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The Black Marble Paperback – December 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (December 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440613965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440613961
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 “Terrifying . . . romantic . . . beautifully constructed.” —Los Angeles Times
 
“Superb . . . his best book!” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Wambaugh sidesteps all the clichés.” —The Baltimore Sun
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

He is a damned good cop -- a burned-out homicide detective wrapped around a Smith & Wesson .38 and a vodka bottle. She is his partner -- twice divorced, nursing a grudge against men, obsessed by the awful temptation of love.

Joseph Wambaugh

The tough ex-cop who writes the hard-hitting best sellers -- a master storyteller whose characters are as powerful and as passionate as his plots. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

An earlier Wambaugh with all his best qualities.
Kit
Read the book several years ago, still enjoyed the book the second time around.
jd
One thing that I really didn't like was where Philo cut the dogs ear off.
Peter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Chapulina R on June 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Black Marble" is not only the author's best, but quite possibly the best of the entire genre. Wambaugh's trademark dark humor, authentic Los Angeles setting, and genuinely likable characters propel this fast-paced tale about the LAPD and a dog-napping scheme gone woefully wrong. A.A. Valnikov, a slovenly, boozy, but tender-souled Slavic veteran, is determined to rescue the doggie in distress. His new partner, Natalie Zimmerman, is determined to get him fired from the Force and out of her life... until she comes to know him and the nightmares which torment him. This book is as terrific today as it was twenty years ago, even if now a trifle "dated". It's often poignant, sometimes tragic, frequently hilarious, and ultimately heart-warming. Read it; it will leave you feeling good and wishing you could really meet the characters!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This has all the Wambaugh hallmarks: eccentric characters, crude humor, intelligence. If you like action, humor, "real" people and not cardboard characters, police stories, this is a great book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A. on April 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved "The New Centurions" and "The Blue Knight" and "The Glitter Dome" and I find his latest books to be big disappointments. This book, however, is something else. Wambaugh takes it to a new level. Magnificent!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter on February 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book was not bad. I found it a bit confusing at times and maybe a touch long but it was not a hard read so the pages went by.....

Wambaugh does have a great sense of humour and he is at his best with the cop banter. He possibly tried to over-reach his strengths by writing about the psychological aspects of death in this book.

The problem was that the crime of the dog stealing seemed to be rushed at the end (and after so many pages of excess padding) and it was almost as if the author decided that he wanted the book to finish quickly.

One thing that I really didn't like was where Philo cut the dogs ear off. I think that there are a number of taboo areas that should not be entered into and cruelty to animals is one of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Beatty on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Black Marble" is one of my favorite of Wambaugh's novels. Taking a distinct step away from the boy's club that marked his three earlier novels, the author blended in an offbeat, reluctant romance into the storyline and made it fit beautifully with the character arcs of the protagonist and his partner. Touching, outrageously funny and filled with pathos, this is one story that stayed with me for a long time after I finished the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Johnson on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
The first third of the book is a little slow to start. I was suspecting as I read that this was not going to be very good, perhaps an early work before his writing skills matured. But even bad Wambaugh would be decent, I figured.

The rest of the book more than made up for it, and I closed the book believing it is his best novel I've read so far.

I dreamed for days about how I would film it if it was a movie, only to discover today that it's already a 1979 movie (which I'll have to see now). It's a very visual story, with lots of humor (typically Wambaugh).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norma Jean Fritz on July 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first saw the film and then read the book. Both are great. I often wonder how homicide detectives can stand to do the work they do. Some of the crimes referenced are pretty graphic which makes me wonder how they can do this day after day. Yes this is a novel but mirrors what we read in the papers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry L. Johnson on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seller delivered what was advertised in a timely and professional manner. I was a little disappointed in that the top pages of the book were somewhat discolored but that's one of the possibilities in buying used.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the bestselling author of eighteen prior works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times' said, "Joseph Wambaugh is one of those Los Angeles authors whose popular success always has overshadowed his importance as a writer. Wambaugh is an important writer not simply because he's ambitious and technically accomplished, but also because he 'owns' a critical slice of L.A.'s literary real estate: the Los Angeles Police Department -- not just its inner workings, but also its relationship to the city's political establishment and to its intricately enmeshed social classes. There is no other American metropolis whose civic history is so inextricably intertwined with the history of its police department. That alone would make Wambaugh's work significant, but the importance of his best fiction and nonfiction is amplified by his unequaled ability to capture the nuances of the LAPD's isolated and essentially Hobbesian tribal culture."
Understandably, then, Wambaugh, who lives in California, is known as the "cop-author" with emphasis on the former, since, according to him, most of his fantasies involve the arrest and prosecution of half of California's motorists. Wambaugh still prefers the company of police officers and interviews hundreds of them for story material. However, he is aghast that these days most of the young cops drink iced tea or light beer, both of which he finds exceedingly vile, causing him to obsessively fume with Hamlet that, 'The time is out of joint.' He expects to die in a road rage encounter. For more information please visit www.josephwambaugh.net or www.hollywoodmoon.com.

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