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All involved

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,155 ratings  ·  428 reviews
That's when it hits me. I'm staring at a war zone. In South Central.

On an April night in 1992, Payasa learns that her older brother has been stabbed to death, his body left out in the road to rot. He was never involved. He was innocent. He didn't even carry a gun. And that messes with the rules, even for Lynwood, even for the streets.

But it's the first day of the LA riots,
Paperback, 410 pages
Published 2016 by Picador (first published 2015)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,155 ratings  ·  428 reviews

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Will Byrnes
…this whole entire scene says the same to me as it says to every other knucklehead who ever thought bad thoughts across this whole city: now’s your fucking day, homie. Felicdades, you won the lottery! Go out there and get wild, it says. Come and take what you can, it says. If you’re bad enough, if you’re strong enough, come out and take it. Devil’s night in broad daylight, I call it.
At 3:15pm on April 29, 1992, a Simi Valley jury found the police officers who had beaten the crap out of Rodney
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-from-work
You grow up in the same neighborhood as me, one with a gun store that sells single bullets for twenty-five cents to anybody with bad thoughts and a quarter, then you might end up the same way.

this book is like law and order: street justice (which is a show i would totally watch please)

its focus is on the six days of rioting in LA following the rodney king verdict, and how, with law enforcement distracted and overwhelmed by the looting and burning and general mayhem, the opportunity for gangs to
Larry H
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd rate this 4.5, maybe 4.75 stars.

I remember the beating of Rodney King, but what I remember more than that was the outrage and violence which exploded in Los Angeles in April of 1992, when three of the four white policemen accused of the beating were completely acquitted, while no verdict was reached on the fourth. It was utterly surreal to be living in Washington, DC, watching the rioting, looting, destruction, and violence that followed, a feeling I'd never thought I'd have again, yet I
Peter Boyle
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of the 1992 LA riots, All Involved begins with a shocking act of violence. Ernesto, an innocent brother of two Chicano gang members is brutally murdered on his way home from work. The ensuing story of revenge is told via a series of interlinked chapters by a wide variety of characters caught up in the chaos - drug-dealers, firefighters, nurses, marines and the homeless.

I was continually reminded of Grand Theft Auto as I read All Involved. When the riots kicked off after
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in L.A. following the 1992 Rodney King verdict,t there were six days of violent, fiery riots, the story reveals the tapestry of people from all sorts of perspectives. When the mayhem of the riots overwhelmed and law enforcement and fire fighters efforts, gangs (and others) saw it as on open invitation to act lawlessly to settle scores and deliver "justice" to deserving enemies. Each chapter was about a different person. The level of violence and involvement in the murders, looting, ...more
Coral Davies
This was a very tricky book for me to review.

On the one hand I think its an important and honest exploration into the mentality behind city riots; what sparks them, why they grow out of control and how people link their experiences to the bigger picture.

What I Liked: Although I was too young to remember the Rodney King riots and am located in England, I have relatable experiences i.e. Mark Duggan. I also liked the form; splitting into 6 days, telling the story from multiple points of view,
This book should be a crime classic -- one of those Homicide or Executioner's Song bits of brutal gold that illuminate violence at its barest/most desperate, but also humanize its reverberations. David Mitchell blurbed this one on its back jacket as being "superlative." That it is. One of the easiest five stars I've yet given.

(I should note, though, that it is totally not for the faint of heart or stomach. There's at least a 15-20 person body count and Gattis is a vivid writer. But it's about
Richard Moss
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic-square, 2018
All Involved starts on the first day of the 1992 LA riots, but not with anything apparently related to Rodney King.

Instead it begins with the murder of Ernesto, an innocent victim connected to a gang feud purely through blood.

His death then sets in motion a chain of events with the chaos caused by the riots allowing for violent score-settling among rival gangs.

Gattis tells the story through 17 different narrators in a kind of relay race to the finish. They range from Ernesto's sister and other
Philippe Malzieu
At the beginning, I imagine as in a blackexploitation movie of the 70s (the sublime Palm Grier). But here, the gangs are hispanics. All is in order. gangs follow their rules, they have a leader. They steal, kill, deal, but any breach in the rules of the gang is sanctioned. Outside, normal people, with other rules, other laws.
And Rodney King, the riot. No more order, the reptilian brain governs. And the book takes a metaphysical dimension. The normal people kill, we cross the circles of hell. It
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining enough novel about a series of interlinked personalities involved in the 1992 LA riots, told in the first person, much in the same vain as Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin, without hitting the heights that book manages.

