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Hollywood Station (Hollywood Station Series #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,784 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Hollywood Station: A Novel
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published November 26th 2006)
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HOLLYWOOD STATION is a novel following a multitude of officers and detectives from the Hollywood Division of the LAPD. The one plot line that extends the course of most of the book involves a jewelry theft that results from Crystal Meth addicts fishing mail out of public mailboxes and selling it to a Eastern European couple. There are also a plethora of small sub-story lines throughout the course of the novel.

Some of the main players in this book include two police officers/surfer "dudes" refer
It's not a bad book. A pretty quick read, with plenty of interesting little anecdotes and funny dialogue, although the plotting felt a bit loosey-goosey, and the "bizarre coincidence" factor seemed a bit high, especially towards the end. As well, the prose was awkward at times, and I found a surprising number of typos.

The cop characters are for the most part good--almost too good, like real people with the edges filed off. I would have preferred a few more flaws, but I can understand why Wambaug
There is a touch of the absurd to every Joseph Wambaugh novel. And this one is no exception. Part of the mind says, "Things like this could never happen," while another part is saying, "Yeah, I can see that happening."

This is not a novel about master criminals being brought down by determined detectives. This is a novel about the real life of cops. They have dreams and doubts and fears and hopes just like the rest of us and Wambaugh brings them all to life.

There's the cop who has hopes of an act
Toby Zidle
Jan 18, 2015 Toby Zidle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers of police novels - humor
I've read several Wambaugh books before this one and have enjoyed all of them. "Hollywood Station" is no exception. Wambaugh is a natural story-teller.

The book begins with a series of police incidents spread over several days. At first, a reader would feel like he is reading an anthology of unrelated very brief stories. Could the whole book be nothing more than this?

Among the incidents, however, are two crimes that the detectives begin to investigate. From these, Wambaugh develops the story line
Pretty standard Wambaugh.

A gritty, street level view of the street cops of Hollywood station.
The characters are decent but could have been a little bit more well developed and the plot sometimes seems just something on which to hand a series of anecdotes...but it is those anecdotes which really make the book. From these stories, Wambaugh is able to really convey the horror, boredom and humor that comes from day to day policing in a big city from Elmo v. Batman to cops using a riot gun to get a
Patrick O'Connor
Happy to revisit Wambaugh after many years by way of Michael Connelly and James Ellroy. Wambaugh credits Ellroy for getting him back in saddle. And kudos to Adam Grupper for one of the best performed readings it has been my pleasure to hear.
Michael Sova
Joseph Wambaugh's illustrious writing career spans more than four decades. His early works, a mix of novels and true crime accounts, drew on his years of experience in the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2006, with the release of Hollywood Station, Wambaugh returned to that familiar theme.
Hollywood Station is the first of several novels in a series Joseph Wambaugh fans will truly love. I am still relatively new to his work. I have to admit that, at first, although I thought the book was cle
James Ellroy es mi referente. Joseph Wambaugh es el de Ellroy. Si después de Hollywood Station, Wambaugh también se hubiera convertido en el mío, se habría alcanzado el silogismo perfecto… Sin embargo, la perfección no existe.

Y eso que la novela es impecable. Tanto como lo puede ser un informe presentado al final de un turno por el mejor policía de Los Ángeles. O si libra, por dos surferos, o por un policía obsesionado con las películas de Hollywood, o por una mujer con los pechos rebosantes de
Procyon Lotor
L.A.P.D. Tecnicamente un giallo, (c' uno o pi delitti e una conseguente indagine) in realt la cronaca poco romanzata di vite nei giorni della polizia di Los Angeles e della popolazione con cui hanno a che fare abitualmente nel bene e nel male (pi spesso). Pu piacere ai giallisti come a chi cerca realistiche note di colore della citt degli angeli, erroneamente troppo spesso definita con assoluto eccesso di tracotante e orbo USAcentrismo, l'anti-NewYork. Ovviamente consigliatissimo a tutti gli a ...more
Before NYPD, CSI and the one hundred and one other ‘real life’ cop shows, there was Joseph Wambaugh and his series Police Story. Wambaugh, who was once a detective sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department, who turned producer, screen writer and novelist, has published his first novel in ten years. And boy has it been worth waiting for. It’s a gripping, edge of the seat, page turning thriller, set in modern day Los Angeles and is already being developed for a TV series. There are enough stor ...more
Although this reads more like a collection of anecdotes from the professional lives of the men and women of the LAPD assigned to the Hollywood station, Joseph Wambaugh pulled them all together in such a way as to make them all part of a good novel. There's Meg Takara, a petite, Japanese-American, who defied her parents wishes when she became a police officer. After one night working undercover, she was severely beaten by an enraged pimp for working in his turf. There's Budgie Polk, a lactating m ...more
Wambaugh does a masterful job of weaving several smaller stories and plots into one complete quilt. His characters include cops, from the dedicated to the easily sold, citizens, and a few down and outers and career crooks, but all come to life. Hollywood Nate does occasional walk-on roles and dreams of becoming a full-time actor when he's not driving a patrol car. Andrea McCrea worries about her son, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Flotsam and Jetsam use every second of free time to surf.

