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Ellroy himself was traumatized as a boy by his party-animal mother's murder. (See his memoir My Dark Places for the whole sordid story.) So it is clear that Bud is partly autobiographical. But Exley, whose shiny reputation conceals a dark secret, and Vincennes, who goes showbiz with a vengeance, reflect parts of Ellroy, too.
L.A. Confidential holds enough plots for two or three books: the cops chase stolen gangland heroin through a landscape littered with not-always-innocent corpses while succumbing to sexy sirens who have been surgically resculpted to resemble movie stars; a vile developer--based (unfairly) on Walt Disney-- schemes to make big bucks off Moochie Mouse; and the cops compete with the crooks to see who can be more corrupt and violent. Ellroy's hardboiled prose is so compressed that some of his rat-a-tat paragraphs are hard to follow. You have to read with attention as intense as hisand that is very intense indeed. But he richly rewards the effort. He may not be as deep and literary as Chandler, but he belongs on the same top-level shelf.
Declaring it better than the movie is a no-brainer and it just made the "favorites" list. Number 3 in the L. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Bryn C. Dunham
I ma obviously in the minority but this book is not a classic. There is no character development. He defines his characters in a line and then has little to no explanation. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A terrific book--a classic for a reason. Ellroy's creativity with language is a revelation. I will admit I struggled to get into his rhythm for the first fifty or so pages, and for... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patricia Loftfjeld
Simply put: one of the best crime novels I have ever read. Much better than the movie by the same name.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
L. A. Confidential displays an impressive command of idiom, especially criminal argot, but it is written exclusively in that staccato hard-guy non-stop palaver, and as a result no... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tacitus
I decided to check out this book since I am a huge fan of the movie adaptation. I was not disappointed. NO SPOILERS. Read morePublished 2 months ago by HM
I'm a huge Ellroy fan and this is my absolute favorite of all his books. The film version is great as well.Published 2 months ago by Melinda
What a mess of a plot line, particularly the last 3rd. The movie was so much better. Give the screenwriters credit for being able to come up with something from this tangled blobPublished 3 months ago by M J Reed