White Jazz

White Jazz (James Ellroy)

  • 18 Aug 13:19
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White Jazz is a 1992 crime fiction novel by James Ellroy. It is the fourth in his L.A. Quartet, preceded by The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, and L.A. Confidential.

Lieutenant David Klein is a veteran policeman who moonlights as a hitman for organized crime. When he is assigned to investigate a robbery at the home of the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) sanctioned heroin dealer, he uncovers a plot to bring the city's crime syndicates into collusion with the channels of justice.

The stories of many characters that appeared in earlier L.A. Quartet novels, including Edmund Exley and Dudley Smith, have their ends tied up in White Jazz, which also introduces Pete Bondurant, one of the central characters in Ellroy's Underworld USA Trilogy.

Originally, White Jazz was 900 pages, but his editor asked him to shorten it to 350 pages, which he did by removing all the verbs.

White Jazz's prologue is told by protagonist David Douglas Klein, years after the events have taken place:

All I have is the will to remember. Time revoked/fever dreams-I wake up reaching, afraid I'll forget. Pictures keep the woman young. L.A., fall 1958. Newsprint: link the dots. Names, events-so brutal they beg...


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