Quite a lengthy book,which does however keep the reader turning the pages, and it's one that the author has obviously researched well, but I just didn't feel the same connect with his characters that I have done with others in similar types of novel. Who
I was in high school in a suburb of Chicago when the Rodney King trials occurred. I remember thinking it was ridiculous that the cops had beat him and again ridiculous that they were acquitted. When I heard about the riots, I remember thinking, "why doesn't that happen here?". To my 15 year old suburban white brain, it looked like fun to be able to scavenge anything from stores. I did not really internalize that there was crime and danger until about the 3rd day when I realize just how many ...more
David Reviews
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

All Involved is written to shock and it certainly does. This is a violent but hugely readable and powerful novel about the six days of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The unrest was sparked by the acquittal of police officers for the brutal beating of a young black man Rodney King. Although fictional the book is based on eye-witness accounts and many researched facts. This makes it all the more real and unsettling.

Ryan Gattis brings us 17 unflinching accounts of what occurred. The often frightening
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
i was college age living in san francisco when the rodney king riots happened. i lived not far from union square where most of the rioting took place. it was a terrible time and the chaos was absolute. this book attempts to give the reader a portrait of life in the city of los angeles (mostly south central) during the riots. for the most part it succeeds though i thought that the shifting perspectives chopped up much of the narrative. this is also a story about a sub culture that was borne out ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars - only not a 5 star because I struggled with some of the violence. What a thrilling book, a difficult read in places but eye opening, and led me to some more reading on the 1992 LA Riots. Told in the voices of numerous characters with a lot of inter-connecting stories. Brilliant.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All Involved takes place over six days during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Here we are, over twenty years later and America seems to be experiencing the same kind of emotions and reactions to the same kind of incidents, all over again. As yet, there have been no large-scale riots, but it is clear that feelings are still running high, and I doubt it would take much more for rioting to break out once again. I guess that Delgado; a lead character, may be pretty spot-on with his guess of another ...more
Gilly Macmillan
One of the best books I've read in the past few years. Stunning.
Roman Clodia
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set during the six days of the LA riots in 1992, this is a vast, sprawling, visceral and violent epic of gangland culture, killing and revenge. With the police tied up in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, the streets of LA South Central become a gang free-for-all where old scores are settled and new grievances are created.

The book is very structured and organised, something necessary to marshall the myriad different voices and viewpoints that make up the story. This format avoids any need for
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Immediately following the Rodney King verdict in 1992, violence broke out in L.A. Rioting, looting and arson took place over a 6 day time span resulting in 60 deaths, over 2000 injuries, almost 11,000 arrests and over 11,000 fires.

All Involved is centered around L.A. gang life with the story told in interconnected stories. Each chapter involving an individual and the story told from their perspective. This factionalized version of the immediate aftermath of the King verdict is gutty and raw but
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017, fiction
This book had me gripped three minutes into the audio. I remember where I was as the riots unfolded in my city. Powerful story.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intense read about the LA riots in the early 90's and the darker side of the human nature in exceptional situations. A scary account of a momentary collapse of the society in the western world.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title refers to the term given to those involved with gang activity in LA. Yet it also reflects on how every becomes involved due to proximity or family ties. The death tolls of the riots didn’t take into account those who died in areas left without emergency services for 6 days, areas where gang related crime when through the roof, where no police presence triggered a free-for-all. All Involved transports the reader to a city that feels like a war zone.

The gang members are portrayed as
Awesome. My first 5 stars of the year and I don't give them like candies.

Gattis' book is the brilliant narrative of the chaos that engulfed L.A. for 6 days in 92 through the eyes of 15+main characters and related cast. This is not an overall narrative. This not even based on true facts but the author spent a lot of time on research and background to give credibility to the story.

The particularity? It mainly centers around cholos from Lynwood. And nurses. And firemen. And graffiti artists. All
Book Addict Shaun
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I have to mention about All Involved is its fantastic cover. Sadly my copy was a digital copy but I would like to purchase a 'proper' copy of this book because I think it's great, and easily one of my favourites of 2015 so far.

