Hollywood Station (Hollywood Station Series #1)

Hollywood Station (Hollywood Station Series #1)

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged)

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Overview

For a cop, a night on the job means killing time and trying not to get killed. If you're a cop in Hollywood Division, it also means dealing with the most overwrought, desperate, and deluded criminals anywhere. When you're patrolling Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, neither a good reputation nor the lessons of scandals past will help you keep your cool, your sanity, or your life when things heat up.

The robbery of a Hollywood jewelry store, complete with masks and a hand grenade, quickly connects to a Russian nightclub, an undercover operation gone bloodily wrong, and a cluelessly ambitious pair of tweakers. Putting the pieces together are the sergeant they call the Oracle and his squad of street cops. There's Budgie Polk, a twenty-something firecracker with a four-month-old at home, and Wesley Drubb, a rich boy who joined the force seeking thrills. Fausto Gamboa is the tetchy veteran, and Hollywood Nate is the one who never shuts up about movies. They spend their days in patrol cars and their nights in the underbelly of a city that never sleeps. From their headquarters at Hollywood Station, they see the glamour city for what it is: a field of land mines, where the mundane is dangerous and the dangerous is mundane.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781600242434
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Series: Hollywood Station Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 5.75(h) x 1.62(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen previous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Choirboys and The Onion Field. In 2004, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in southern California.

Read an Excerpt

Hollywood Station


By Joseph Wambaugh

LITTLE, BROWN

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Wambaugh
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-06614-1


Chapter One

Wanna play pit bull polo, dude?" "What's that?"

"It's something I learned when I worked Metro Mounted Platoon." "It's weird thinking of you as a cowboy cop."

"All I know about horses is they're assholes, man. But we got the overtime there. You know my little Beemer? I wouldn't have that if I hadn't worked Metro. My last year in Metro I made a hundred grand plus. I don't miss those crazy horses but I miss that OT money. And I miss wearing a Stetson. When we worked the mini-riot at the Democrats convention, a hot little lobbyist with nipples big enough to pack up and leave home said I looked like a young Clint Eastwood in that Stetson. And I didn't carry a Beretta nine then. I carried a six-inch Colt revolver. It looked more appropriate when I was sitting on a horse."

"A wheel gun? In this day and age?" "The Oracle still carries a wheel gun."

"The Oracle's been on the job nearly fifty years. He can wear a codpiece if he wants to. And you don't look like Clint Eastwood, bro. You look like the guy in King Kong, except you got even more of a beak and your hair is bleached."

"My hair is sun-streaked from surfing, dude. And I'm even two inches taller in the saddle than Clint was."

"Whatever, bro. I'm a whole foot taller on the ground than Tom Cruise. He's about four foot ten."

"Anyways, those pacifist demonstrators at the convention center were throwing golf ballsand ball bearings at our horses, when twenty of us charged. And dude, when you get stepped on by a fifteen-hundred-pound animal, it sucks bad. Only one horse went down. He was twenty-eight years old, name of Rufus. That fried him. Had to retire him after that. One of those Jamba Juicers threw a lit trash bag at the one I was riding, name of Big Sam. I beat that bitch with my koa."

"Your what?"

"It's like a samurai sword made of koa wood. The baton's about as useless as a stalk of celery when you're up there on a horse seventeen hands high. Supposed to strike them in the clavicle, but guess what, she juked and I got her upside the head. Accidentally, wink wink. She did a loop de loop and ended up under a parked car. I saw a horse get stuck with a knitting needle by one of those tree fuckers. The horse was fried after that. Too much stress. They retired him to Horse Rescue. They all get fried sooner or later. Just like us."

"That sucks. Sticking a horse."

"That one got a TV interview at least. When cops get hurt, nothing. Who gives a fuck? When a horse gets hurt, you get on TV, maybe with that Debbie D-cup news bunny on Channel Five."

"Where'd you learn to ride?"

