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We ve all heard of the Good Cop Bad Cop routine, but when you read a James Ellroy novel it slike Bad Cop Worse Cop Crimes Against Humanity Cop.This third installment in the L.A Quartet introduces us to another trio of police officers who wouldn t last ten minutes on the job if there were smart phones in the 1950s which could have recorded their many misdeeds Ed Exley is a brilliant detective, but his physical cowardice is exceeded only by his ruthless ambition Bud White is a thug who ne We ve all heard of the Good Cop Bad Cop routine, but when you read a James Ellroy novel it slike Bad Cop Worse Cop Crimes Against Humanity Cop.This third installment in the L.A Quartet introduces us to another trio of police officers who wouldn t last ten minutes on the job if there were smart phones in the 1950s which could have recorded their many misdeeds Ed Exley is a brilliant detective, but his physical cowardice is exceeded only by his ruthless ambition Bud White is a thug who never met a suspect he couldn t beat into talking, and he s got a special hatred reserved for men who hurt women Jack Vincennes has gone Hollywood with a side gig as the technical advisor for a TV cop show, and his reputation as a relentless narco officer is mainly due to him taking payoffs from a scandal rag to arrest movie stars to create juicy stories.The three cops end up involved in a police brutality scandal dubbed Bloody Christmas which leads to drastic changes of fortune for each of them Then a shocking mass murder in a coffee shop in an apparent robbery gone wrong draws all of them into the orbit of the investigation Driven by their obsessions and haunted by secrets all of them will follow separate trails through a tangled web of pornography, drugs, prostitution, rape, and murder Ellroy had used similar elements of historical fiction that combines the seedy history of L.A with his own epic crime stories in previous books, but I think this is where he perfected the idea and really soared with it It s the first time he fully deployed a unique style that is essentially a stream of consciousness that shifts among the three leads that uses clipped sentences to form a patter that makes everything feelas if it s being experienced instead of a narrative you re reading.The main appeal for me is the three main characters These are not nice guys They are utterly amoral and unrepentant racists who cause an enormous amount of damage in pursuit of their own agendas What saves them And this is what usually redeems Ellroy s characters is their ultimate realizations that they re pawns being used by a system that is farcriminal and corrupt than anything they ve done, and that they re willing to destroy themselves and everything around them in bids for redemption.This is a brutal, vicious crime novel filled with shocking acts of violence and offensive language It s also an extremely complex and dense book with multiple confusing sub plots spinning off the main Nite Owl story I ve read it multiple times, and I d still be hard pressed to explain everything that happens and why Despite all of that it remains among my favorite novels because it is such a bold attempt to do something different that is mostly successful I also credit the movie as being one of the best adaptations of a book I ve seen There s only about 40% of the plot from the page on the screen, but they did a masterful job of combining and condensing elements while preserving the essential feel of the book and smartly keeping the focus on its three flawed main characters Even when ya know the plot from the movie it s still riveting L.A Confidential feels like the book that James Ellroy has been preparing for and working up to during his entire career up to this point He takes all of the themes he explored in previous novels and packs them into a book that s an even larger,epic tale of crime, perversion, and Hollywood corruption than any of his previous books L.A Confidential tells the story of three LAPD officers who are initially at odds with one another after the infamous Bloody Christmas police brutality scand L.A Confidential feels like the book that James Ellroy has been preparing for and working up to during his entire career up to this point He takes all of the themes he explored in previous novels and packs them into a book that s an even larger,epic tale of crime, perversion, and Hollywood corruption than any of his previous books L.A Confidential tells the story of three LAPD officers who are initially at odds with one another after the infamous Bloody Christmas police brutality scandal and once again cross paths after a bloody massacre at the Nite Owl coffee shop in Hollywood At first, each of them are involved in separate investigations Slowly these mysteries all seem to connect to the Nite Owl in some way and ultimately, the men must learn to put their differences aside as they realize that they are neck deep in a scandal bigger than anything they could ve imagined, one that goes beyond the Nite Owl Massacre, one that involves filth porn, heroin, tabloid extortion, a popular kid s theme park Disneyland anyone , and high class whores cut to look like movie stars.I mentioned before that the novel is evenepic than the previous ones in the L.A Quartet, but is so huge that it s hard to keep