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L.A. Confidential

(L.A. Quartet #3)

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  26,407 Ratings  ·  709 Reviews
Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murd ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 17th 1994 by Arrow (first published 1990)
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Jonathan It's definitely not mandatory, but having read the first three books in the series in the proper order, it does give you a better sense of what's…moreIt's definitely not mandatory, but having read the first three books in the series in the proper order, it does give you a better sense of what's going on behind what's actually being said.

There are only minor tie-ins between all four books in the series, and if I'm remembering correctly, it only really has to do with one fairly major character.

All it really did for me was bring a bit of nostalgia and recognition to the books. It put a smile on my face reading about him being up to the same old thing; but it's definitely not something that you would worry about or go out of your way to do.

I was in the same boat as you are right now, and if L.A. Confidential is the only book in the series that you plan on reading, I wouldn't concern yourself with any of the others and you'll be perfectly fine.

Let me know what you think and I hope that you enjoy your reading.

Take care.

Jonathan (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
In the aftermath of the Bloody Christmas, the lives of three cops are forever entwined; Ed Exley, the by the book cop who is forever in his father's shadow, glory hound Jack Vincennes, and Bud White, the man forever avenging his dead mother. After six people are killed in the Nite Owl Massacre, can the three men co-exist working the same case or will they all go down in flames?

L.A. Confidential is an epic crime tale spanning nearly a decade, a tale of corruption, greed, drugs, pornography, and m
...more
Kemper
We’ve all heard of the Good-Cop/Bad-Cop routine, but when you read a James Ellroy novel it’s more like Bad-Cop/Worse-Cop/Crimes-Against-Humanity-Cop.

This third installment in the L.A. Quartet introduces us to another trio of police officers who wouldn't last ten minutes on the job if there were smart phones in the 1950s which could have recorded their many misdeeds. Ed Exley is a brilliant detective, but his physical cowardice is exceeded only by his ruthless ambition. Bud White is a thug who ne
...more
Orsodimondo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
NERO NOIR

description
Kim Basinger modello Veronica Lake. Un giro di squillo di lusso, che dopo una ripassata a una clinica di Malibu escono identiche alle dive del cinema: ci sono una Ava Gardner, una Rita Hayworth, una Betty Grable. E c’è soprattutto una Veronica Lake.

Ecco un romanzo che deve aver richiesto al suo autore memoria, concentrazione, riepilogo, una parete, ma anche due o tre, piene di post-it per annotare e collegare personaggi, trame e sotto-trame, per non perdersi fatti episodi e dettagli, pe
...more
Richard
L.A. Confidential feels like the book that James Ellroy has been preparing for and working up to during his entire career up to this point. He takes all of the themes he explored in previous novels and packs them into a book that's an even larger, more epic tale of crime, perversion, and Hollywood corruption than any of his previous books. L.A. Confidential tells the story of three LAPD officers who are initially at odds with one another after the infamous Bloody Christmas police brutality scand ...more
Paul Christensen
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even when ya know the plot from the movie it’s still riveting!


Cathy DuPont
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noir lovers
1) Yes, this was excellent.
2) Yes, this was hard-boiled.
3) Yes, this had confusing storylines.
4) Yes, this book needed a list of characters (unless you have an incredible memory.)
5) Yes, I wanted to give this book a solid five stars.

I have been wanting to read this great book for years, then when I saw I had 10 friends who read it, it became a must read now. Of those 10 friends, five gave it four stars and five five stars, so I knew it was great.

Ellroy wrote The Black Dahalia which I loved, g
...more
Darwin8u
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
"Whatever you desire."

description

"...safe passage for ruthless men in love."

description

Like Fight Club, 'L.A. Confidential' is one of those contemporary novels that provides a certain literary difficulty for readers who come to it AFTER the film dropped because the directors (David Fincher, Curtis Hanson) created such large, iconic images out of the novels. L.A. Confidential's major characters are all very similar to the movie, but there are some major omissions and changes made in the movie that keep Elloroy's urtex
...more
 amapola
Rollo Tommasi

Bisogna essere in perfetta forma per leggere questo libro: occhi, cuore, cervello, fiato, nervi, fegato, stomaco. Ambientato nella Los Angeles degli anni ’50, è un romanzo intricatissimo, con una trama principale e decine di sottotrame che si intersecano, con tre protagonisti e una miriade di comprimari (poliziotti, gangster, divi del cinema, giornalisti, puttane, spacciatori, ecc.). Non affezionatevi troppo a qualcuno di loro, potrebbe essere fatto fuori una decina di pagine più in
...more
Tim
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey everyone, it's my 100th review on goodreads!!!!!!