"Griffith Park. A five-week course at the Ahmanson Training Center. Only horse I ever rode before that was on a merry-go-round, and I don't care if I ever ride another one. Got the job 'cause my sister-in-law went to high school with the platoon lieutenant. Horses're assholes, man. An RTD bus can pass you three inches away at sixty miles an hour and the horse doesn't blink. A little piece of paper blows in his face all of a sudden and he bucks you clear over a pile of tweakers and base-heads sleeping on a skid-row sidewalk at Sixth and San Pedro. And you end up in Momma Lucy's shopping cart with her aluminum cans and refundable bottles. That's how I got a hip replacement at the age of thirty. Only thing I wanna ride now is a surfboard and my Beemer." "I'm thirty-one. You look a lot older than me."

"Well I ain't. I just had a lot to worry about. They gave me a doctor that was so old he still believed in bleeding and leeches."

"Whatever, bro. You might have progeria. Gives you those eyelid and neck wrinkles, like a Galapagos turtle."

"So you wanna play pit bull polo or not?" "What the fuck is pit bull polo?"

"Way I learned, they trailered ten of us down to Seventy-seventh Street on a night when they decided to sweep a three-block row of crack houses and gangsta cribs. Whole fucking area is a crime scene. Living next to that is what razor wire was made for. Anyways, all those Bloods and Crips have pit bulls and rotties and they let them run loose half the time, terrorizing the 'hood and eating any normal dogs they see. And the whole fucking pack of gangsta dogs flew into a blood lust the second they saw us coming in and they attacked like we were riding T-bones and ribeyes."

"How many did you shoot?"

"Shoot? I need this job. You gotta be richer than Donald Trump and Manny the plumber to fire your piece in today's LAPD, especially at a dog. You shoot a human person and you get maybe two detectives and a team from Force Investigation Division to second-guess you. You shoot a dog and you get three supervisors and four detectives plus FID, all ready to string yellow tape. Especially in the 'hood. We didn't shoot them, we played pit bull polo with the long sticks."

"Oh, I get it. Pit bull polo." "Man, I rode through them, whacking those killer bulls, yelling, 'One chukker for my team! Two chukkers for my team!'I only wish I coulda whacked their owners."

"Bro, a chukker is a period of play. I know 'cause I watched a special on the Royal Family. Horny old Charles was playing a chukker or two for Camilla with big wood in his jodhpurs. That old babe? I don't see it."

"Whatever. You down with that or not?" "Yeah, I'm down. But first I wanna know, did anyone beef you for playing polo with the gangsta bulls?"

"Oh yeah, there's always an ABM who'll call IA, his councilman, and maybe long distance to Al Sharpton, who never saw a camera he didn't hug."

"ABM?"

"You ain't a 'hood rat, are ya? ABM. Angry black male."

"Spent my nine years in Devonshire, West Valley, and West L.A. before I transferred here last month. ABMs ain't never been filed on my desktop, bro."

"Then don't go to a police commission or council meeting. ABMs are in charge. But we don't have hardly any living in Hollywood. In fact, nowadays most of south L.A. is Latino, even Watts."

"I been reading that the entire inner city is mostly Latino. Where the fuck have the brothers gone to? I wonder. And why is everybody worrying about the black vote if they're all moving to the suburbs? They better worry about the Latino vote, because they got the mayor's office now and they're about one generation away from reclaiming California and making us do the gardening."

"You married? And which number is it?"

"Just escaped from number two. She was Druid-like but not as cuddly. One daughter three years old. Lives with Momma, whose lawyer won't be satisfied till I'm homeless on the beach eating seaweed." "Is number one still at large?"

"Yeah, but I don't have to pay her nothing. She took my car, though. You?"

"Divorced also. Once. No kids. Met my ex in a cop bar in North Hollywood called the Director's Chair. She wore a felonious amount of pancake. Looked too slutty for the Mustang Ranch and still I married her. Musta been her J Lo booty."

"Starter marriages never work for cops. You don't have to count the first one, bro. So how do we play pit bull polo without horses? And where do we play?"