track of at times, which makes for a slower read than thefocused stories in The Black Dahlia and The Big Nowhere It has the most complicated mystery and conspiracy that I ve ever read, so complicated that it seems to involve ever person living in L.A County, and even the characters sometimes have to create graphs to keep track of everything But no one could ve wrangled all of these threads into something coherent other than author James Ellroy, showing his tremendous skill as a writer And this is the novel where he begins his experimentation with his writing style, moving toward the clipped, manic, jazzy prose that he uses in later novels Here, in order to cut down on page count in order to get published, he cut out all unnecessary words.As usual, the characters in this were fascinating, strong men with weaknesses and dark secrets, who through their investigation, seek something close to redemption Edmund Exley is a young officer living under his father s shadow and a war hero reputation based on a lie, and who is an ambitious, by the book, do gooder who believes in the pursuit of absolute justice and willing to rat out his fellow officers and be hated by everyone to move up in the department Wendell Bud White is a bruising, hard boiled cop, haunted by witnessing the violent murder of his mother by his father, and takes it out on woman beaters that he arrests He hates the fact that he s seen as lacking the intelligence to be a good detective and only good with his fists, and he becomes obsessed with privately investigating a string of hooker murders And finally there s Trashcan Jack Vincennes, a Narcotics officer with his own skeletons in his closet, who s dead set on arresting drug users, butimportantly, he strives for Hollywood stardom, consulting on a hit cop show, rousts celebrity druggies, and gives exclusive dirt to tabloid writer Sid Hudgens and his Hush Hush scandal mag in exchange for cash, article write ups, and a photo op He begins investigating the production of porno picture books, and we realize that Trashcan Jack might also have an unhealthy obsession with what s between the pages of the books that he finds The way that each story evolves and interconnects is truly something to behold This book has enough story for 5 novels, but somehow it s told in about 500 pages How that s even possible is beyond meThe movie based on this book is one of my top five favorites, and reading this novel made me appreciate it evenI ve realized it s probably the best movie adaptation of a book to date How it takes this loaded story that could be adapted into a 10 part miniseries, and successfully converts it into an exciting and engaging 2 hour, 20 minute movie is a feat that really should be recognized Obviously the movie is missing lots of the story from the book, but the movie really stands on it s own, and skillfully combines multiple characters and creates new scenes and themes that still works to tell the story in an effective way Although it s sadly missing much of Jack Vincennes s intriguing storyline, it introduces new backstory elements that I wish were in the book Rollo Tomasi , strengthens the Bud and Exley dynamic, and makes Lynn Bracken an even stronger character The fact that the movie is at times even better than the book and can stand on it s own really says something about the adaptation I would suggest both seeing the movie and reading the book, as there is something to be gained by both.James Ellroy is quickly becoming one of my favorites and I can t wait to soon read White Jazz and his other books Anyway Dear Reader, that s all the dirt that s fit to print And you heard it here first, off the record, on the QT, and very Hush Hush I hadn t meant to start my Christmas themed reads just yet, but I d forgotten, L.A Confidential pretty much begins with a Christmas party scene It s not much of what you d call a Christmas book That scene is really the only connection to the holiday, and yet it has just as much to do with Christmas as other books which slap the word on the cover in an attempt to get fools like me to read it for no other reason than that connection No, this book is about Los Angeles seedy underbelly and the I hadn t meant to start my Christmas themed reads just yet, but I d forgotten, L.A Confidential pretty much begins with a Christmas party scene It s not much of what you d call a Christmas book That scene is really the only connection to the holiday, and yet it has just as much to do with Christmas as other books which slap the word on the cover in an attempt to get fools like me to read it for no other reason than that connection No, this book is about Los Angeles seedy underbelly and the bad apple cops who made it worse Our trio of heroes anti heroes try to scrub that underbelly and toss out those rotten apples, and Ellroy does an excellent job at eliciting an emotional attachment to them in the reader I read this because I saw and loved the movie version, and I wanted to see how closely related they were They re very similar The way in which they diverge is common to most adapted booksbackground detail The movie had to pare down the book s wealth of content, stripping away major storylines in order to fit the script of a typical feature length film Movie viewers miss out on some nice scenes and descriptions, but they re also treated to a