The 1992 Los Angeles Riots: six days of looting, arson, assault, and murder. America's second largest city in chaos.
In All Involved Ryan Gattis weaves a heart-stopping narrative from the perspectives of characters whose stories of the riots were never told. In six sections, each covering a single day, we follow the intersecting lives of 17 people: gang members, firefighters, nurses, law enforcement officers, and graffiti artists, every one changed for ever.
Though the events of All Involved are fictional, every word is infused with authenticity and intimacy. A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as the television seriesThe Wire, this is a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty.
©2015 Ryan Gattis; 2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
"All Involved is a symphonic, pitch-perfect, superlative novel. It swallowed me whole." (David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas)
"[All Involved] is overwhelmingly physical. It winds you in the gut and blasts you in the brain… Several days on from reading it and I'm still reeling." (Independent)
"This novel is so blood-soaked that if you sprayed it with luminol, it would glow like a beacon" (Sunday Express)
"An ambitious novel’ (The Sunday Times)
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Yes, it was an engrossing listen with realistic and complex characters. I'm sure than one would uncover more insight into the story and characters on an additional listen.
For me the most memorable moment was how Payasa, Ernie's sister, reacts when she sees his body and covers his face. This moving scene demonstrated the love that she has for her brother, and reflects her humanity beneath her "tough guy" exterior.
Gloria was my favourite character, as she was the one that I identified with the most.
I was hesitant when I purchased this book, but soon found myself engrossed by the story. It is a great listen and was well worth the credit. The narrators all did an excellent job.
"So glad I read this book"
Pacey. Tragic. Real.
Reading a line that revealed the age of one of the characters.
The accents & excellent dramatization add to the books authenticity/believability.
Read the book first.
I couldn't put this down. Looking forward to Ryan Gattis next book.
"More like the movies"
Well, it's not a bad book, but it's not a good book either. I haven't completed it yet but already i feel I can write something about it. Set during a riot in Los Angeles this book might be set anywhere during any six days of any month, week or year. I don't feel connected with this book at all. It's a drama and the writing is appalling but then told in the first person it's likely that the characters did talk the way it's written. There's a lot of plain talk and expletives so if you're squeamish about that kind of thing don't read this. The book feels like it's a movie set minus the extras. There's really nobody about and no resistance to the events narated. You feel remote from it all and the rioting is merely incidental to what would have or could have happened anyway. No I'd never read another book by this author again. The narators do a pretty good job though with all the Spanish, at least i think they do. I don't speak spanish myself.
"Come at the king, you best not miss."
I feel somewhat duped with this one after I read the publisher's summary, in particular "A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as the television seriesThe Wire, this is a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty."
As a self confessed wire fanboy this was enough for me to give it a go. However, It was a hard slog with very little reward for me. Firstly I must mention that this isn't really about the Rodney King L.A riots, this is the back drop to the story of south central cholo gang warfare and revenge. Which itself is still an exciting premise but something just doesn't quite work for me. I felt the characters were for the most part very similar with very little to differentiate between them and at times came across as stereotypes and caricatures.
Unlike the wire, all the pieces did not matter. Sections of the book that at the time appeared to be leading somewhere ended up being mostly redundant filler.
I've not read many books that touch upon this subject matter and this hasn't put me off despite its shortcomings. There are great moments in the book but the wire comparison was a kiss of death for me, perhaps if it weren't for this I wouldn't have had such high expectations and would not have judged it so harshly.
"As LA burns, you can almost feel the heat"
An intense, claustrophobic listen that takes you on a no-holds-barred tour of the 1992 LA riots, switching perspective between gangsters, police, firefighters and innocent victims. The novel is ambitious in scope: 17 different first person narrators, with just one chapter each to make their mark; and the execution is superb: an intertwining plot that never lets up or flinches from the brutal violence and complex morality. The author apparently spent several years talking to the real people on whom the characters are based, and it shows. The dialogue is sharp, credible and at times surprisingly touching. And the multitude of different voices means it works brilliantly in audio.
"Not for me"
Just didn't do it for me - suitably atmospheric but didn't seem to go very far, very quickly (I quit half way through ).
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