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Joseph Wambaugh's picture

Joseph Wambaugh


USA (1937 - )

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.
 
Joseph Wambaugh recommends
Earth Angels
Earth Angels (1989)
Gerald Petievich
"The most exciting book yet written about the violent world of L.A. gangs."
Justice Denied
Justice Denied (1994)
(Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, book 6)
Robert K Tanenbaum
"Scrupulously realistic."
Blue Blood
Blue Blood (2004)
Edward Conlon
"The most stunning memoir ever written about the cop world."

Getting Garbo: A Novel of Hollywood Noir (2004)
Jerry Ludwig
"Elmore Leonard meets James M. Cain meets Hedda Hopper. GETTING GARBO delivers suspense, humor, gossip and glamor... This book is a joy to read."
Walla Walla Suite: A Room with No View
Walla Walla Suite: A Room with No View (2007)
(Quinn , book 2)
Anne Argula
"A terrific, suspenseful tale of murder, driven by interesting and quirky characters, leavened by edgy self-deprecating humor, and resolved by a surprising twist."



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