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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Mystery of the Month for 1st June 2012. HOLLYWOOD STATION by Joseph Wambaugh

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Showing 76-97 of 97 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jun 5, 2012 2:04:02 PM PDT
That whole story with the Armenian trying to kill Farley was a comedy of errors, no? I didn't really get wrapped up in it. I thought it was funny. So I must have viewed it more like a cartoon - well the whole book was more like a cartoon to me. I did actually like the book, in that it entertained me. I did chuckle a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 4:41:20 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
re Did you get lost in the novel or were you able to keep things straight?
There were sure a lot of characters but each tale was really self explainatory to me. Really enjoyed each side story.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 4:51:44 PM PDT
No I managed to keep on track. Many characters but as you say the stories were easy to follow. It was a fairly easy book to read.


Posted on Jun 5, 2012 7:23:03 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
James and all

Started again today to listen to HOLLYWOOD STATION again.

When they found the body in the bathtub then the boyfriend came in with his wrists slashed admiting that he kiled her, and threw himself on the dead girlfriend. the police got their disposible gloves out and they dropped them and got more out and dropped them. Tried to grab the young man blood dripping from his arms. They ended up dragging him down the stairs to the outside foot path and the ambulance pulled up.

Now I would have thought they would have restrained him in the apartment and not taken him outside. Why, worried about blood dripping on carpet. no then why move him outside.

I am enjoying the story again.


Posted on Jun 6, 2012 5:23:02 AM PDT
R. Larkin says:
Barb, I think they dragged him outside for the ambulance drivers. Seconds can matter when someone is pumping out blood. And you can't really cuff slashed wrists. Those officers were at real risk.

James, I have already forgotten the names of most of the characters, but remember those personality hooks. The Oracle, the (movie star) Wannabee, the Newbie, the Baby Brain, the Curmudgeon, etc.

Kathy, I agree that the attempted assassination was wonderfully farcical. Reminded me a bit of Boris and Natasha, of Rocky the Flying Squirrel fame (anyone remember him?)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 6:49:17 AM PDT
Yes, Rosemarie! Boris and Natasha! Exactly!
Do you suppose Wambaugh had them in mind while he was writing? Do you suppose he sat at the typewriter and laughed all the time he was writing?

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 8:11:08 AM PDT
Rosemarie and Kathy:

Rocky and Bullwinkle! You hit the nail on the head. Maybe Wambaugh was a fan. I know I was as a kid.


Posted on Jun 6, 2012 1:33:47 PM PDT
Another comment on moving the guy outside. Dealing with someone struggling isn't a job for ambulance attendants and getting them out of the building when strapped to a gurney is difficult. Much easier to haul them out and hold them down till the ambulance arrives.

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 2:22:55 PM PDT
Was there ever anything in this book that said to yourself, "Aw, THAT never would have happened?"

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 4:16:30 PM PDT
After 30 years as a police officer I'm not sure there is anything, anywhere, that I think couldn't happen. My problem is less with the representations of the characters in "Hollywood Station" than the lack of any balance. In Wambaugh's book "Lines and Shadows" he goes into detail about a police unit that goes bad but even that unit had a few members who weren't drunks, didn't spend their time off screwing police groupies, and were fairly normal, decent people.

I can tell funny stories about cops that are similar to Wambaughs but I can also tell as many stories of good things cops did. I suspect Wambaugh can, too, but that doesn't really sell.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 5:47:31 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
Re hauling him outside for the ambulanlce
I hear of so many people being sued for moving someone that is hurt
and they should have left it to the ambulance people.

but I can see your point thank you. Even though after what that drop kick did to his girlfriend. hmmmm say no more. He did die If I remember rightly.


