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批評家のレビュー

" Perfidia is a brilliant, breakneck ride. Nobody except James Ellroy could pull this off. He doesn't merely write - he ignites and demolishes." (Carl Hiaasen)
"A return to the scene of Ellroy's greatest success and a triumphant return to form. ... His character portrayals have never been more nuanced or - dare we say it - sympathetic. ... A disturbing, unforgettable, and inflammatory vision of how the men in charge respond to the threat of war. It's an ugly picture, but just try looking away." ( Booklist)
"A sprawling, uncompromising epic of crime and depravity." ( Publishers Weekly)

あらすじ・解説

It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans - but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins.

The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He's superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith - Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. Kay Lake is a 21-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls - comrades, rivals, lovers, history's pawns.

Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America's ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel.

©2014 James Ellroy (P)2014 Random House Audio

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絞り込み:
  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charles LaBorde
  • 2015/01/05

A Masterpiece of Writing and Narration

Many reviewers have loathed this book, especially in its printed version. Admittedly, James Ellroy is an acquired taste, but one I fully embraced years ago. I've read every one of his novels, essays, short stories, and have found them a difficult journey worth taking. Perfidia is not the place to start, but it is more accessible than Ellroy at his most terse, such as White Jazz or The Cold Six Thousand. That being said, this first volume in his new LA Quartet is nothing short of a violent, rabid masterpiece--an over the top prose poem to violence and debauchery.

And while the novel is great by itself, it is made so much more vivid and memorable by the masterful Craig Wasson in what I believe is the single best audio book performance I have ever heard.

I read the book on the Kindle with the Audible book being read by Wasson simultaneously for one of the great reading / listening experiences of my life.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Augie
  • 2014/12/29

Narrator Craig Wasson is a treasure!

I've listened to Craig Wasson narrate "The Cold Six Thousand" and "Blood's a Rover." He was fantastic, but he's even better here! His characterization of Dudley Smith is particularly good.

If you like Ellroy's Underworld USA Trilogy, you'll like "Perfedia." Its plot isn't as "driving" as other Ellroy novels, but it makes up for it with riveting characters.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 2014/10/04

Rough beginning, softer landing

Any additional comments?


Out of the gate, this was a rough listen. The first section of the book was off-putting to the point where I nearly cashed it in. I am very glad I did not. The listen smoothed out shortly after the open and evolves in to a really good listen. In my opinion, there are likable though multi-flawed characters, a very good story line, and good narration. (Note: the narrator is the same on another great listen of 11/22/63 by Stephen King).

I look forward to the follow up books in this four-part series.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018/04/14

Good performance, with a caveat

Narrator captures the hard boiled style without overdoing it, and his word emphasis helps with following Ellroys typically labyrinthine plot. But his accents, especially Chinese, Japanese and Irish are borderline stereotypical.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • YT
  • 2015/09/20

Outstanding

You simply cannot go wrong with James Ellroy narrated by Craig Wasson. I would never have imagined that a novel about Los Angeles immediately after Pearl Harbor could be so fascinating.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Jeanne Reynales
  • 2015/03/27

Spot on reader!

Mr. Wasson perfectly captured the vocals. 1941 Los Angeles history was captivating for me. I look forward to the next in the trilogy.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BarelyAudible
  • 2014/12/29

Strong performance. Poor ending

Great reading.

Originally - throughout the first 2/3 of the book I was really impressed how Elroy could write a prequel to some of his other books light the Black Dahlia and LA Confidential and actually add to the characters' depth. But the last 1/4 of the book pretty much falls apart and we're left with a preposterous ending.

Too bad. I like Elroy's writing style, but it feels like he paints himself into a plot corner and uses dumb plot ideas to resolve.

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • al
  • 2015/05/09

hope it gets better

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

not sure who would enjoy the first 20 chapters that I've read so far. Maybe someone who enjoys the uncertainty and confusion of a funhouse hall of mirrors. Too many characters with no exposition or relatively little. Can't tell which of the many characters is talking most of the time. Very abrupt and ambiguous transitions from narration to narration. Instead of being shadowy and gritty and LA Confidential like which is what it seems to be aspiring to be, it's just dark and confusing.

Would you ever listen to anything by James Ellroy again?

