The New Centurions Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Boy, was I wrong. This is the most honest and perfect police novel I have ever read, and I liked it more than the author's later work (which I love).
"The New Centurions" focuses on the lives of three Los Angeles cops from bot camp to their 5 year anniversary on the force. Not a police procedural, the emphasis is rather on the lives of the characters and the various experiences they go through as police officers. Alternately brutal, funny, smart, sad, warm, philosophical, and ugly, "The New Centurions" is an extremely well-done piece of realistic fiction. These characters could be real.
I won't spoil anything here, but I have to recommend this book to anyone interested in the cop lifestyle. I'm going to give this book to my brother who has contemplated becoming a police officer, since I think the realism here can be an eye-opener.
The novel tells the story of Bumper Morgan, a Los Angeles beat cop who is three days from retirement. Bumper is a big, fat, loveable glutton with a bit of a sadistic streak. We follow his last few days on the police force while he begrudgingly drives his patrol car through his long time beat in LA. Bumper explains that he prefers walking the beat, but since he�s too old and fat he is forced to drive � his legs aren�t what they used to be.
Bumper tells his own story, and everything is told through his eyes. As usual, Wambaugh�s gifted use of sharp, witty dialogue and scathing �common-man� analysis of the streets brings Bumper�s story to life. Everyone on his beat loves him. Restaurant owners pile heaps of culinary delights in front of him on a daily basis, and it�s obvious Bumper LOVES to eat� many times my mouth started watering while reading the descriptions of a wide variety of foods laid out for this loveable cop.
When he�s not eating (a rare occasion, or so it seems), Bumper meets with other locals: strip club owners, convenience store managers, even homeless bums whom he pays for info on the local crooks. Bumper is proud of himself for paying his informants out of his own pocket rather than paying out of the PDs �kitty�; he thinks it keeps his sources anonymous and safe.
As warm, loveable and thoughtful our hero is, there is a sadistic side to Bumper Morgan as well. He�s not above turning up the heat on the undesirables, and it seems to me that it�s considered to be part of the job for him; certainly nothing to think twice about.Read more ›
They have a lot to learn. As it turns out, right and wrong aren't always clearly black and white. Bad guys populate both sides of the law. Rules are subject to interpretation. Justice is slow and convoluted. And life is not fair.
Wambaugh brings his unique real-life experience in LAPD to bear on this story, showing the maturation of cops in believable fashion. The book is a little dated in terms of police procedure, but the underlying story and message are same-day fresh. This is a cut above the typical cop's tale. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked the book right up tongue very end. Then it was just over.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Clumsy recital of the sunset of a street cop's life. Couldn't finish it. Rare for me since I usually finish even bad books out of a misplaced sense of duty!Published 2 months ago by roland b. clark, md
Realize I write against the grain here. I have stayed away from Wambaugh despite great praise for his great output. I am more a Michael Conley Robert Crais, Lee Child reader. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephen R. Lyne
Incredible writing. Detailed yet real description of life as a beat cop and inspiring detective.Published 4 months ago by Dave Speer
The New Centurions (1971) was Joseph Wambaugh’s first novel, a no doubt very realistic portrayal of what being a front-line cop in William Parker’s supposedly elite LAPD of the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Buzalka
I've just gone back and started reading Joseph Wambaughs books. This was a great read and a real look into the lives of policeman on the job and how it affects them.Published 5 months ago by J. Schwieters
Typical outstanding Wambaugh book was with incredible insight into poplce work and their personal lives and challenges.Published 5 months ago by Ron
The Blue Knight is set in the 1960s and is the story of a cop who plans to retire in three days. He does lots of remembering his 20 years as a patrol cop. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Al Koch
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