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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Blue Blood Paperback – Unabridged, April 5, 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As a Harvard graduate and regular writer for the New Yorker, Edward Conlon is a little different from most of his fellow New York City cops. And the stories he tells in his compelling memoir Blue Blood are miles away from the commonly told Hollywood-style police tales that are always action packed but rarely tethered to reality. While there is action here, there's also political hassle, the rich and often troubling history of a department not unfamiliar with corruption, and the day to day life of people charged with preserving order in America's largest city. Conlon's book is, in part, a memoir as he progresses from being a rookie cop working the beat at troubled housing projects to assignments in the narcotics division to eventually becoming a detective. But it's also the story of his family history within the enormous NYPD as well as the evolving role of the police force within the city. Conlon relates the controversies surrounding the somewhat familiar shoo! ting of Amadou Diallou and the abuse, at the hands of New York cops, of Abner Louima. But being a cop himself, Conlon lends insight and nuance to these issues that could not possibly be found in the newspapers. And as an outstanding writer, he draws the reader into that world. In the book's most remarkable passage, Conlon tells of the grim but necessary work done at the Fresh Kills landfill, sifting through the rubble and remains left in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 (a section originally published in The New Yorker). In many ways, Blue Blood comes to resemble the world of New York City law enforcement that Conlon describes: both are expansive, sprawling, multi-dimensional, and endlessly fascinating. And Conlon's writing is perfectly matched to his subject, always lively, keenly observant, and possessing a streetwise energy. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Over the past few years, the New Yorker has featured occasional entries from a "Cop Diary," written by NYPD cop Conlon, under the pseudonym Marcus Laffey. These pieces sliced open a hidden world of cop action and emotion. Perhaps the most wrenching entry was the one called "The Killing Fields," Conlon's first-person account of working on the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where rubble and remains from 9/11 were sorted out. This entry, along with three other New Yorker pieces, is included in this expansive warehouse of a book. The title holds true throughout--Conlon, Jesuit-educated and a Harvard graduate, examines his family's police background and the intense fraternity of cops. The fact that this book is written by a cop still on the job gives it much more urgency and immediacy than cop tales recollected in tranquility. And Conlon is a wonderful writer, street smart and poetic, arresting you with his deft turn of phrase (for example, he describes the Manhattan skyline as "stately and slapdash like the crazy geometry of rock crystal"). Rapid-fire war stories capture the mania of Conlon's life as a cop, from his rookie days in public housing in 1995 to his current post as a detective in the South Bronx. Conlon characterizes being a cop as gaining entry into "a drama as rich as Shakespeare." Readers are lucky Conlon gives them a pass into his world. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594480737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594480737
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I heard that author Edward Conlon still serves in the NYPD, I was skeptical about whether he was really free to publish a truly candid account of life inside one of the nation's largest police departments. Yet, Detective Conlon does just that and more in a remarkably frank, funny, thoughtful and brilliantly written memoir.

Blue Blood stands out primarily because of Detective Conlon's sharp wit and humor. His vivid descriptions of the characters, customs and encounters that dominate a street cop's life had me laughing out loud. Likewise, his wry observations and amusing insights into the absurd aspects of NYPD bureaucracy (i.e., the petty bosses, the pervasive internal politics, the inane departmental regulations, etc.) made for entertaining fodder. In fact, Conlon's colorful writing and artful phrasing so impressed me that after finishing the CD/audio version of Blue Blood, I bought the paperback just so that I could re-read and highlight the exceptional prose.

Blue Blood also takes an absorbing, unvarnished look at the serious side of urban crime fighting including the tragic conditions that police routinely encounter, the ever-present dangers that confront officers in the line of duty, the devastating mistakes that can sometimes occur in high crime environments, and the flawed criminal justice procedures that too often fail to keep "perps" off the streets. What proves most interesting about this book, however, is that even in the face of such trials and frustrations, there is no sense of bitterness or defeat. Instead, Blue Blood paints an encouraging picture of policing. And in Conlon, you definitely see a good man who thoroughly believes in "the Job" and who relishes in carrying out his calling as a cop.

I absolutely loved Blue Blood. The book is lengthy (559 pages), but it is well worth the time. I highly recommend this amazing work.
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By A Customer on April 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Like the reviewer above, I am a NYC police officer too, and I thought this book was pretty fair. It gives you one picture of what it is like to work our job in our city, but there is so much more left to say. The world of drug enforcement is probably one of the most common topics in all of policing these days, and Detective Conlon's time in Housing was predominantly about this, so other aspects of policing are left out. But there is only so much one man can do... I think the book is at its best when it tells the reader what many cops truly feel about things that have been in the news, such as the Diallo and Louima incidents. It gives the public a new insight into the cop's mind. The book is a little long, and I think that's because it might try to cover too much. There are 47,000 cops in NYC and 8,000,000 residents, so it is impossible to ever give a full picture of the story of policing the city. Still, if I were a civilian interested in learning about one perspective of urban policing, I would read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Blue Blood by Edward Conlon really tried my patience.

The book is at least 100 pages too long, and much of the surplusage comes early on. You will learn about every one of Conlon's relatives who became a cop, about movies like The French Connection, Serpico, and the Godfather, and even about forgotten patriot Gouverneur Morris -- and his brother!! Yep, Conlon definitely stayed awake while at Harvard. The man is a walking, talking raconteur and spewer of information.

Yet, there is a very good book in here. The stories about Conlon's police work might strike some as repetitive, but what the police do IS repetitive. If they are on the drugs beat, for example, they don't investigate bank robberies. They deal with drugs, day in and day out. So I think he paints an honest picture of police work.

Plus, many of his stories are downright hilarious.

So, hang in through the early sections, don't be too annoyed by the avalanche of acronyms, and overall you'll enjoy the book.
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Format: Paperback
Bravo to Detective Conlon. This is an honest book and beautifully written. Those that are expecting a typical cop book or your run of the mill true crime, will be disappointed and perhaps those are the folks giving the negative reviews. This book is written like prose and is gorgeous to read. It's not a fast read, but rather meant to be digested and paid attention to. I look forward to seeing what Conlon writes next.
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Format: Hardcover
This book could've used a better editor to give it some better streamlining and more narrative focus, its a bit disorganized and ill-constructed, but overall I was not disappointed. This is the memoir of a truly admirable human being, Edward Conlon, and his life as a law enforcement officer and detective in New York. Many interesting accounts of things he encountered on the job, including his work with the 9/11 Twin Towers wreckage site. Reading this book has made me appreciate all that cops do for us in a tough job that is often unfairly criticized and under-rewarded.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
For three years I have looked forward to the release of this book (since his writings were published in The New Yorker) and am certainly not disappointed. Edward Conlon conveys a unique insight into a job that few people truly understand. The media paints one picture of the police while TV shows portray another. Neither is accurate. Conlon's writing lets the readers into a world that is much more complex than a newspaper article or television caricature can ever grasp. If you want to know what it is like to be an NYPD cop (I know b/c I am one) this is the book for you.
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