"I know just the place. Get the expandable baton outta my war bag."

The Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13, began at Los Angeles High School less than twenty years earlier but was now said to have ten thousand members throughout the United States and seven hundred thousand in Central American countries. Many residents of state prison displayed tattoos saying "MS" or "MS-13." It was an MS-13 crew member who was stopped on a street in North Hollywood in 1991 by Officer Tina Kerbrat, a rookie just months out of the LAPD academy, who was in the process of writing him a citation for drinking in public, nothing more than that, when the MS-13 "cruiser" shot her dead. The first LAPD woman officer to be murdered in the line of duty.

Later that evening a besieged Mexican resident living east of Gower Street called Hollywood Station to say that she saw an LAPD black-and-white with lights out driving loops around a dirty pink apartment building that she had reported to the police on several occasions as being full of Mara Salvatrucha gang members.

On the other occasions, the officers at the desk kept trying to explain to the Mexican woman about gang injunctions and probable cause, things she did not understand and that did not exist in her country. Things that apparently denied protection to people like her and her children from the criminals in that ugly pink building. She told the officer about how their vicious dogs had mauled and killed a collie belonging to her neighbor Irene, and how all the children were unable to walk safely in the streets. She also said that two of the dogs had been removed by people from the city pound but there were still enough left. More than enough.

The officers told her they were very sorry and that she should contact the Department of Animal Services.

The Mexican woman had been watching a Spanish-language channel and was almost ready for bed when she first heard the howling that drew her to the window. There she saw the police car with lights out, speeding down the alley next to the apartment building, being pursued by four or five barking dogs. On its second pass down the alley, she saw the driver lean out the window and swing something that looked like a snooker stick at one of the brutes, sending it yelping and running back into the pink building. Then the car made another loop and did it to another big dog, and the driver yelled something that her daughter heard from the porch.

Her daughter stumbled sleepily into the tiny living room and said in English, "Mamá, does chukker mean something very bad, like the F word?"

The Mexican woman called Hollywood Station and spoke to a very senior sergeant whom all the cops called the Oracle. She wanted to say thank you for sending the officers with the snooker stick. She was hopeful that things might improve around the neighborhood. The Oracle was puzzled but thought it best not to question her further. He simply said that he was glad to be of service.

When 6-X-32's lights were back on and they were cruising Hollywood Boulevard, the driver said, "Dude, right there's where my career with the Mounted Platoon ended. That's where I decided that overtime pay or not, I was going back to normal patrol."

His partner looked to his right and said, "At Grauman's Chinese Theater?"

"Right there in the courtyard. That's where I learned that you never ride a horse on the Hollywood Walk of Fame." "Bad juju?"

"Bad footing."

Sid Grauman's famous theater seemed somehow forlorn these days, dwarfed and sandwiched by the Hollywood & Highland Center, better known as the Kodak Center, containing two blocks of shopping and entertainment. It was home to the Kodak Theatre and the Academy Awards and was overrun by tourists day and night. But the Chinese Theater still held its own when it came to Hollywood weirdness. Even this late, there were a number of costumed creatures posing for photos with tourists who were mainly photographing the shoe and handprints in the famous forecourt. Among the creatures were Mr. Incredible, Elmo, two Darth Vaders, Batman, and two Goofys, one short, one tall.

"They pose with tourists. Pix for bucks," the driver said to his partner. "The tourists think the creatures work for Grauman's, but they don't. Most of them're crackheads and tweakers. Watch little Goofy."

He braked, making the nighttime traffic go around their black-and-white. They watched the shorter of the two Goofys hassling four Asian tourists who no doubt had refused to pay him for taking his photo or hadn't paid enough. When Goofy grabbed one of the two Asian men by the arm, the cop tooted his horn. When Goofy looked up and saw the black-and-white, he gave up panhandling for the moment and tried to disappear into the throng, even though his huge Goofy head loomed over all but the tallest tourist.

