The Golden Orange [NOOK Book]

Overview

Ex-cop Winnie Farlowe has been retired from police work due to a back injury, and has been fighting the bottle instead of bad guys ever since. But suddenly he meets Tess Binder, a stunning, three-time divorcée from the Balboa Bay Club where wallets are fat, bikinis are skimpy, and cosmetic surgery is one sure way to a billionaire’s bank account. She believes her father’s suicide was actually a murder and wants Winnie to help her prove it. Death and chicanery flourish amidst ranches, mansions, and yachting ...
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The Golden Orange

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Overview

Ex-cop Winnie Farlowe has been retired from police work due to a back injury, and has been fighting the bottle instead of bad guys ever since. But suddenly he meets Tess Binder, a stunning, three-time divorcée from the Balboa Bay Club where wallets are fat, bikinis are skimpy, and cosmetic surgery is one sure way to a billionaire’s bank account. She believes her father’s suicide was actually a murder and wants Winnie to help her prove it. Death and chicanery flourish amidst ranches, mansions, and yachting parties. Publishers Weekly called it “comic and deeply moving . . .  a stupendous climax . . . virtually sure to be hailed as Wambaugh’s best.” And the San Diego Union-Tribune said, “a profoundly serious work and in reading it I laughed my head off.”
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this comic and deeply moving story, Wambaugh holds the reader a willing hostage to events in the bibulous, rowdy, daring life of Winston (Winnie) Farlowe. When an injury ends his police career in California's Orange County, Winnie works at odd jobs--and indulges in vodka-inspired pranks. On probation after his latest escapade, the anti-hero avoids the place where prudence might have led him, an AA meeting, and instead rushes to join drinking buddies at a favorite saloon. There Tess Binder, an alluring divorcee, seeks the notorious ex-cop; she wines him, dines him and takes him to bed. Although both lovers are in their 40s, and survivors of broken unions, Tess belongs to a world as foreign to Winnie's as Tibet: the Newport Harbor's ultra-rich yachting crowd. The poor guy can't believe his luck, but trusts in his lady's ardent love, never suspecting the scam she plans for Win nie him as she holds him in thrall. The action quickens, rushing to a stupendous climax that concludes a novel virtually sure to be hailed as Wambaugh's best. BOMC alternate; first serial to Los Angeles Magazine. (May)
From the Publisher
"[Wambaugh's] laserlike descriptions of Orange  County are worth the price of  admission."—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453234242
  • Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road
  • Publication date: 11/29/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 99,804
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

The son of a policeman, Joseph Wambaugh (b. 1937) began his writing career while a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. He joined the LAPD in 1960 after three years in the Marine Corps, and rose to the rank of detective sergeant before retiring in 1974. His first novel, The New Centurions (1971), was a quick success, drawing praise for its realistic action and intelligent characterization, and was adapted into a feature film starring George C. Scott. He followed it up with The Blue Knight (1972), which was adapted into a mini-series starring William Holden and Lee Remick. Since then Wambaugh has continued writing about the LAPD. He has been credited with a realistic portrayal of police officers, showing them not as superheroes but as men struggling with a difficult job, a depiction taken mainstream by television’s Police Story, which Wambaugh helped create in the mid-1970s. In addition to novels, Wambaugh has written nonfiction, winning a special Edgar Award for 1974’s The Onion Field, an account of the longest criminal trial in California history. His most recent work is the novel Hollywood Moon (2010).
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Joe Wambaugh is best known for his brutally honest early works c

    Joe Wambaugh is best known for his brutally honest early works centered on the LAPD -- The Blue Knight, The New Centurions and some of his other 1970s novels. This isn't one of those. More's the pity.

    Winston Farlowe, the protagonist, is drinking his disability pension after being cut loose from the Newport Beach PD after a line-of-service injury. Tess Binder, a Newport Beach serial trophy wife, tracks him down at the dive bar he haunts and winds him up in a relationship based equally on alcohol and sex, then tells him someone's trying to kill her. Naturally, he tries to fix the problem, and complications ensue.

    The author is skilled at creating characters that feel all-too-human and act in ways you'd expect beings such as they would act. The dialog generally feels authentic except in one aspect. He captures the vibe of the wealthiest enclave in Orange County back at the end of the era when semi-normal people could still afford to live there (precariously). The crime-related plot is suitably devious though not particularly original (it's a variation on Double Indemnity).

    However, the overall work is lazy and sloppy. The crime story is nowhere near the main plot; the first whisper of it doesn't appear until page 160 or so of the paperback. Vast numbers of pages are taken up by incidentals or repetition. This book could easily be a hundred pages shorter and would benefit greatly from the trim. The dialog fail happens repeatedly in Win's favorite bar; it descends into banter that's far too sharp and quick for real drunks to even attempt, much less pull off.

    The two main characters embody the largest failings. The main plot involves watching Win repeatedly drink to vast excess, both alone and in the company of fellow hopeless alcoholics. The boozing is nonstop to the point of absurdity. An example: on the night of Win's first date with Tess, he downs upwards of twenty double vodkas as well as various other drinks (I finally lost track), but somehow he not only doesn't end up comatose or dead, he can still perform sexually. Win's created this problem for himself and is in deep denial about it, even though it's patently obvious to every other character around him. As a result, it's extremely difficult to muster any sympathy for Win or care much about his ultimate fate.

    Similarly, Tess is a preening, entitled gold-digger who believes "injustice" is what happens when the third wealthy ex-husband refuses to breach the pre-nup and gives her the old Mercedes as part of the settlement. Her peers are no better. In fact, nearly all the female characters in this novel are either shrill harpies feeding on the entrails of their blameless mates, or ruthless predators stalking the rich men of Newport Beach, who are helpless prisoners of the whims of their own penises. It's hard to feel anything but contempt or disgust for Tess, no matter how much of a male-fantasy sex machine the author sets her up to be.

    So with no viable main plot or relatable main characters, this is an exercise in the skilled creation of milieu (the only reason this got that second star). Whether that's worth 350 pages of your time is something you'll have to decide for yourself.

    If you haven't encountered Wambaugh before, go back to his early works and see him at his peak. If you've read all the rest of his works and somehow skipped The Golden Orange, don't feel as though you've missed much. Move along, there's nothing much to see here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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