the complete version is read by someone
Michael Alexander
Possibly the best L.A. Quartet book of all, but maybe just because it's the one I read most recently. There's little that's new plotwise--politics feed into crime feed into a city about to boil over even as the general public is oblivious-- but the characterization is awesome and larger than life, the writing style is amphetamine-fueled and jumps around like lightning, and the sense of energy and impending doom are PALPABLE.

With, for ONCE, since Black Dahlia, an ending poignant as hell.
Take the least interesting aspects of bad Film Noir scripts, magnify them, enhance with cardboard dialog, add a generous but unnecessary dose of F-word, N-word and others in a silly attempt to achieve a snappy style, and you are left with the utter failure that is White Jazz.

Ellroy seems to have fallen victim to his own success with this one. The speech patterns of 1950's L.A. hipsters, gangsters and cops do not a readable novel make.
Procyon Lotor
Tre gorghi si scontrano in una tempesta perfetta. Ellroy non � (politically) correct. White Jazz � non correct e basta. Noir LA style vero certificato e approvato, cio� scordatevi le trame manichee, gettate la speranza perch� non vi serve - per� nella raccolta differenziata delle speranze senn� vi multano, dimenticate i buoni e i cattivi, qui non troverete altro che cattivi e i pessimi, qui sembra normale non avendo mai visto altro. C'� un tipo a LA, David Klein. Cinico, incazzato ma non stanco. ...more
David B
In the final novel of James Ellroy's LA quartet, corruption has become ubiquitous on the LA police force, which becomes the battleground for two powerful men who both want to become DA as a stepping stone to greater things. Dave Klein, a detective who has risen through the ranks by following orders no matter how distasteful, finds himself in the middle of a complex situation involving a federal corruption probe, a family of informers, Howard Hughes, and a low budget horror movie shooting in Grif ...more
Matteo Pellegrini

Los Angeles, 17 ottobre 1958. L'FBI apre un'inchiesta tra i collegamenti tra l'ambiente del pugilato professionistico e la mala vita. Un'inchiesta che potrebbe allargarsi, trascinando anche nel fango tanti personaggi in vista della buona società. Gente difficile da intrappolare. Ci vuole un'esca irresistibile. Come il tenente Dave Klein, il poliziotto più corrotto della città. Klein che ha fatto favori a uomini politici e pubblici funzionari, al re della droga e ai capi del racket, diventa di co

Paweł Sajewicz
Śmieszne: zacząłem czytać "Białą gorączkę" w oryginale, przekonany, że tłumaczenie wykastruje POPIEPRZONY styl powieści.
Efekt: ledwie przebrnąłem przez 50 stron. (A przecież wcześniej łyknąłem "LA Confidential" po angielsku bez większych problemów).
Ale Ellroy nie dawał mi spokoju. Przeszedłem się do biblioteki, zdjąłem z półki polskie wydanie (z okładką, która mogłaby stawać w zawodach o NAJBRZYDSZĄ okładkę everrrr).

Oczywiście to nie jest *obiektywnie* pięciogwiazdkowa powieść, tak? To przecie
William Johnson
Unlike the previous three books in the LA Quartet, this book actually has a tight ending that doesn't feel like exposition overkill.

But it also has a much needed cathartic release with throwbacks to the Black Dahlia and some righteous vengeance that we, as readers, needed since The Big Nowhere.

Dave 'The Enforcer' Klein is one of Ellroy's more fascinating characters while Ed Exley, from LA Confidential, returns in unexpected ways.

I did have two issues with the book:

1)Ellroy changes up his prose s
David Bonesteel
In the final novel of James Ellroy's LA quartet, corruption has become ubiquitous on the LA police force, which becomes the battleground for two powerful men who both want to become DA as a stepping stone to greater things. Dave Klein, a detective who has risen through the ranks by following orders no matter how distasteful, finds himself in the middle of a complex situation involving a federal corruption probe, a family of informers, Howard Hughes, and a low budget horror movie shooting in Grif ...more
Russell Grant
Actually 3 books in one!

THE BIG NOWHERE : Holy fuck is this one pitch black! Grisly, twisted page turner that is right up there with the best that Ellroy has done. 4.5/5

LA CONFIDENTIAL : The movie was great and what got me curious to read a Ellroy book in the first place. Forget everything you saw, it doesn't TOUCH what goes down in the book. An incredibly convoluted plot that somehow always makes sense and totally works. One of the best books I've read, period. 5/5

WHITE JAZZ 4/5 : Damn good war
Rafal Jasinski
Ellroy, po raz kolejny - tym razem w wydaniu, w jakim polubiłem go za "Amerykański spisek" - w oszczędnym, szorstkim i wymagającym, od czytelnika, skupienia, stylu. To jedyny pisarz, o którym powiedzieć można, że tworzy literaturę dla "twardzieli", pełnymi garściami czerpiąc z najlepszych wzorców najczarniejszego, najbardziej mrocznego noire. Narrator i główny bohater, David Klein, to jeden z najbardziej odrażających typków, w kreacji Ellroya jednak nie sposób mu dopingować, czy stać po jego str ...more
I tried but just could not get hooked into this James Ellroy L.A. Crime noir follow up to his successful L.A. Confidential which is set a few years later in the 1950's.
I found the plot to be meanderingly tedious and going in too many directions and the writing to be staccato like so it felt like I was reading a tabloid - an exceedingly long tabloid.
This one was somewhat like L.A. Confidential with a bent cop dealing with the mob and prostitutes. Dave Kleiin is a detective on the Vice squad repor
This is true noir. Noir at it's basest, crassest and darkest. Noir means black in French, and it is that and more. These are some of the worst characters you'll ever meet. They live in a shadowy world where nothing is really safe or simple. Certainly nothing is without a black spot. They are despicable, repulsive, base, immoral, amoral. You imagine that the skeletons in the closet could fill a morgue. This LA is not pretty. It's gritty, dirty, and the sun only serves to help you see the bodies m ...more
Perry Whitford
LA in the 1950s: murder, mayhem, larceny, corruption, beatings, slayings, snuff movies, thugs, drugs, homosexuality and incest. And that's just the cops. A fur heist and a kinky B&E form the foundation for what turns out to be a veritable pyramid of interrelated crimes and deceptions, at the top of which stand the twin titans of the LAPD, Ed ' the iceberg' Exley and deadly Dudley Smith.
At the base stands Dave 'the Enforcer Klein'. All of Ellroy's leads come with 'curiosities' and angles, but
Patrick McCoy
White Jazz (2001) by James Ellroy is the fourth book in the L.A. Quartet and is yet another entertaining crime thriller set in the underbelly of L.A. The protagonist of this book is the brutal, bent, intelligent Lieutenant David Klein of the corrupt LAPD Vice department. Despite all his failings (contract kills, corruption, etc.), the reader finds oneself rooting for the anti-hero who paints himself into a corner. There are plenty of reference to other books with characters like Ed Exley, Dudley ...more
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James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international best sellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York ...more
More about James Ellroy...
The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1) L.A. Confidential (L.A. Quartet, #3) American Tabloid (Underworld USA, #1) The Big Nowhere (L.A. Quartet, #2) The Cold Six Thousand (Underworld USA #2)

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