The m
Joseph Wambaugh served as a LA police officer was one of the first writers to use a more realistic approach to writing about police work. His newest book, Hollywood Station, is his first book in ten years and it is a well balanced mix of black humor and suspense.

The story centers around the LAPD Hollywood Station and it has a mix of colorful policeman including two surfer-cops, the grizzled sexists serving with female cops, the wannabe actor cop and the over his head newbie. The first half of th
Perry Whitford
Joseph Wambaugh began his career as an officer in the LAPD in 1960, rising to the role of detective sergeant by the mid 1970s before retiring to take up writing police and crime novels full-time. This book, published in 2006 when he was near 70 years of age, is his return to the streets he started out on and it's as brilliant and funny as any such story I have read for a long time, whether it be by a younger writer George Pelecanos or a fellow veteran of the form like Elmore Leonard.

The officer'
Barely 2 stars. I picked this book up literally sight unseen in a "Date Night with a Book" event at one of the local libraries. Books are separated by genre and gift wrapped and you select one and at check out, the scanner reads the tag on the book and you find out what you "won." I picked Adult Crime/Mystery but this book is not my usual fare. I should've just returned it unread, but I felt like this was a reading challenge and I needed to be a good sport and play along. And I was hoping that I ...more
Deon Stonehouse
Hollywood Station by Joseph Wambaugh is about the LAPD, with a large cast of characters. He centers on the lives of the cops at the Hollywood Station. They are tired, harassed, way over worked, and trying to do their best. If you are looking for Wambaugh’s usual wacky characters, you will not be disappointed. The book reads like a tribute to the men and women who try their best to keep us safe. Think about what they face every day, children injured by hideous adults, people throwing their life a ...more
Jun 09, 2008 Bryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in good fiction, the police, or Los Angeles
Recommended to Bryan by: Michael Blowhard
I cannot improve on the blog post that prompted me to read it, so I'll repost a lengthy excerpt:

Which brings me to what really made my blood boil: the review-fate of one particular book -- "Hollywood Station," the new novel by Joseph Wambaugh.

A quick word for those who haven't encountered Joseph Wambaugh and his writing. A onetime Marine and L.A. cop, Wambaugh is a wildly successful author of cop novels and cop nonfiction. Among his best-known books are "
#1 in the Hollywood Station series. The series is an homage / throwback to author Wambaugh's episodic, character heavy police procedurals of the 1970s.