No, wait, this is a dark and brooding noir. Can't be that happy. Think mean thoughts. Take a shot glass of despair, with a nihilistic chaser and a cheap cigarette.



There we go.

Spanning from 1950 to 58, L.A. Confidential stands as easily the most ambitious book in Ellroy’s series thus far.

It’s Christmas time and that does not mean heart-warming cups of good cheer and old Scrooge being visited by three ghosts in Ellroy’s work. “Bud looked out th
...more
Kasia
The never-ending parade of homogenous macho cops; the weak, dependable women - perfect victims for any crime; the overwhelmingly complex story line, sub-plot within sub-plot, twist upon twist - all that delivered in a flat, dry style. That's an Ellroy novel for you.

I know that it's supposed to add up to this intricate, dark story interwoven with sex and violence and thus gripping, like nothing else. But I, frankly, was bored to death. The scheming was a tad too elaborate for my taste. After a w
...more
Nate
Since at least The Black Dahlia Ellroy has been kicking at the walls to the crime genre with a gleeful gleam in his eye, going for more and more setting, characters, scope and layers upon layers of plot as well as honing and shaping his prose into something more quick and lethal. The Big Nowhere was a major step in this direction and by the prologue of this book the walls are shattered and Ellroy's off and running with his sprawling vision of L.A. from '50 to '58 and an utterly complex series of ...more
Steve
I had seen the superb movie many times (it's in my top five) before reading this book, and wondered how the two would compare. Ellroy's novel is also superb, and in some ways the movie reads directly from it (much of the dialogue is lifted verbatim) but there are huge differences.

Fit into a couple hours and what feels like a year's worth of time, the movie is much more concise. The book is far more sprawling, taking place over almost a decade, connecting to both the prequel (The Big Nowhere, ou
...more
Vaios Pap
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Κάτι περισσότερο από αριστούργημα!!! Καθηλωτικό από την πρώτη έως την τελευταία σελίδα.
Ginny_1807
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roman Clodia
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
So, my first Ellroy and I can say with certainly that I'll be back. Make no mistake, this is a raw, brutal and uncompromising tale of crime, corruption and conspiracies interspersed with some harsh morality and scenes of shocking violence (view spoiler).

Despite the length of the book, Ellroy's prose is so abbreviated, so fast-paced, that it propels us through the story at a breakneck speed: it has energy and velocity and a kind of dynamism abou
...more
Gemma
Sep 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't do it. I hate the jivey style-- it tries too hard. It is a parody of itself.

I know that white cops in the 50s were racist-- I get it-- but the racism is almost sadistic in this book. Like, did we really need all that detail? All those epithets? Really?

Maybe I started reading this under false pretenses. I was like "Old Hollywood! True crime! Pavement-pounding cops!" I love the idea of L.A. in the 50s, the seedy underbelly of all that glamor. I love crime writing, I love portraits of kill
...more
Leonard
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
No redemption in James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential

More corrupted cops, conniving DAs, ruthless gangsters, psychopathic killers. Less truth and even less justice in the City of the Angels. Welcome to the world of James Ellroy. More setups, more cover-ups, more fall guys, more hush-hushes. Likeable characters? Not in this novel. Heroes and good guys? Sure, plenty in the news (besides here at Hush-Hush). Just don’t look in the closet or underneath the carpet. Redemption? Only if you’ve been living u
...more
Sarah
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It should be noted this is a genre book, that the dark and twisted streets here aren't for everyone. If as a child you weren't willing to poke corpses with a stick or pick up rocks to watch the squirming, seething masses of insects swarm - maybe you should pass on Ellroy.

Darker than dark, Ellroy's noir makes other noir books look like silver in comparison. He's true to his era - go watch some movies from the 50s if you don't agree. I'll wait. See how the slang was different? Yeah, that happens.

A
...more
Elizabeth
couldn't get past the racial epithets and cynicism about the human race. i read enough about such misery in headlines.
K Kamath
Sep 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The fiction I can think of, short-stories and novels, which is worse in prose than rendered on the screen includes, The Godfather, LA Confidential, The Duellists, possibly Ben-Hur. To Have and Have Not offers a case where the film shares the same title as the novella but is just different. One could argue that is true a lot, most movies are different from the literary sources, but to leave the thinking only that far would be a sign of mental laziness, a common condition among our contemporaries. ...more
Steven Belanger
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In terms of perfection, I give this one a slight nod over The Black Dahlia, and the only reason I can give you is that I got that feeling as I was reading it. You just get this strong sensation that you are reading something great, something unique that will stand as the best of its type. Perhaps some of it is in retrospect, as I finished this long ago, and certainly the excellent movie helps the idea. (The movie is perhaps a classic of its type as well.)