The driver said, "The subway back there is a good escape route to the 'hood. Dealers hang out by the trains, and the hooks hang around the boulevard."

"What's a hook?"

"A guy that approaches you and says, 'I can hook you up with what you need.' These days it's almost always crystal. Everybody's tweaking. Meth is the drug of choice on the Hollywood streets, absolutely." And that made him think of his last night at Metro, which was followed by the replacement surgery and a right hip more accurate than a barometer when it came to predicting sudden temperature drops and wind-chill factor.

On that last night in the Mounted Platoon, he and another mounted cop were there for crowd suppression, walking their horses along Hollywood Boulevard all calm and okey-dokey, along the curb past the Friday-night mobs by the subway station, moseying west, when he spotted a hook looking very nervously in their direction.

He'd said to his partner, who was riding a mare named Millie, "Let's jam this guy."

He dismounted and dropped his get-down rope. His partner held both horses and he approached the hook on foot. The hook was a sweaty, scrawny white guy, very tall, maybe even taller than he was, though his LAPD Stetson and cowboy boots made him tower. That's when it all went bad.

"I was talking to a hook right about there," he said to his partner now, pointing to the sidewalk in front of the Kodak Center. "And the dude just turned and rabbitted. Zip. Like that. And I started after him, but Major freaked."

"Your partner?"

"My horse. He was fearless, Major was. Dude, I'd seen him chill in training when we were throwing firecrackers and flares at him. I'd seen other horses rear up on their hind legs and do a one-eighty while Major stood his ground. But not that night. That's the thing about horses, they're assholes, man."

"What'd he do?"

"First, Major reared clear up tall and crazy. Then he bit my partner on the arm. It was like somebody cranked up his voltage. Maybe a tweaker shot him with a BB gun, I don't know. Anyways, I stopped chasing the hook, fuck him, and ran back to help my partner. But Major wouldn't calm down until I made like I was going to climb in the saddle. Then I did something very stupid."

"What's that?"

"I climbed in the saddle, intending to ride him back to the trailer and call it a night. I did that instead of leading him back, which anybody without brain bubbles woulda done under the circumstances."

"So?"

"He freaked again. He took off. Up onto the sidewalk."

The moment would be with him forever. Galloping along the Walk of Fame, kicking up sparks and scattering tourists and panhandlers and purse snatchers and tweakers and pregnant women and costumed nuns and SpongeBob and three Elvises. Clomping over top of Marilyn Monroe's star or James Cagney's or Elizabeth Taylor's or fucking Liberace's or whoever was there on this block of the Walk of Fame because he didn't know who was there and never checked later to find out.

Cursing the big horse and hanging on with one hand and waving the creepy multitudes out of his way with the other. Even though he knew that Major could, and had, run up a flight of concrete steps in his long career, he also knew that neither Major nor any horse belonging to the Mounted Platoon could run on marble, let alone on brass inserts on that marble sidewalk where people spilled their Starbucks and Slurpees with impunity. No horse could trample Hollywood legends like that, so maybe it was the bad juju. And very suddenly Major hydroplaned in the Slurpees and just ... went ... down.

His partner interrupted the sweat-popping flashback. "So what happened, bro? After he took off with you?"

"First of all, nobody got hurt. Except Major and me."

"Bad?"

"They say I ended up in John Wayne's boot prints right there in Grauman's forecourt. They say the Duke's fist print is there too. I don't remember boots or fists or nothing. I woke up on a gurney in an RA with a paramedic telling me yes I was alive, while we were screaming code three to Hollywood Pres. I had a concussion and three cracked ribs and my bad hip, which was later replaced, and everybody said I was real lucky."

"How about the nag?"

"They told me Major seemed okay at first. He was limping, of course. But after they trailered him back to Griffith Park and called the vet, he could hardly stand. He was in bad shape and got worse. They had to put him down that night." And then he added, "Horses are such assholes, man."