Being about 6ft and as heavy as her partners thigh. Love the banter between these two. He is definately getting closer and closer to caring about her. It's lovely.

enjoying listening again to HOLLYWOOD STATION

re cuffing slashed wrists
the descriptions of the tendons and flesh handing out. Bit hard to cuff!! yeah


Posted on Jun 6, 2012 6:37:36 PM PDT
Pete Loveday says:
Hollywood Station
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 studies. This summed up the book for me.
As an Australian reader, I found the opening 6 pages of dialogue in the first chapter very difficult to get into. A Glossary of colloquial dialogue would be useful!
I was entertained from midway through the book until its conclusion.

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 7:06:51 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
Peter loveday
Welcome to our discussion group

by the way Happy birthday for today (i noticed on your profile).

I am from sydney. the beginning of the book I listened to again yesterday on audio.
I do find on audio its so much easier to flow along with. am rushing out to the dentist
will post again later. Glad you have joined us!!!!!
Barb down Under

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 12:32:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 12:34:58 AM PDT
Pete Loveday says:
Thank you for the kind wishes.
We (my wife( and I spent 15 great years in Sydney until 2001, then 3 years as Grey Nomads, settled on Mid North Coast for 7 years and now call Adelaide home - where the children are!

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 1:16:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 1:17:29 PM PDT
What did people think about the ending with Hollywood Nate and his young rookie partner Marty?
Did you think it was a fitting ending for this book?

Has this book encouraged anyone to try any of Wambaugh's other books? Some are very different but all give an insiders look at the life of cops.

There were aspects of this book that reminded me of the TV show The Rookies which is shot in Toronto and shows the wide experiences of police officers. The new season recently started and the wife and I quite enjoy it. Another great one is Flashpoint, but that is more about a SWAT team.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 1:51:53 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Peter, Barb and James:

Peter, how wonderful to be a nomad. Always thought a cool way to "retire" is to move to a new location every year and just rent an apartment and soak up the local culture instead of being enslaved to a house and mortgage. And happy birthday and welcome to our discussion group.

James, I like Wambaugh's storytelling prowess and would like to try one of his books with more of a central plot, but this was entertaining.

Am still finishing it so will get back to you regarding Hollywood Nate and Marty.....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 4:31:48 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
I would love to now listen to more of Wambaugh other books.

The part where all the savage dogs were ??? hit by sticks as policecars drove by with their lights off. hmmmm

Luckily around here all dogs are in yards fenced and any dogs out are picked up and taken to the pound. Rare to see a dog out wandering.
I know its a lot different in the uSA

Barb down Under

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 2:22:36 PM PDT
Some of his other books do have a central plot and are excellent. THE ONION FIELD is one of his finest and is based on a true case. I think it was his first novel and launched his career.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 2:27:33 PM PDT
We have strict bylaws re loose dogs. They must be leashed at all times or fenced in and there are a few off-leash parks to let them to roam freely. People here are pretty good about picking up after their dogs, but my relatives in England say it is bad there. Dog poop all over the place. People don't pick up.

There are some very funny bits in this book. Quite humorous actually. I didn't know that Wambaugh had such a sense of humor. I don't think it is as apparent in some of his other work.


Posted on Jun 11, 2012 6:43:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 11, 2012 6:43:25 AM PDT
My final summation of the book:

This is not Wambaugh's best, but it is still very good. Oddball characters, quirky dialogue and nimble plotting, Joseph Wambaugh is still one of the best police procedural writers in the business. As a former cop, he writes from experience and it shows.

No other writer illuminates the heart beneath the badge better than Joseph Wambaugh. The modern police novel never looked better. This was an enjoyable read! Four stars.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion and feel free to add more comments if you have any.


Posted on Jun 11, 2012 5:00:39 PM PDT
Barbara Lane says:
James and all
I totally agree. I have really enjoyed this book. Still part way through the 2nd listen and still enjoying every tall tale as they unfold.
Wambaugh is a former cop. Well that would explain heaps as to why the book is so good
I'd give it 4.75.
James and Kathy Del thank you for co hosting I love it when we all can discuss a book together.

Barb down Under

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 5:51:38 PM PDT
James, I agree this wasn't Wambaugh's best. But it certainly was entertaining!
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  97
Initial post:  May 11, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 11, 2012

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