I don't know all that much about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, at the time I was still a baby, but I can say with some confidence that I think Ryan Gattis has captured that time incredibly well. In the book's brutal and extremely hard-hitting opening I felt
Wendy Cosin
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All Involved is a novel about Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots, focusing on a Chicano gang. Each chapter is told by a different person, with the stories building into a coherent narrative. The first-person structure very effectively pulled me into the head of each character, making the events visceral. That said, the action is extremely violent so the book is not for the faint of heart or stomach.

The author based the novel on research, including first-hand sources. He provides
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1992: For six days, Los Angeles shows the world what happens when laws are no longer enforceable.

See the locations in the novel - Booktrail of All Involved

This is an account of a true life and utterly terrifying situation which happened in Los Angeles and which showed the world what kind of gang violence and gang warfare really existed in that part of the world.

Following the trial (the real life trial of the policemen accused of killing Rodney King), the city of Los Angeles quite literally
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people compare the tone and style of this book to The Wire, which is pretty accurate. It's a collection of suspenseful, interwoven narratives about inner city crime, friendship, and family life. It takes place during the L.A. Riots, which is endlessly fascinating to me, so I enjoyed it overall. I didn't love it, just because I need a little more emotional development in my characters that I felt was somewhat lacking here. Also, the jumping perspective style of the book sort of prevented ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am only about 100 pages into this book and writing a review because of how good this novel is so far. After these pages, I predict this book will maintain its level of quality all the way through.

The book is about characters during the aftermath of the riots in Los Angeles back in 1992.

For the pages I have read, the intermingling characters include those of people in a Hispanic gang dealing with the aftermath of a violent act during the chaos of the riots.

I don't know what characters are
Hector Acevedo
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know how to feel about this book when I first heard of it. I was excited to read a novel that was set in South Central LA during the LA Riots but I wasn't sure if it to be told by someone from Colorado. I part of me felt like he didn't have the right to tell this story...As I read it, I couldn't believe that it was written by someone that 1. Isn't from LA. 2. Isn't Mexican from South Central LA. 3. Didn't live in LA through the riots. It was refreshing to see the South Central LA Latino ...more
Eugene Novikov
Enervating, and I rarely bought into the first-person voices. (Contrast with "Brief History of Seven Killings," a superficially similar novel that pulled it off perfectly.) Too earnest and stilted and self-reflexive. Also I'm a bit sick of the interconnected-narrative-of-many-different-people-converging-around-one-tragedy trope. Still offers the occasional stunning insight, like the extent to which South Central LA was a war zone for firefighters in the 90s.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well written and entertaining, but felt like that was the point -- to use the LA riots as entertainment... which seems kind of fucked up to me. The author (and the reviews) have talked about "authenticity," but these characters all felt like racist stereotypes to me. I feel like this won't be the last of a rash of young white guys who watch "The Wire" and feel inspired -- ahem, entitled -- to tell a ghetto story but lapse into tropes and exploitation instead.
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Ryan Gattis is the author of the upcoming SAFE (08/01 USA), ALL INVOLVED, KUNG FU HIGH SCHOOL, and ROO KICKKICK & THE BIG BAD BLIMP, as well as two novellas, THE BIG DROP: HOMECOMING and THE BIG DROP: IMPERMANENCE. His most recently published novel, ALL INVOLVED: A Novel of the 1992 L.A. Riots, is grounded in 2.5 years of research & background spent with former Latino gang members, ...more
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“I've seen this city taking itself to heaven in pieces.” 1 likes
“There’s a helicopter overhead—looks like Channel 7—shining a light down on us like we’re at the bottom of a deep, dark hole. The people who live around here, they know what that actually feels like. They know how ugly life can get. Everybody else, the people sitting at home, watching this unfold on television, they have no idea. Those are the people shocked by the riots. They can’t comprehend them because they don’t understand the other side. They don’t understand what happens to people with no money who live in a neighborhood where crime is actually a viable career path when there are no other opportunities, and I’m not excusing it or condoning it or saying it can’t be avoided, but I’m saying that’s how it is.” 0 likes
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