slick, streamlined production Whereas, occasionally the book gets out of hand and bogged down by layers of plot The movie is complicated The book is confounding In conclusion, what a great Christmas read this was Christmas , Los Angeles a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood One of the best crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy s four novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful Hey everyone, it s my 100th review on goodreads No, wait, this is a dark and brooding noir Can t be that happy Think mean thoughts Take a shot glass of despair, with a nihilistic chaser and a cheap cigarette There we go.Spanning from 1950 to 58, L.A Confidential stands as easily the most ambitious book in Ellroy s series thus far.It s Christmas time and that does not mean heart warming cups of good cheer and old Scrooge being visited by three ghosts in Ellroy s work Bud looked out Hey everyone, it s my 100th review on goodreads No, wait, this is a dark and brooding noir Can t be that happy Think mean thoughts Take a shot glass of despair, with a nihilistic chaser and a cheap cigarette There we go.Spanning from 1950 to 58, L.A Confidential stands as easily the most ambitious book in Ellroy s series thus far.It s Christmas time and that does not mean heart warming cups of good cheer and old Scrooge being visited by three ghosts in Ellroy s work Bud looked out the window A Salvation Army Santa palmed coins from his kettle, an eye on the liquor store across the street That s our Christmas spirit Ho goddamn Ho We go into an event that will be dubbed Bloody Christmas and things get worse from there as we move onto another case referred to as The Nite Owl Massacre Yeah this one s just filled with good cheer.Our protagonists this time certainly not heroes as they re evencrooked than any of the other leads in the previous books are three very different cops Jack Vincennes is a Hollywood cop through and through He is the consultant for a TV show called Badge of Honor, gets big publicity in the papers, and secretly works with one magazine to find out lower ranking stars doing drugs and sets up busts to get his picture in papers Bud White is a police officer thug, a classic ticking time bomb sort, but with good connections He s the prot g of one Dudley Smith, who has uses for the violent sort Finally we come to Ed Exley, who believes in perfect justice He has a ruthless sort of efficiency, but in a very by the book sort of way He s only too happy to make enemies if it means moving up, and he s quite good at knowing the right thing to say at the right time Together these three make up Ellroy s most interesting cast thus far.So onto my opinions on the book itself I actually find myself at a bit of a loss on this one Not because it s not good It is In fact, it s damn near perfect This is seriously the sort of book that I feel I can t pick apart because they would be nitpicks only, yet I can t fully praise without giving everything away I could say for instance that there are so many characters that I felt like I needed a notepad of suspects some of which show up for two or three pages and are not heard from again for 300 and it s just assumed you ll remember them , but that s not a full complaint as it fits the scenario after all, the book takes place over eight years From a structural standpoint, it is mucha direct sequel to The Big Nowhere In fact, this one starts with a prologue that acts as an epilogue of the previous novel I m actually a bit conflicted on my feelings about this view spoiler On one hand I like the sense of closure, but on the other, if one hadn t read the previous book and this series operates fairly well as stand alone novels thus far it doesn t have the impact as it requires you to care about Meeks It also spoils for those who didn t know that Dudley Smith is as close to a main antagonist as this series is going to get, whereas if we didn t have that prologue, newcomers could easily be taken in by his good nature and the friendship he seems to be forming with Bud To a certain extent I wish it would have been the ACTUAL epilogue to the previous novel as we were certain Smith was a right asshole then, and though it would have been a bit of a downer ending, it would have been a nice way of cementing that Smith gets the solution he wants no matter what hide spoiler Beyond this scene though, there s other aspects of the previous novel that come into play A lotreturning side characters, and political events discussed in the previous book come back in a big way here While much like The Black Dahlia and The Big Nowhere, you could easily read this as a stand alone novel, but you would be missing out on so many of the wonderful details Ellroy has set up and continues to set up From a stylistic standpoint, it continue the themes of corruption from the previous books It continues in a big way In The Big Nowhere we saw it infiltrating into all areas, in L.A Confidential we see it firmly in place and infecting even those who started with good intentions We see that to fight back against this corruption, you have to jump into it a bit yourself In the previous books the characters may have been crooked, but you got a sense there were lines they wouldn t cross for anything Here those lines are blurred, and you wonder if there even is a line or if