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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  • 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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