Absolutely not.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Craig Wasson?

Probably. He has a good range of vocal tones and shading which was useful since it's the only way I've been able to determine which character is which. Character interpretations are pretty good. Narrative tone between dialogue is a bit slow and draggy rather than being dramatic and interesting.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was free.

Any additional comments?

i repeat - Hope it gets better.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Todd F.
  • 2020/12/21

i usually love this author's work.

this was a very complex book wher
e i not only struggled to keep up with the characters and very complex, i think, story. it was hard to stay interested.
the racism is tough. the language is rough in ways where it really doesn't propel the story.
i didn't enjoy this one very much.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stefan Filipovits
  • 2020/10/26

City Of Monsters

I’ve been a certified noir-junkie since I saw The Maltese Falcon at twelve years old. I began my lifelong addiction following the exploits of Mike Hammer and Philip Marlowe but It wasn’t until I discovered James Ellroy that I became what addicts call a “lifer”. No one refined the genre quite like he did. The common and familiar tropes were all there but Ellroy always managed to do something new and unique with them. With Ellroy the stalwart partner is actually a rogue criminal, the innocent victim is a pathological liar, the supportive father figure is the most despicable human you’ll ever meet. He consistently blew my mind and kept me guessing as he created diamonds from the rough coal of genre cliché. His characters are obsessed, driven, and implacable. His stories are complex, dark, and even scary. So much so that I found myself consistently unable to stop reading. Ellroy continues that tradition with Perfidia.
One of the things I enjoyed most about Perfidia was the reintroduction to familiar characters. Guys and dolls from his original LA Quartet series abound, as well as familiar faces from his Underworld USA trilogy. These are not just casual references or cameos either, far from it, these are detailed and intricate developments of characters like Bucky Bleichert, Kay Lake, and Lee Blanchard (from The Black Dahlia). One of Perfidia’s greatest feats however, is the exploration of noir literatures biggest villain: Captain Dudley Smith. Practiced Ellroy readers will be familiar with the Mephitic police Captain from LA Confidential and casuals might remember him from the film adaptation where he was played to perfection by James Cromwell. In Perfidia we see Dudley in all his hellish glory as he investigates the cold butchery of a Japanese family on the literal eve of Pearl Harbor. It’s impossible not to be disgusted and consumed with him as he consolidates his power, ensures his rise through the ranks of the LAPD, and ruthlessly profits from the post Pearl Harbor chaos.
While Perfidia was addicting from word one for me, I do have some caveats and criticisms. For one, Ellroy seems to be suffering from GRRM-itis in that he seems more and more unable to trim the fat of his stories. There are a few too many superfluous side-plots that could probably use another edit or could be excised entirely. Second, the casual racism, homophobia, and misogyny of his earlier stories, which felt organic to their setting, at a certain point becomes excessive. I’m not talking about the unfortunately all too real and common prejudices of the time and setting of the stories. I’m talking about the excessive, needless, and try-hard nature of those prejudices in his current books. It doesn’t feel organic anymore, it just feels like someone needlessly and thoughtlessly trolling. If those admittedly disgusting bigotries offend you then you might want to give this novel a pass. Third, there’s some odd world-building in this story that doesn’t gel or feel organic. For example, the titular victim of one Ellroy novel is actually the secret daughter of a character in another. He’s sort of tying ends that were never loose to begin with. Random historical figures jump in and out of the narrative as well and at a certain point it becomes rather comical. Fourth, gone is the nuance and “living in the grey” nature of his earlier books. While his protagonists were always flawed most of them tried to do the right thing as they saw it. In Perfidia, there’s no white or grey, there’s just black. Everyone is a monster. Finally, I think a different narrator would’ve been better suited to the material. Noir stories require a certain style and edge and this narrator simply has neither. On top of that, some of the voices just become rather laughable. Sid Hudgens from LA Confidential sounds like Larry David impersonating Bernie Sanders, Bucky Bleichert from The Black Dahlia sounds like Apocalypse Now-era Marlon Brando, and his Asian American characters sound like Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
With all of that said I’m glad I listened to Perfidia. It’s not Ellroy’s best work but it is undeniably good noir. He’s considered a master of the genre for a reason and I can state unequivocally that he hasn’t lost his touch.