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Brown's Requiem (1981)

af James Ellroy

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6261127,732 (3.45)4
Fritz Brown's L.A. and his life - are masses of contradictions, like stirring chorales sung for the dead. A less-than-spotless former cop with a drinking problem - a private eye-cum-repo man with a taste for great musiche has been known to wallow in the grime beneath the Hollywood glitter. But Fritz Brown's life is about to change, thanks to the appearance of a racist psycho who flashes too much cash for a golf caddie and who walked away clean from a multiple murder rap. Reopening this cas could be Fritz's redemption; his welcome back to a moral world and his path to a pure and perfect love. But to get there, he must make it through a grim, lightless place where evil has no national borders; where lies beget lies and death begets death; where there's little tolerance for Bach or Beethoven and deadly arson is a lesser mortal sin; and where a p.i.'s unhealthy interest in the past can turn beautiful music into funeral dirge.… (mere)

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Engelsk (9)  Spansk (1)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (11)
Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
Not quite what I was looking for, likely spoiled by Elmore Leonard. Fritz is needlessly violent, and to questionable ends. LA does nearly emerge as a character itself - hopefully he get's better after this initial effort. ( )
  kcshankd | Mar 10, 2019 |
Between 20o3 and 2008, I went through a phase where I thought James Ellroy was the best living novelist. I loved his schtick so much that my own writing--fiction or non--read like a pastiche of Ellroy's telegraphic style. While I still appreciate him (most of his novels survived the various pre-/post-moving book culls I made), I feel like I've calmed down and grown up, I guess? At the very least, his flaws--which were always there--have become really apparent, so much so that I just don't have the energy or heart to dive back into his novels again.

But I've had Brown's Requiem, his 1980 debut, on my "unread" shelf for nearly a decade, and I just grabbed it on a whim and dived in (via audiobook). From page one, Brown's Requiem reads like a trial run for every other book Ellroy has written. It's all here: an obsessed protagonist; a hilariously over-complicated plot; lots of focus on classical music as "good music"; gonzo violence (including the good ol' "empty gun into someone's face" deal that Ellroy uses all of the time); and so on. Fritz Brown is, however, not as insanely racist as almost every other Ellroy protagonist, and he even defends minorities in a few spots...though these moments feel really forced.

The writing is cleaner and more traditional than Ellroy's later books, but his staccato pacing is still here. The book made me remember why I liked Ellroy so much, but it also reminded me why I no longer obsess over him. The guy has basically been writing the same book over and over from this point on--he's rehashing the same worldview that's guided him since his mom's murder, and I just have a hard time with it these days. ( )
1 stem wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Raymond Chandler, he isn't. The book is well written if you like this sort of thing but a bit too violent for my taste. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Two weeks before the Utopia Club was consumed by an arsonist's torch, private investigator and car repossessor Fritz Brown was having a drink there when the man next to him spilled his drink in Fritz's lap. The man immediately apologized. Re cognition of that man was to be the key unraveling a mystery almost ten years later.

Fritz Brown is James Ellroy's first creation and a worthy successor to Philip Marlowe. Brown is an ex-cop, dismissed from the L.A.P.D. for having broken the legs of the Vice Department's favorite snitch. Brown was incensed that the department continued to support the informer, even after learning of the man's pedophilic practices.

Brown is hired by a sadist to dig up dirt on his sister's "boyfriend." Soon he is mired in murder, arson, swindles, police corruption, and enough perversion to keep an entire squad of detectives busy. Brown has to face his own demons before resolving the crime in his own extra-legal fashion.

I recommend listening to Mahler's Second Symphony while reading this fast-paced novel. It's not called the Resurrection Symphony for nothing. ( )
1 stem ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Fritz Brown est un ex-flic du LAPD et un ex-alcoolique. Il s’est spécialisé dans la récupération de voitures dont les traites sont impayées, ce travail servant de couverture à son autre activité, détective privé. Il est aussi passionné de musique classique, ce qui peut contribuer à le rendre sympathique.

Il est engagé par Gras Dogue Baker, personnage détestable, obèse, raciste, antisémite, et carrément psychopathe, pour surveiller sa sœur Jane Baker, jeune femme violoncelliste vivant avec un homme plus âgé et pour laquelle Fritz va immédiatement ressentir une vive attirance.

On trouve dans "Brown’s requiem", premier roman de James Ellroy, les thèmes récurrents de son œuvre : le Dahlia noir auquel il consacrera un roman, la corruption de la police, le racisme et la violence et Los Angeles, personnage à part entière, la ville du "grand nulle part", qu’Ellroy excelle à décrire. Son personnage principal, Fritz Brown, est ambivalent, épris de justice, mais prêt à toutes les turpitudes pour être sûr de punir les truands, dur et violent, mais aspirant à la paix du cœur et de l’esprit.

L’intrigue est touffue, intense, parfois un peu compliquée à suivre, du fait des nombreux personnages impliqués et des révélations successives qui pimentent l’action. La description de la Californie du début des années 80, où les baba-cools faisaient encore des feux de joie sur la plage, date un peu le roman.

Cela faisait un moment que je n’avais pas lu Ellroy, j’avais eu une période polars noirs, très noirs il y a quelques années et j’avais été captivée par ses romans, surtout sa série avec le sergent Lloyd Hopkins
  perduedansleslivres | Nov 22, 2011 |
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Fritz Brown's L.A. and his life - are masses of contradictions, like stirring chorales sung for the dead. A less-than-spotless former cop with a drinking problem - a private eye-cum-repo man with a taste for great musiche has been known to wallow in the grime beneath the Hollywood glitter. But Fritz Brown's life is about to change, thanks to the appearance of a racist psycho who flashes too much cash for a golf caddie and who walked away clean from a multiple murder rap. Reopening this cas could be Fritz's redemption; his welcome back to a moral world and his path to a pure and perfect love. But to get there, he must make it through a grim, lightless place where evil has no national borders; where lies beget lies and death begets death; where there's little tolerance for Bach or Beethoven and deadly arson is a lesser mortal sin; and where a p.i.'s unhealthy interest in the past can turn beautiful music into funeral dirge.

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