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Brown's Requiem

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  1,921 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
In James Ellroy’s first novel, a PI investigates a deadly conspiracy at one of Los Angeles’s most exclusive country clubs

It would be a stretch to call Fritz Brown a detective. A PI in name only, he washed out of the police force at twenty-five, and makes a cash living doing under-the-table repo work for a sleazy used-car dealer. It’s an ugly job, but Fritz is not one to sa
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Road (first published 1981)
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Helen Stavraki
Θαύμασα ειλικρινά αυτόν τον ιδιόρρυθμο ντετέκτιβ,προσπάθησε παρά πολυ να ξεπεράσει τον ηδη κατεστραμμένο εαυτό του απο άποψη εθισμών σωματικών και ψυχικών! Αποφάσισε με όπλα του την διαίσθηση και την αγάπη για την κλασική μουσική να διαλευκάνει μόνος σχεδόν μια υπόθεση με πολλα άσχημα πάθη,ξεχασμένους δαίμονες,δυνατούς αντιπάλους,υπεράνω κάθε υποψίας και τα κατάφερε εν μέρει.

Αφενός,ξεκάθαρισε άψογα για καθαρά προσωπικούς λόγους κάποια ζητήματα παράτυπα βεβαια,κουκουλωμενα μεσα σε εκβιασμούς και
Jan 04, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love hard-boiled voices. Why? You might ask. Because I like seeing a dickhead get punched in the gullet and knocked on his keister. I take an absurdly sick pleasure in this scenario. Again, you might ask why. Well…because I have literally been an underdog my entire life. I might as well have a t-shirt with the mantra “Constantly Underestimated.” If it were a theme song, I’d sing the chorus, pound the drums, and lead the backup vocals. But I don’t mind. In fact, it’s great when the bar is set l ...more

Μην υποθέσετε ότι αυτό το βιβλίο είναι ένα πρωτόλειο έργο, μια απλή έναρξη της καριέρας ενός εκ των 2-3 κορυφαίων γραφιάδων στο κομμάτι της αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας των ΗΠΑ. Ο Ellroy απ'αυτό το ντεμπούτο φαίνεται πως είχε ήδη βρει την ταυτότητα του, στυλιστικά αλλά και σε θέμα ρυθμού (ειδικά σε αυτό φυσάει) ακόμα κι αν η πλοκή είναι χοντροκομμένη σε σημεία.
Ας είναι όμως, ο συγγραφέας της Μαύρης Ντάλιας δείχνει τα δόντια του και το Ρέκβιεμ για τον Μπράουν, πέρα απ'την επίσημη έναρξη των καλο
Mar 21, 2013 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Even the Demon Dog of American fiction had to start somewhere, and this debut noir bears the hallmark naivety of a first novel whilst setting out a clear mission statement for all that would come from the pen of James Ellroy. It's just a bit dull and obvious however.

At 256 pages this is perhaps the shortest of all his novels and as the story progressed I became more and more grateful for that fact as more and more trite, cliche, amateur scenes unfolded. Fritz Brown is already almost the typical
Eddie Owens
Entertaining private eye shizz with the usual tropes. Fritz Brown is an alcoholic ex-cop with a sky high IQ, and a witty line in banter.

In the intro, the author does acknowledge his debt to Raymond Chandler, and says that after this book, he was moving away from "genrehack boulevard".

I am reading "The Big Nowhere" now, so I will let you know.
Apr 02, 2017 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Mr E's first ever novel and in my edition he has written a forward that expounds on some of his situation at the time of writing i.e. late 1970's. It seems that Mr E had a few problems of his own back then and the main character Frits Brown is somewhat autobiographical. Nothing wrong with that of course. In the forward he acknowledges the influence of Raymond Chandler on his writing style, somewhat ruefully as it seems he feels this may have stifled his own writing style. However, the of ...more
Κλασικίζον νουάρ. Σα να βλέπεις τον Usain Bolt να μαθαίνει περπάτημα.
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Tim Niland
May 30, 2010 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
James Ellroy would go on to be called the "demon dog of crime fiction" and it all starts here with his first novel. Drawing on his experience as a transient and a golf caddy while growing up in Los Angeles, Ellroy adds touches from his own biography into this hard boiled detective story. Fitz Brown is an ex-LAPD officer, currently working as a private investigator and car repo man. When he is contacted by a disheveled and possibly insane golf caddy to spy on his sister who is living with an olde ...more
Brown's Requiem is a pretty typical first novel. It's jam-packed with extraneous details that seem drawn from the author's life but that have little to do with the central plot (e.g., classical music, golf caddying, an alcoholic friend of the protagonist who lives with his mother, binge drinking, eating roasted dog with hippies down in Mexico), and a first-person narrator who's poorly defined and inconsistent.