they only exist until the proper set of circumstances arises.Ellroy continues building his world in a fantastic way Using real historic events and making up his own We see freeways constructed and an obvious stand in for Disney Land built up The use of real events cements us in the world, and these touches of fiction allows for him to play with it in ways that he couldn t using the real places It s a wonderful combo, with occasional points where I went online to wiki something to see if it was real I continue to be impressed with the story he s telling and how he builds up and plays off of a real place.The writing is also much improved here There s something of a legend that Ellroy s original manuscript was originally over 80o pages Apparently a senior editor at his publisher told Ellroy that the book was too long and needed to be shortened for the sake of publishing costs Ellroy decided that the narrative was too intricately and precisely plotted to remove any actual scenes from the book and his solution was to go through the manuscript page by page to remove extraneous words By doing this he managed to reduce the length of the manuscript without losing a single scene and the book is brilliant because of this While I enjoyed The Big Nowhere, I found it often overly descriptive While Ellroy is a great writer, his descriptions were not stunning enough to justify the length he went on, and I often found myself wishing he d just get to the point There is none of that here There is not a single unneeded word Sentences are often short, only as long as they need to be to get the point They go off like a shotgun at close range, and Ellroy never misfires once In closing this one is amazing You don t often hear the word epic attached to noir, but Ellroy has constructed a truly epic noir This is a big book, sitting at around 500 pages It s got a metric ton of characters and one might need a graph to place all the connections that the cases go though, but trust me it s worth the investment A full 5 stars and my highest possible recommendation Remember, dear reader, you heard it first here off the record, on the Q.T and very Hush Hush Whatever you desire safe passage for ruthless men in love Like Fight Club, L.A Confidential is one of those contemporary novels that provides a certain literary difficulty for readers who come to it AFTER the film dropped because the directors David Fincher, Curtis Hanson created such large, iconic images out of the novels L.A Confidential s major characters are all very similar to the movie, but there are some major omissions and changes made in the movie that keep Elloroy s urteWhatever you desire safe passage for ruthless men in love Like Fight Club, L.A Confidential is one of those contemporary novels that provides a certain literary difficulty for readers who come to it AFTER the film dropped because the directors David Fincher, Curtis Hanson created such large, iconic images out of the novels L.A Confidential s major characters are all very similar to the movie, but there are some major omissions and changes made in the movie that keep Elloroy s urtext both novel and different enough, to warrant your buck and your time.Ellroy is a modern master of the slow build, the dark, back motives, the inevitable bloodbath I think of the image of three big waves cresting together when I think of Edmund Ed Exley, Wendell Bud White, John Jack Vincennes, and their personal demons, all coming together to exact justice, each for their own reasons and with their own baggage and agendas Anyway, it was all deftly done The novel also contains many of the usual Ellroy tropes pornography, children haunted by the actions of their parents, prostitutes, vice in general, the mob, corrupt cops, heroic cops with fatal flaws, femme fatales, queers, shrinks, plastic surgery, and a dark undercurrent that cuts thorough the heart of both L.A and Hollywood The world Ellory paints is dark, harsh, and often perverse It isn t a place you want to raise a family or even walk a dog 1 Yes, this was excellent.2 Yes, this was hard boiled.3 Yes, this had confusing storylines.4 Yes, this book needed a list of characters unless you have an incredible memory 5 Yes, I wanted to give this book a solid five stars I have been wanting to read this great book for years, then when I saw I had 10 friends who read it, it became a must read now Of those 10 friends, five gave it four stars and five five stars, so I knew it was great Ellroy wrote The Black Dahalia which I loved, g 1 Yes, this was excellent.2 Yes, this was hard boiled.3 Yes, this had confusing storylines.4 Yes, this book needed a list of characters unless you have an incredible memory 5 Yes, I wanted to give this book a solid five stars I have been wanting to read this great book for years, then when I saw I had 10 friends who read it, it became a must read now Of those 10 friends, five gave it four stars and five five stars, so I knew it was great Ellroy wrote The Black Dahalia which I loved, giving it five stars and I fully expected this book to live up to my five star expectation However, I found the characters very confusing I wondered, how does Ellroy expect the reader to remember John Doe who was mentioned on page 25, then repeated again on page 158 So who is John Doe Then begin flipping back the pages to see when he was mentioned