When his partner looked at the driver, he thought he saw his eyes glisten in the mix of light from the boulevard-fluorescence and neon, headlights and taillights, even reflected glow from a floodlight shooting skyward-announcing to all: This is Hollywood! But all that light spilling onto them changed the crispness of their black-and-white to a wash of bruised purple and sickly yellow. His partner wasn't sure, but he thought the driver's chin quivered, so he pretended to be seriously studying the costumed freaks in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Hollywood Station by Joseph Wambaugh Copyright © 2006 by Joseph Wambaugh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hollywood Station (Hollywood Station Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
divadog More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the characters and the gradual plot development in this book. You start out with seeming disconnected threads that this master writer weaves together into an exciting tale. The characters are fascinating, multi-dimensional and not mere caricatures of stereotypes. This was just a fun read that was difficult to put down. It's the kind of book you want to keep reading and yet hate to have end. Definitely worth your time and money!
Camsgrand2001 More than 1 year ago
I have loved Wambaugh's stories since "The Onion Field", and this was so funny and exciting. The book is based on stories from actual policemen. There wasn't a bad scenerio in the entire book. Sorry when I finished it.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Actor Adam Grupper's credits are impressive and varied. His Broadway appearances include Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, 45 Seconds From Broadway, Guys and Dolls, City of Angels and Into the Woods. Film goers have seen him in Two Weeks Notice and Runs in the Family, while tv viewers watched him on The Sopranos, Law & Order plus numerous other programs. He brings his breadth of artistic experience to his narration of this compelling police novel, rendering a full throttle voice performance that keeps listeners on the edges of their chairs. With 'Hollywood Station' Wambaugh is back with all the hell for leather writing he produced some 35 years ago in 'The New Centurions' and 'The Choirboys.' His pen is as sharp as ever, but the L.A.P.D. is not at all what it once was. After the Rodney King brouhaha the department is now under an ever watchful eye, an eye that tends to keep a choke hold the force. Listeners also cruise the streets of a Hollywood very different from the one Wambaugh described in the past - it's stranger, more frightening, and peopled with the detritus of humankind. The police are led by a veteran officer called the Oracle. He tends to pair an experienced cop with a newbie as they're sent out on shifts. These pairs speak the language of the streets and are often a source of humor. There are Flotsam and Jetsam - you guessed it, surfers in their spare time. A 30-some wannabe actor rides with a wealthy fellow who wants some action in his life, and a miniature Japanese woman is paired with a tall black bruiser. Once deployed and cruising it seems to them that every nut in the world has migrated to the dark streets of Hollywood where meth addicts prowl and grisly crimes no longer shock. Wambaugh's characters are sharply etched, unforgettable. There's action galore ranging from a jewel heist to vicious fights to death around the corner. A former L.A.P.D. detective, Joseph Wambaugh knows his territory well his on target observations are both moving and frightening. He's in top form and we say 'Welcome back, you've been gone for far too long!' - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
obi-wan-vernobi More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a four part series...and here is hoping there are many more. This is an excellent introduction to the author's patented combination of off-beat yet endearing characters, pathos, humor and gut wrenching "real-life" situations. I have been reading Mr. Wambaugh's books going all the way back, and I was especially excited when I discovered that he had decided to make "Hollywood" into a series, I truly look forward to each new chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was so real I could feel myself riding in the car with these Officers. The series is a MUST read. I WANT A BOOK 5!!!!!! The charactors are funny, sympathetic and REAL. Anyone who is in law enforcement HAS to read this. Ive been looking for another series to read since finishing Stephen Canells "Shane Scully" series and I was not disappointed. Please Sgt Wambaugh...make this on ongoing series. I WANT MORE HOLLYWOOD!!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Southern California between losing experienced cops to the military call up of the reserves and funding reductions by the same politicians who howl that the streets are unsafe, LAPD Hollywood Station cannot perform the mission. Learning from DC, however, no one in positions of leadership want to know any of that as all plans to fix shortages are strategic so that they come under someone else's future watch.