This is the third novel by James Ellroy I've read. I found his "telegraphic" writing st
Ellroy before the increasingly bizarre stylistic mannerisms. If the clean prose is a pleasant surprise, it must be weighed against generally bland characterization and a story which is only intermittently suspenseful. The book is somewhat redeemed by a variety of quirky irrelevancies--moments of unexpected dark humour, a paean to the joy of sleeping on a golf course, a dinner of roast dog--and one striking character, "Fat Dog" Baker, a memorable grotesque.
Tim Hainley
Entertaining, very early Ellroy crime novel. It was written in the present time back in 1982, so it's fun to hear him grumping about punks and new wavers. He hadn't quite figured out all of his craft and style, but the building blocks and plotting are all there.

Oct 01, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never once wanted to pause in reading this one.
Feb 09, 2017 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For lovers of noir this was an enjoyable work. It followed the right formula. It made you want to like the flawed main character. It made you feel dirty for cheering for someone who is little better than those he fights against. Certainly many cliches involving dirty cops, extortion, murder, blackmail, drug and alcohol abuse and questionable decision making. Still, as a fan of the noir genre I found it enjoyable.
May 28, 2017 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Improbable characters with no depth, unbelievable plot, stilted cliched writing, perhaps his other books are better
Oct 29, 2016 Ffrriittzz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great first novel. It's beholden to Chandler but that's OK.
Mar 16, 2017 Bryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first foray into James Ellroy. There was awkwardness in the writing that can be attributed to first novel naivete. I did not like the protagonist Fritz Brown an ex-cop PI who, for example, laments a friend’s self-destructive alcoholism after stopping by with a bottles of beer and booze. He's a sensitive brute and I did not believe his motivations. The novel felt older then 1981 and I blame this on the dialogue and cookie cutter characters. I felt like I was missing something. I found ...more
John McKenna
Apr 01, 2014 John McKenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mysterious Book Report No. 140
by John Dwaine McKenna
Los Angeles, California has long been the epicenter for crime fiction of all types. They include police procedurals, courtroom dramas and private eye yarns by a long list of world class authors like Raymond Chandler, Earle Stanley Gardner and Dashiel Hammett from the golden age of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, as well as more modern writers such as Joseph Wambaugh, Walter Mosley and Michael Connelly. One of my personal favorites however, is a pere
Melissa Peltier
James Ellroy's first novel is very much a first novel - albeit the first novel of a soon-to-be-great writer. In fact, if this were anyone but James Ellroy, I might be giving it a 4-star review, for the confident, lyrical fluidity of the prose; the command of character and description; the verisimilitude and the evocative atmosphere of Los Angeles in the 80's. Knowing what Ellroy was yet to become, however, it's hard not to compare Brown's Requiem to LA Confidential or any of Mr. E's later greate ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Nick rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Roman Polanski, Arnold Palmer, Gustav Holst
When I picked this book up, I was looking for a dark, noir-ish mystery, and that's exactly what I got. Brown's Requiem is extremely dark and an extent that caught me off guard.

James Ellroy is a very good writer. He does an amazing job creating characters that feel like they could have walked right out of Chinatown or The Maltese Falcon and into the 1980s. Ellroy's Los Angeles is also quirky and surprisingly centered around golf courses and classical music. Those parts of the story wer
Dec 23, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two weeks before the Utopia Club was consumed by an arsonist's torch, private investigator and car repossessor Fritz Brown was having a drink there when the man next to him spilled his drink in Fritz's lap. The man immediately apologized. Re cognition of that man was to be the key unraveling a mystery almost ten years later.

Fritz Brown is James Ellroy's first creation and a worthy successor to Philip Marlowe. Brown is an ex-cop, dismissed from the L.A.P.D. for having broken the legs of the Vice
Steven Ramirez
Jan 13, 2015 Steven Ramirez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always been a fan of detective fiction. And having lived in Los Angeles my whole life, I especially appreciate dark stories that take place here. There’s something sad about LA. Sure, we have lots of distractions—the movie industry, great bars, hamburgers. But underneath all that, there’s something melancholy and deadly—unsavory people operating at a whole other level. Even on golf courses. And this is the tawdry world the author introduces us to.