Although the storyline was about the Night Owl massacre of six people in an all night coffee shop, there were multiple storylines revolving around that event There are three main characters and they weave back and forthgood, yes, he s a good guy then hell no, he s a bad guy So, in my mind there are no clear cut good guy bad guys in the entire book And that is not a complaint but if you need a clear delineation of good bad guys, it s not here Needless to say, this is no pansy ass book with warm and fuzzies It s dark, pitch black dark and that s why it s called noir A great word for this book.I still wish that Goodreads would allow us readers to give half stars but no Changes in GR, as we all know, but not there With that said, I would give this one three and a half, but I do round up so I m tipping the scale of my circle of friends with six now giving it four stars and five reviewers, five stars No, it didn t amaze me Hopefully, the next Ellroy will I m expecting it but will begin my list of characters on page one like I should have done here hint, hint The never ending parade of homogenous macho cops the weak, dependable women perfect victims for any crime the overwhelmingly complex story line, sub plot within sub plot, twist upon twist all that delivered in a flat, dry style That s an Ellroy novel for you I know that it s supposed to add up to this intricate, dark story interwoven with sex and violence and thus gripping, like nothing else But I, frankly, was bored to death The scheming was a tad too elaborate for my taste After a w The never ending parade of homogenous macho cops the weak, dependable women perfect victims for any crime the overwhelmingly complex story line, sub plot within sub plot, twist upon twist all that delivered in a flat, dry style That s an Ellroy novel for you I know that it s supposed to add up to this intricate, dark story interwoven with sex and violence and thus gripping, like nothing else But I, frankly, was bored to death The scheming was a tad too elaborate for my taste After a while I stopped caring when yet another layer to the story was revealed there s only so much dry plot that I can take Plot on itself won t keep me on the edge for long A list of names straight out of phonebook won t do it for me either Violence and sex will keep me interested for a little while, but unless it s happening to a well fleshed out character that too will eventually start to disappoint And that s what happened I ve ended up being disappointed I wanted to like this book, I loved the movie, and I do get the appeal of this gritty, brutal writing But despite some enjoyable moments, getting through L.A Confidential felt like a chore So I cannot say that I liked it Hence the 2 star rating Barely 3 Stars A huge disappointment I ve been looking forward to reading this book for two decades, but it certainly wasn t worth the wait or the effort This is the third in Ellroy s L A Quartet.This is somewhat better than the appropriately titled The Big Nowhere 2nd in the LA Quartet , but it s completely eclipsed by Ellroy s very first book, his only Ten Star book, The Black Dahlia truly a Masterpiece of crime noir My review Warning, this book for Adults only perversions aboun Barely 3 Stars A huge disappointment I ve been looking forward to reading this book for two decades, but it certainly wasn t worth the wait or the effort This is the third in Ellroy s L A Quartet.This is somewhat better than the appropriately titled The Big Nowhere 2nd in the LA Quartet , but it s completely eclipsed by Ellroy s very first book, his only Ten Star book, The Black Dahlia truly a Masterpiece of crime noir My review Warning, this book for Adults only perversions abound You don t want to knowAs usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher s blurb summary of the book Thank you Full size image hereThe whole book, beginning to end, is mostly an overcomplicated plot, with a terrible prose experiment in harder than hard boiled A failed exercise for Ellroy, and extended punishment for readers Sadly, Ellroy continued to try to perfect this super hard boiled style, with varying degrees of success The fourth in the L.A Quartet series, White Jazz, apparently alienates even his greatest fans.Don t misunderstand me, the incredibly complex plot was terrific in the 1997 movie, and could have been written better than the movie, but it s poorly presented in the book due to a variety of narrative errors by Ellroy.In the first 2 3 of the book, we really have a collection of novellas and short stories, tied together by thin gruel of Hush Hush scandal reports in breathless but empty style, various dry, dull police reports, narrative experiments, staccato prose reader abuse , and some occasional instances of great dialogue and brief action Just when you think Ellroy has given up the prose experiments, he starts again.There are far too many mid chapter viewpoint switches between the three main characters, and you often must read several paragraphs before you can figure out whose viewpoint is current I looked for sympathetic characters in this book, and mostly, there are none.Ellroy s attempts to harder boil the narrative leads him farther and farther into the chopped, staccato renderings of actions and events Not fun It s often hard to decipher much of the word salad.Many of the main