------------- In that mess, the cops are forced to work with street gangs, meth heads, the homeless, the rich and famous, and the Russian mafia. To survive under the intense view of the community seeking (and hoping for personal gain) to find abuse and errors the cops fake reports of interviews whenever they racially or economically need to balance their worksheets. The only thing that keeps the station from total collapse is the Oracle, a veteran sergeant, who can make a gourmet dinner out of chicken salad (some might say chicken excrement) as he works the partnering and beats of a motley crew.------------------- More a series of vignettes than a cohesive novel, the tale focuses on how a police station copes with experience issues, money problems, and neighborhood mistrust in Joseph Wambaugh¿s excellent look at life in LAPD. The cast is top rate as the police run the gamut of characters from wannabe actors to wannabe surfers while the streets are filled with crazies and deadlies. Police procedural fans will want to read Mr. Wambaugh¿s fabulous tour of HOLLYWOOD STATION.----------------- Harriet Klausner
SofiaAndersson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ordinary cops patrolling the streets. No big mystery, serial killer etc. But it's wellwritten, well researched and good reading. This could be a nice tv-serie.
MarthaHuntley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Wambaugh books and hadn't read one in a long while, so I was happy to learn this one is no exception in being immensely enjoyable. I had the audio CD and it was perfect for in-the-car listening, very well narrated by Adam Grupper, who did an excellent job of making each character recognizable by their accent and intonation, bringing the book to life. Wambaugh is, of course, a first rate storyteller and he had a lot of Hollywood stories to tell in this one. His characters, both the bad guys and the good guys and girls, are delightfully, richly drawn and believable. The plot was good, the style better, the whole a wonderfully entertaining read. One of the strengths of Wambaugh as a crime writer is that he seems to have a sincere passion for justice, and his books tend to end on a most satisfying note. For me, it's on to the next Wambaugh read and I can hardly wait!
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe if I hadn't read The Choirboys earlier this year, it might not have been as noticeable, but this is very much written in the same style, but without as much of an in-depth detail of the police officers and a more than cursory glance at the criminals that crossed all their paths. Wambaugh has such a comedic bent, and a hilarious way with character names. Of course having been there himself, it shows with the the antics of the police and criminals, and he weaves a story that is completely believable.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Came hightly recommended, so perhaps my expectations were set too high, but this is a standard LA police procedural, didn't feel amazingly funny or ground breaking to me. Had standard cop characters, bit more gritty situations and a kind of ghoulish cop humor. Didn't love it, but read it on the airplane and it served it's purpose.
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a large set of characters with a very loose storyline. It takes a while to figure out how all the "vignettes" connect. Some parts were funny, some characters had a lot of potential, but I never really got into the overall book. Adam Grupper's narration was awesome, especially with all the characters and accents to keep track of. His portrayal of Farley Ramsdale, small-time crook and Meth addict, was hilarious. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I did not find Flotsam and Jetsam very appealing.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was really great. Different than other crime novels I've read lately, it focused more on the people than on the crime. Wambaugh grabbed me from the start with a fast-paced, no added narration dialogue between two cops forever known only as "Flotsam" and "Jetsam". From there you meet an increasingly colorful cast of characters that includes cops and criminals alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this sojourn to "Hollyweird".
WillyMammoth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joseph Wambaugh's "Hollywood Station" is a police procedural novel about, as the title would suggest, the Hollywood precinct of the L.A. Police Department. The book is composed of a multitude of stories and anecdotes, following various police officers from Hollywood Station, a pair of amateur Russian criminals, and a pair of bumbling meth heads. The main plot concerns the Russians and their trail of robbery and murder, but the plot thread is at times lost within the divers other subplots concerning the Hollywood Station officers.If there is a stand out feature in this novel, it's the characterization. Wambaugh does an amazing job of crafting interesting and vivid characters. I think I most enjoyed reading about the minutiae of police life and the interactions between the officers and the many humorous stories Wambaugh weaves into the narrative. The main plot thread may have been run-of-the-mill, but the characters made up for it.In short, "Hollywood Station" is a solid police procedural with a humorous slant. I would recommend it to any fan of the crime or mystery genre, but I have a feeling even those not accustomed to the genre would still find it enjoyable.