Fritz Brown is an enigma. He’s an ex-cop, a
Feb 05, 2014 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compellingly illustrated themes of addiction and abandonment drive a sordid mystery written in the heart of LA, and branching off into the desert cities and up to San Francisco with detail that places the reader at those exact street corners. The mystery unravels in thick jolts, sometimes to its exciting benefit, but often in ways that leaves the reader reading on for Brown's elaboration on exactly why the revelation is significant. The density of the mystery is sometimes difficult to track and, ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Ρώτησα πριν λίγες μέρες κάποιον τι σημαίνει νουάρ μυθιστόρημα και ποιος είναι ένας χαρακτηριστικός νουάρ συγγραφέας. Η πρόταση του φίλτατου που ακολούθησε ήταν το παρόν βιβλίο, το οποίο μου φάνηκε ενδιαφέρον και διασκεδαστικό, με ανατροπές στην πορεία της υπόθεσης (αρχικά δεν ήταν υπόθεση δολοφονίας, ο ήρωας αποφασίζει να τη διερευνήσει κατά τον τρόπο αυτό, ενώ κάποιες από τις δολοφονίες τις προκαλεί - ίσως - ο ίδιος). Η ατμόσφαιρα είναι σκοτεινή, όχι για κάποιον άλλο λόγο (στο Λος Άντζελες κυρί ...more
Good - not great - mystery. Sometimes I felt the plot was quite formulaic, and sometimes things seemed to work out a little too easily for protagonist Fritz Brown. Some characters are very free to give up information in the story, which at times just did not seem very realistic. I do love the irony, though, that while Fritz's tough case seems to fall into place easily sometimes, the ideal life he envisions does not come so easily for him.

The biggest problem might be that the antagonists in the
Nov 03, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gritty noir from James Ellroy, the (subsequent) author of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia. An early work, you can see the author still finding his footing. Brown's Requiem, unlike most of his other novels, takes place in contemporary times (well, contemporary when it was written, 1981), but even though the setting has changed, the scenery hasn't. All the hard-boiled staples are there: a private dick investigating a hazy maze of confusion, corrupt cops, a "femme fatale" who may or ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Godzilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2009, noir
My edition of this has a neat introduction from Ellroy, which set the scene for how he came to write the book, gives a little more background to some of the events, and expresses a desire that his books get better chronologically.

I did find some of the characterizations slightly superficial (compared to later works of his that I've read), and the plot did feel slightly jumbled together.

However there's still a kernel of goodness underlying the brutality and slightly sketchy start to his novel wri
Dec 07, 2016 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Μια συναρπαστική αστυνομική περιπέτεια στο Λος Άντζελες. Ο πρωταγωνιστής ένας εκκεντρικός, αποτυχημένος αστυνομικός με πολλά πάθη. Θα καταφέρει να διαλευκάνει μια σύνθετη υπόθεση και θα αποκαλύψει τελικά τον ένοχο. Μια ιστορία βουτηγμένη στον υπόκοσμο.
Γραφή απλή, με μικρές κοφτές προτάσεις. Υπερβολικό υβρεολόγιο. Αυτό με πείραξε ως ένα σημείο. Κάποιον άλλο μπορεί να τον εκνευρίσει και να σταματήσει την ανάγνωσή του.
Η ιστορία βασίζεται σε μια προιστορία. Έχει δράση, σασπένς, αγωνία. Λυρικότητα εκ
Nov 01, 2007 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A solid, pretty straigh-foward (lots of long monologues) private eye story set in Los Angeles of the 1980s. A classical-music-loving ex-cop and repo man picks up an assignment as a detective that moves him into the world of golf caddying and arson, toward more sinister characters and crime. He is an alcoholic, violent, sex-addled character. Ellroy provides an interesting window into southern California and Mexico. This apparently is one of Ellroy's first works, and it is instructive to see his e ...more
Cathi Davis
Aug 01, 2012 Cathi Davis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Pointless, violent, unbelievable, crude, no story that makes sense. Call it graphic realism, but I call it detailed fantasy. Using actual names and places doesn't mean that they actually exist as described in this book.
Sadly, the "looping life" described is probably accurate because Ellroy supported himself as a caddy, But it might put you off golf for good. ( He makes his main character...Dan Brown...a naif when it comes to golf, a device for lots (too much?) of golf and caddying expositi
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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
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