THE CHOIRBOYS by Joseph Wambaugh


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"You got balls like a elephant and a whang like a ox. . . ." "Her ass is so big she has to sit down in shifts" (this is one of the few out of the hundreds of gross remarks which you might find funny). . . . "How'd you like a shirt full of vomity squid" . . . or maybe a book full of vomity squid and other kinds of blue knights from the LAPD with assorted monikers like Suckass Sneed and Spermwhale or The Gook and The Spook. They work in teams of two by day and at night hold choir practices in the park with engrained rings around their collars instead of ruffs. These get-togethers consist of gripe sessions, sodden drunks on the liquor they've been freeloading, sex in seriatim with two inordinately capacious sluts, and practical jokes which sometimes misfire, like the time they accidentally shoot a fruit. Of course after making their daily rounds they may need a little relaxation: one of them drives a jumper over the ledge; another uncovers a long dead tenant covered with rat bites in a basement; another, a child sliced up like a London broil--or how about the infant carried around by a pair of pliers clamped to his penis? Only one of them, Baxter Slate, shows a streak of humanity and he all too justifiably kills himself. This is after one of their most successful encounter groups when the dick of Roscoe Pules (he "unconsciously" fingers his pulltoy at all times) is fed to a duck. Certainly not for William Holden, possibly for Charles Bronson--a brutal, brutalizing book-a obscenity in a toilet stall, a old centurion's duck soup?
Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1975
ISBN: 0385341601
Page count: 413pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1975


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