characters thoughts, and the book s events are repeated often It s as if the reader must be reminded constantly of minutiae Very irritating, especially in the staccato style Characters often come to the same conclusions as each other, and we are forced to see a repetition of those clues and events.But the dialogue is often terrific Ellroy s narrative prose experiment is thankfully not heard in the voices of his characters.Edmund makes a mistake confronting Stompanato and a hooker Jack She IS Lana Turner Full size image hereThe book s three main heroes fair poorly compared to the extraordinary 1997 movie, which wisely cut out Ellroy s fluff, repetition and gruel, and re created Jack Kevin Spacey , Bud Russell Crowe and Edmund Guy Pierce as flawed but true heroes Lieutenant Detective shield 1950sFull size image hereLyn Bracken s sharp style and wit through Kim Basinger s Oscar winning supporting role expand the book s character into perhaps the only sympathetic person in the entire story In all, the movie is ten times better in almost every way compared to the book Full size image hereOne of the stronger characters in both movie and book, Dudley Smith superbly played by James Cromwell , remains mostly an enigma here We almost never see his point of view in the book, or look over his shoulder during his machinations Given his importance to the plot s , this seems dishonest of Ellroy Full size image hereIn the final 1 3 of the book, this mess all gets overturned and re investigated, with some breakneck pacing, discoveries and horrific violence We think, finally, the book is moving forward clearly But no, the combination of staccato prose and far too many characters requires Ellroy to use pages and pages of info dumps to try to clarify the mess Not fun at all A rousing climax train ambush, and yetoverly complex info dumps closes the book What an utter and disappointing mess.The fabulous movie cast is how I saw the main characters while reading the book Full size image hereNotes and Quotes Perhaps this book might be better on the second or third reading But give it a few months between Personally, I m going to go watch the movie again, to help wash away my disappointment in the book Unlike The Black Dahlia, in which I foundthan 20 terrific quotes to including in my review, this book as only a tiny few impoverished quotes that I found to extract Personally, I think one of the best ways to rate a book is by the number of fine quotes extracted into reviews A glory that costs everything and means nothing Steve Erickson An abandoned auto court in the San Berdoo foothills Buzz Meeks checked in with ninety four thousand dollars, eighteen pounds of high grade heroin, a 1 O gauge pump, a.3 8 special, a.45 automatic and a switchblade he d bought off a pachuco at the border.Bud thumbed his address book Lorene from the Silver Star, Jane from the Zimba Room, Nancy from the Orbit Lounge late breaking numbers They had the look late thirties, hungry grateful for a younger guy who treated them nice and gave them a taste all men weren t shitheels Jack wanted to track the filth because part of him wondered how something could be so ugly and so beautiful and part of him plain jazzed on it Preston Exley and Art De Spain joined Dieterling in devotion a circle of hardcase men and a woman who made them grateful for the chance to feel gentle Lynn kept her clothing subtle because she knew it would makeof an impression on the people she wanted to impress she thought most men were weak and trusted her brains to slide her through anything Suppositions leading up to a hunch couple her brains with the counterdope in her system and you got a pentothal immune witness dissembling with impunity and style Bud dropped the receiver The clerk babbled from someplace safe and calm that he d never see again no Lynn, no safety in a badge.Notes as I read 20 fore reading this, I had seen the superb movie three times since its original release I must say, the book is hugelyverbose, even to the point of me skimming along I hope the pace picks up again soon 37% Dense, opaque, confusing prose I know Ellroy is experimenting with a staccato prose style It s not working.40%The prose levels off, becomesnarrative and smooth.55%Lots of dull, repetitive filler material here Ugh59%The characters grow darker as they age, except perhaps for Bud And it s not going to get easier as old lies are revealed Ellroy has regained much of his storytelling prose now, thankfully 61 ck to the repetitious, staccato prose Ugh 65%Here we go again, terribly repetitive reports from newspapers The same old info again and again, salted with a few new bits each time Ugh 70%And it s great now Fast pace, no gobbledygook, surprising twists 71%Whoops again Mostly very difficult staccato prose , very repetitious narrative, unsympathetic characters, and moments of brilliance 85% The pace has picked up tremendously, and the staccato prose is minimised to negotiable sections.There were many real life events and persons in the book, some only thinly disguised.The real Johnny Stompanato and Lana Turner c 1958 Lana s young daughter actually stabbed Stompanato to death in April 1958 There is a theory that actually, Lana found Stompanato in bed with her daughter, and she stabbed him, with the daughter taking the rap and getting off on self defense.Full size image here