jenforbus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
HOLLYWOOD STATION is a novel following a multitude of officers and detectives from the Hollywood Division of the LAPD. The one plot line that extends the course of most of the book involves a jewelry theft that results from Crystal Meth addicts fishing mail out of public mailboxes and selling it to a Eastern European couple. There are also a plethora of small sub-story lines throughout the course of the novel. Some of the main players in this book include two police officers/surfer "dudes" referred to as Flotsam and Jetsam, veteran officer Fausto Gamboa, a new mother officer Budgie Polk, Hollywood Nate - the officer obsessed with being a movie star, Wesley Drubb - the son of a wealthy family who wanted the thrills of being a police officer, and the "Oracle" - the sergeant of Hollywood Division.Wambaugh seems to have a gift with creating his characters. The meth addict Farley was absolutely reprehensible. I truly disliked him. And Fausto I adored despite his curmudgeon exterior. Flotsam and Jetsam were hilarious, but at the same time they confused me. They were obviously exceptionally intelligent young men, so I couldn't figure out why they would act so incredibly goofy. So, there are multiple layers to these characters, a lot of dimension, and I connected with them. But what Wambaugh was thinking with the plot of this novel is beyond me. He obviously doesn't ascribe to Aristotle's belief that all the events need to be connected to the plot. The plot almost felt like an episode of Cops on television. I kept asking myself, "WHERE's the plot?" It took until disc five to figure out that the diamond theft was supposed to be the main focus of the book. There were so many small vignettes and most of those were left hanging. I was especially disappointed in the sub-plot dealing with the small children left alone in an apartment or when Flotsam and Jetsam fled a crime scene outside their district after shooting a treed suspect with a bean bag gun. There was no focus to the plot, and I wonder if Wambaugh didn't try to shove too many different characters into the book, without really focusing on any one. So instead, the plot ended up going off in all different directions following all these different characters in their day-to-day dealings. There were several parts that made me laugh hysterically. When Flotsam and Jetsam busted a guy with a bulge under his shirt. They made him raise his shirt and discovered a phone book the guy had taped to his chest - because someone was out to shoot him, and he didn't want to be unprotected! The one area that Wambaugh probably could have left alone was mixing idioms. There are several characters who are Eastern European and most all of them butchered American idioms at one point or another; however, the results weren't very funny. I listened to this book on audio and Adam Grupper was the reader. I enjoy his readings immensely. He's very talented with voices, and his energy comes through when he reads. He did an outstanding job.Overall, I think there could have been a lot of potential for a great book here, but the end product didn't live up to that potential. I was extremely disappointed.
brendajanefrank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hollywood Station is almost a collection of short stories containing the same primary characters. It is slices of life in the Hollywood Station of the LAPD, allowing us to experience both the unusual (but usual for Hollywood) incidents and the condition of being "on the job." We get a real sense of the lives of the individual officers as well as life in the station. Realistically portrays the comradery and sometimes sophomoric behavior of the officers at Hollywood Station, as well as compassion and bravery. I thoroughly enjoyed each chapter, finding the whole to be entertaining, realistic and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best of the series, I could not put it down!!
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*runs to res 1
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Compares favorably with Wambaugh's best, like The Glitter Dome and The Delta Star. Terrific characters, great cop talk and some gritty and other very funny vignettes wrapped around a somewhat slight tale of a jewel robbery and it's aftermath. Joe's still got it. Very enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a retired cop, I found this novel to be spot on in the realism that cops lives are full of. Dark humor, and well textured characters drive the theme of this book. This what has always put Wambaugh in a different class from other Police type novels. Since he was a cop himself, in LA, he has a unique perspective. I have read his books since the seventies. I am glad he returned to the LAPD novels. Good read.