Hollywood Station series - A look at the officers and detectives assigned to Hollywood Station from the "Oracle", a 46-year veteran sergeant, to Budgie Polk, the single mother of a 4 month old. The novel also looks at the underbelly of Hollywood, the "tweakers", the street people, and the members of the Russian Mafia. Episodic but engaging.
I'd never read a single Joseph Wambaugh book despite knowing of him forever. This was an audio book for my commute and I'm glad I finally sought him out as this was an entertaining romp through the world of Hollywood via police, criminals, low-life, homeless, detectives, tourists and all the other people who make this part of Los Angeles unique to the city. I was surprised at the amount of humor that is in the story--credit goes somewhat to the reader for that. Since I live only a few miles from ...more
Sacramento Public Library
Hollywood Station reads like fresh fiction, full of delicious characters and juicy wit, but it’s not a new, young author out on their first foray, it is seasoned author and ex-cop Joseph Wambaugh, starting off a great new series with a bang! Hollywood Station is a book about cops, and about LA, and yes, there are movie-type people in there too, and it sounds like it has all been done before, and it has, but Wambaugh may as well have gone back in time and invented the genre with this one. Brillia ...more
Joseph Wambaugh is a great writer of tapestry-style fiction. His novels are mostly comprised of individual vignettes that slowly come together to form a larger picture. He's a very slow-burn sort of author and I can understand why some people would find his writing to not be their particular cup of tea. I can also understand how some folks would be turned off by the racial implications of his work. But let's be honest, when we're talking LA law enforcement, race is something that is going to com ...more
I read a couple Joseph Wambaugh books, The New Centurions and The Blue Knight, many years ago and remember that I enjoyed them. My sister-in-law gave me this book and marked in it, "slow beginning and pretty good ending." I have to admit that it took me awhile to get into the story and to keep the many characters straight in my mind. Overall, I enjoyed the book and will probably try to read a few more of his books along the way.
George Nap
I enjoy Wambaugh, a guilty pleasure. Haven't read him in decades, actually thought he had to be dead, but there he is, still writing books. I enjoyed this one, not a demanding read, but an entertaining read. For me five stars are; The Onion Field, The Blooding or Echoes in the Darkness. Three stars fits this book well. If you like Wambaugh, read it, if you don't, read it anyway. It is a fun book and a quick read.
Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station, a novel he wrote in 2006, is fiction. But so much of it is nonfiction.

This book is about life at the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, post-Rodney King, post-9/11, and some of the cases they encounter. Because I lived in San Diego for 20 years, I heard from afar (but close enough to get KFI, an LA talk radio station) about all the demoralizing political correctness going on at the LAPD post-Rodney King, post-9/11. But this book is a loo
Rob Daly
This book is part of a series I am doing. I plan on reading all the books on my grandfathers shelf . This book was a quick read. It was very pulpy in its delivery. I enjoyed the conversations that the officers had. To me it seemed real. The issue I ha with the book was that it seemed a little contrived in its setup and conclusion. I did enjoy it enough to revisit the series though .
Wambaugh's outstanding new novel, his first in a decade, is not only a return to form but a return to his LAPD roots. Times have sure changed since the 1970s, the setting for some of Wambaugh's best earlier works such as The New Centurions and The Onion Field. Grossly understaffed, the officers of Hollywood Station find themselves writing bogus field interviews with nonexistent white suspects in minority neighborhoods to avoid allegations of racial profiling.

Crystal meth rules the streets, and c
Hollywood Station was the first book that I read by Wambaugh, and I did find that I enjoyed it. Wambaugh created some very colorful characters both cops and villains that made the book interesting. There were a lot of twists and turns, and the reader never knew what these crazy characters were going to do next. I found that my favorite characters ended up being Budgie, Mag, Olive, Andi, and Oracle. Each character was pretty well developed considering the number of characters involved in the stor ...more
Pete Loveday
This is not a cosy book.
It is a very well crafted collection of anecdotes and stories that were skillfully blended together to create an excellent mystery that the assembled characters solved. The suspects were incredibly dumb and believable and the law officers were clearly normal, decent cops. Viktor made the story and I enjoyed his European manners and treatment of his fellow officers.
The most illuminating section was Andi McRea's address to her classmates on the completion of her Degree stu
Both Joseph Wambaugh and Ed McBain are adept at creating characters that are colorful and memorable--both the police officers, and the criminals as well as the innocent public. There are two women officers, Budgie and Mags, who volunteer to pose as prostitutes, with the result that Mags is badly damaged on her face and almost loses an eye. Hollywood Nate, despite being 35 years old, has hopes of a movie career. The bad guys are Russian and Ukrainian, and their crimes are theft of mail, stealing ...more
Rob Epler
Solid procedural with well-fleshed-out characters. Very satisfying entry in the genre. This was my first Wambaugh, but it's good enough that I'll seek others out. I didn't know it when I got "Hollywood Station", but apparently it's the first in a series (there are currently 3 others).
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Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant (1960-1974), is the bestselling author of twenty-one prior works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. Wambaugh joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1960. He served 14 years, rising to detective sergeant. He also attended California State University, Los Angeles, where he earned Bachelor of Arts and M ...more
More about Joseph Wambaugh...

Other Books in the Series

Hollywood Station Series (4 books)
  • Hollywood Crows (Hollywood Station, #2)
  • Hollywood Moon (Hollywood, #3)
  • Hollywood Hills (Hollywood Station, #4)
The Onion Field The Choirboys The New Centurions The Blue Knight Hollywood Crows (Hollywood Station, #2)

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