Customer Reviews for

The Choirboys

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Favorite "new" author

I could NOT put this book down. I found it disturbing and exciting all at the same time. As a police dispatcher in a metropolitan city I found the attitudes of the cops in the book to be similar to my officers even though there is a 30-40 year age difference in time. ...
I could NOT put this book down. I found it disturbing and exciting all at the same time. As a police dispatcher in a metropolitan city I found the attitudes of the cops in the book to be similar to my officers even though there is a 30-40 year age difference in time. It is almost impossible not to become cynical with the streets after doing law enforcement work for any amount of time. I will be continuing on with Mr Wambaugh and his many books. On occassion we have "Choir Practices" not quite like these boys but similar. Not in a park but a bar.

posted by CoCoVanAron on December 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This was the first of Wambaughs i read!

sad to say it is very real! I began to look at my cop hubby a little closer! a inside look at the ' mean streets' of LA! Go ahead take a PEEK!

posted by 9928044 on April 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    The choirboys

    This is such a good book. I hated lt to end. The characters are totally believable. His other books are worth the read also

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    Favorite "new" author

    I could NOT put this book down. I found it disturbing and exciting all at the same time. As a police dispatcher in a metropolitan city I found the attitudes of the cops in the book to be similar to my officers even though there is a 30-40 year age difference in time. It is almost impossible not to become cynical with the streets after doing law enforcement work for any amount of time. I will be continuing on with Mr Wambaugh and his many books. On occassion we have "Choir Practices" not quite like these boys but similar. Not in a park but a bar.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    great read

    I read this book many years ago. I don't think I have ever read a funnier book. It started me down the road to being a real fan of Joesph Wambaugh. Buy it, you won't regret it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    This was the first of Wambaughs i read!

    sad to say it is very real! I began to look at my cop hubby a little closer! a inside look at the ' mean streets' of LA! Go ahead take a PEEK!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    TOUGH, GRITTY, AUTHENTIC

    As I write this THE CHOIRBOYS has become an icon, the predecessor of and model for so many police focused books to follow. Have no idea how many remember the way Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, burst upon the literary scene first with The New Centurions, a story that shocked, thrilled, and shortly followed it with THE CHOIRBOYS, another eyebrow raising tale infused with authenticity.

    Many of you may have read the book or seen the film based upon the book, but it's an entirely new experience to hear it read by award winning voice performer Oliver Wyman. He's taken home five Audie awards and almost a dozen Earphone awards from AudioFile magazine, all richly deserved.

    Wyman's well trained voice perfectly reflects the tough grittiness exhibited by the characters, especially in the scenes when they get together in the wee small hours for drinking and womanizing. He speaks with the voices of those 1970s Los Angeles cops and their supervisors giving them life once again.

    This is vintage Wambaugh, the bestselling author at the height of his powers, and Wyman giving THE CHOIRBOYS the delivery a groundbreaking novel deserves.

    Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Choirboys: An Authentic 1975 Predawn Nightmare!

    In 1975, a Los Angeles Police Department officer-turned-novelist named Joseph Wambaugh wrote the controversial novel "The Choirboys". Still a hot book, Wambaugh wrote this almost 40 years ago!

    Wambaugh married at 18, received a B.A. and M.A. degree from California State University in Los Angeles, and then joined the L.A.P.D in 1960. Rising from the rank of patrolman to detective sergeant, he served until 1974. Because he was amongst their ranks, Wambaugh had a unique perspective on police work which greatly assisted him in his first novel, "The New Centurions", published in 1971 to critical acclaim and popular success. Wambaugh actually remarked while working, "I would have guys in handcuffs asking me for autographs". Both "The New Centurions" and his second book, "The Blue Knight" were novels written while he was actively employed in law enforcement. Quitting police work and turning to full time writing, "The Choirboys" was also the start of a new approach. Where in his first two books, Wambaugh portrayed conventional and heroic fictional policemen as the basis for his characters, starting with "The Choirboys", he began to use dark humor and outrageous incidents to emphasize the psychological peril inherent in modern urban police work.

    Furthermore, in "The Choirboys", Wambaugh used names of many characters by often unflattering nicknames rather than given names e.g. Herbert "Spermwhale Whalen, "Father" Willie Wright and Henry "Roscoe" Rules. It is no coincidence that Wambaugh left the L.A.P.D. while writing "The Choirboys" as the reader will discover that in this book he became sharply critical of the command structure of the L.A.P.D. and individuals within it, and later, of city government as well. It is interesting to note that in 1977, "The Choirboys" was made into a film starring Louis Gossett, Jr. and James Woods. However, the movie lost the focus that Wambaugh so eloquently set forth in his novel. Wambaugh's book had "The Choirboys", i.e. the five sets of L.A.P.D partners which, while on night watch, were joined together by the pressures of the job. Wambaugh showed that this patrol squad was composed of men of varying temperaments and they chose to spend their pre-dawn hours decompressing from the job in relaxing drink and sex sessions they deemed "choir practice" in MacArthur Park. In 1995, "The Choirboys" was selected by the "Mystery Writers of America" as #93 of "The Top 100 Crime Novels of all Time". But Wambaugh didn't stop there. He has written a total of 19 nonfiction accounts of crime and detection and novels, with his most recent contribution to the literary field of "Hollywood Station" (2006 novel), "Hollywood Crows" (2008 novel) and finally, as of this writing, "Hollywood Moon" (2009 novel). However, "The Choirboys" will give you everything-crime, humor, sarcasm, violence, sex, gore, war and much more! A great book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    Laugh and Cry Out Loud.

    Joseph Wambaugh, the master of dark humor, goes over the top in this classic. following Sperm whale whalen, Roscoe Rules, Calvin Potts and the rest of this shift is amazingly funny. Other parts of this novel, reading of things that cops see in the course of their shifts will break your heart. Almost every negative stereotype of cops comes out in this book in technicolor, but you can't help but love and cheer for the protagonists. A 'dont let this happen to you' primer for police officers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2000

    Funny with a great ending

    I can not tell you how many times I laughed out loud. This was the funniest book I have ever read. The only thing better than the laughs was the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2000

    Real Cops Real People

    If you hold police officers to a higher standard than others you must read The Choirboys to understand why they sometimes disappoint our expectations. This book was one of the most incredibly funny things I have ever read and at the same time it reflects what cops deal with everyday which is anything but funny. Wambaugh's cops are much like our soliders in Vietnam. They are given the worst job to do while wearing political handcuffs. They are expected to rise above the behavior of the lowest forms of life and not lapse into 'CUAO' conduct unbecoming an officer. If you want to know what it is like to be a cop, read this book. Enjoy it, embrace it, do not mistake it for fiction. It is what a cops life is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000

    politically incorrect for today...a must read for every cop

    The ironic thing is that while this book was written about the LAPD in the 70's, not much has changed in the last 30 years, except for the political correctness people try to cram down each others throats. In certain instances, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Cops who have never read this book will marvel at the accuracy of the characters and how each person can be found in some degree in their station. This is the ultimate explanation of when 'old timer' cops speak of the 'good old days'. Wambaugh obviously knew his subjects well. The character examinations are all too real. Funny, hilarious, sad, and tragic, it is difficult to put down. If you are a cop, you will scrutinize your job, administration, and your role in society a little more closely after reading this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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