To give you an idea of how complex the pl
...more
Lauren
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, historical, mystery
L.A. Confidential begins by clearing away any hope you had left after the end of The Big Nowhere. Then Ellroy rubs his hands together and really gets going, with this shaggy, incredible novel of justice, violence, politicking, and redemption.

Our LAPD trio here is Edmund "Ed" Exley, Wendell "Bud" White, and "Trashcan" Jack Vincennes. Vincennes is a consultant for the upright TV show Badge of Honor and the darling boy of Hush-Hush magazine, but even though he makes frequent appearances as a heroic
...more
Antonis
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Ένα περίπλοκο, βαθύ και σκοτεινό αριστούργημα.
Michael
I remember the movie from a while ago, and I do enjoy a good James Ellroy novel, so I was excited to read LA Confidential. To my surprised this book seems a bit all over the place, more so than usual and at times I struggled to keep up with what is happening. I know Ellroy likes to have a lot happening at his complex plots do come together but I did feel like it was a bit too much like a chore to keep up in this book.

LA Confidential is about organized crime, politics, corruption, drugs, pornogr
...more
Jill Hutchinson
Have you ever been hit with brass knuckles? Neither have I but I think you might feel the same way that you do when you have finished this modern noir classic. The story jumps off the pages at you, filled with bad characters......bent cops/pimps/smut merchants/killers/mob members/crooked politicians /prostitutes,and dope peddlers. The scene is the 1950s when the LA police force was a cesspool of corruption, violence, and bribery and Ellroy mixes his fictional characters with real people of the t ...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Mi chiedo sinceramente come possa aver letto questo libro solo a 25 anni compiuti..

L.A. Confidential è un pilastro. Punto.
Uno di quei pilastri che TUTTI dovrebbero leggere, non so se rendo..

Crudo, cattivo, scorretto, impietoso ma intelligente, adrenalico e CAVOLI se è un "OMG"!.

Nota di grande biasimo per il traduttore che spero stia passando il resto della sua vita a Guantanamo per crimini contro l'umanità, perché se avessi voluto un libro tradotto come avrebbe potuto fare un cane usando googl
...more
Ffiamma
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
imponente e ambizioso, nella struttura: trame e sottotrame, storie intricatissime che s'intrecciano e si ricongiungono nel finale che risolve ogni interrogativo e chiude il cerchio. personaggi che sono, allo stesso tempo, archetipici e vivi: poliziotti corrotti, gangster, spacciatori di qualunque cosa e sostanza, prostitute (nessuno è come sembra, poi- e questo li rende umani). impianto narrativo d'altri tempi ma stile da romanzo di genere- ecco il voto appena più basso di quel che dovrebbe esse ...more
Aries
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, giallo
Aneddoto: tanti, tantissimi anni fa, quando ancora non avevo quasi mai letto thriller, mi fu regalato "Io uccido" di Faletti. Mi piacque molto e mi colpì soprattutto lo stile. Quando, tempo dopo, iniziai a leggere Deaver mi resi conto che quello stile che avevo trovato così nuovo e interessante era, in realtà, derivato (con una perdita nel processo, c'è da dirlo) proprio dal buon Jeffery; Faletti (che era anche amico di Deaver) era figlio dello stile e della narrazione dell'autore statunitense.

B
...more
Scott Sigler
I loved this book. I'm probably going to mainline the rest of the series in short order. Ellroy's writing style is fantastic: concise and punchy, with only the bare minimum words needed to communicate the message. I've never read anything quite like it, and it's already had an impact on my writing style.

Why only four stars? I'm not a big reader of the crime genre, and I wasn't prepared for the density and intricacy of this plot. Honestly, I had only a general idea of what was going on most of t
...more
Bruce Beckham
Sep 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Perhaps I've been reading too many Agatha Christies, but this one defeated me almost from the word go.

Now I really enjoyed 'The Black Dahlia' by the same author, so I couldn't quite understand what my problem was with 'L.A. Confidential' - such a famous title, and all that.

I thought I could deal with the 1950s west coast cop and narco jargon - though it comes at you like a hail of bullets - not easy for a Limey accustomed to bobbies armed strictly with truncheons and the occasional "Cor blimey".
...more
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Pulp Fiction: April 2017 - L.A. Confidential 26 52 Sep 18, 2017 10:25AM  
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2,298 followers
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

Other books in the series

L.A. Quartet (4 books)
  • The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)
  • The Big Nowhere (L.A. Quartet, #2)
  • White Jazz (L.A. Quartet, #4)

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“Some men get the world, some men get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona. You're in with the former, but my God I don't envy the blood on your conscience.” 28 likes
“All dressed up and no one to kill.” 1 likes
More quotes…