adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $38.50

Buy for $38.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

January '42. L.A. reels behind the shock of Pearl Harbor. Local Japanese residents are rounded up and slammed behind bars. Massive thunderstorms hit the city. 

A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops tag it a routine dead-man job. They're wrong. It's an early-warning signal of chaos. 

There's a murderous fire and a gold heist. There's Fifth Column treason on American soil. There are homegrown Nazis, Commies, and race racketeers. It's populism ascendant. There's two dead cops in a dive off the jazz-club strip. And three men and one woman have a hot date with history. 

Elmer Jackson is a corrupt Vice cop. He's a flesh peddler and a bagman for the L.A. Chief of Police. Hideo Ashida is a crime-lab whiz, lashed by anti-Japanese rage. Dudley Smith is PD hardnose working Army Intelligence. He's gone rogue and gone all-the-way fascist. Joan Conville was born rogue. She's a defrocked Navy lieutenant and a war profiteer to her core. 

L.A. '42. Homefront madness. Wartime inferno - This Storm is James Ellroy's most audacious novel yet. It is by turns savage, tender, elegiac. It lays bare and celebrates crazed Americans of all stripes. It is a masterpiece. 

©2019 James Ellroy (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Craig Wasson mans the mic like a jazz poet in this second installment in James Ellroy's L.A. WWII trilogy. Wasson channels Ellroy's poetic ramblings into an audio cadence that sizzles with the slang and accents of wartime Los Angeles..... Wasson has narrated Ellroy previously, so he's familiar with characters such as corrupt cop Dudley Smith and Japanese forensics expert Hideo Ashida. Wasson's reading delivers Ellroy's lyricism but also presents the harsh language of humanity's underbelly." (AudioFile Magazine) 

What listeners say about This Storm

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    14
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    10
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    68
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    15

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pulp. Mucho Pulp. Too much pulp.

I'm a fan of Ellroy. This one was just okay. The writing felt overly pulpy even for Ellroy. I never quite connected to the characters and story like I have with other books. I found my mind wandering at certain points. If you are a fan of Ellroy you'll probably like this.

Craig Wasson gave an okay read. But he's no Christopher Lane - the guy who read American tabloid.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

all frosting, no cake.

It becomes quite a mess in the middle third of the book, like every Ellroy novel since The Cold Six Thousand.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ellroy Doing Ellroy -- Dig It

At this point, Ellroy is an acquired taste…one I have certainly acquired.

I can start to describe the plot here, but, truth be told, that’s secondary. Ellroy deals with plot like Coltrane dealt with melody. It matters – it underscores everything – but it often becomes secondary to his riffs and improvisations.

Above all, you read Ellroy for the music. I listened to this one and paper-read (“eye-cameraed” or “peeped” to steal from the master) the last, and the effect is the same. I’ll go long stretches without quite paying attention to what’s happening just to be caught up in the effect of his prose.

There’s no easy way to describe what he does and what its effect is, so I say just turn yourself over to it and read. Sometimes it’s the Tommy-Gun fusillade of short, declarative sentences. Sometimes it’s the deep play on words, three-quarters found and one-quarter invented from his idiosyncratic mixture of jazz-speak, Yiddish, and thieves cant. And sometimes it’s just a quick and clever gut punch. My favorite example of that here comes when Dudley Smith tells ‘journalist’ Sid Hutchens what to say in his publication: “He abridged his Fifth Amendment rights.”

In any case, that’s where the fun is. I think in any case that Ellroy is expecting most of us to get lost in what’s happening. One of his quirks in this one is to repeat (quickly) large stretches of what a character already knows. It’s like a quick catch-up opportunity, and you can be sure I took advantage of it.

There is a potentially thrilling plot here, and I spent some time trying to imagine what the late, gifted Curtis Hanson might have done if he’d taken a shot at filming a second Ellroy after L.A. Confidential. Heavy rains bring an abandoned coffin to the surface, and the body inside helps spark an investigation around a decade-old gold heist and major L.A. fire. Several murders later, we’re thigh-deep in World War II Fifth Column stuff, and Dudley – that beautiful bastard of a human being – is trying to triple-profit on extorting Japanese-Americans bound for internment, exploiting undocumented Mexican immigrants who’ll take their jobs, and smuggling heroin across the border in the trucks he’ll be using.

There are many others in a cast that’s flat-out bewildering – bewildering even for someone like me who’s got most of Ellroy’s related work under my belt already. Lee Blanchard, Buzz Meeks, Claire DeHaven, Hideo Ashida, Elmer Jackson, and a host of others swirl around. We get the action through third-person limited omniscience in almost every case (we do get nice interludes from Kay Lake’s diary for punctuation) with the result that there are a lot of stops-and-starts as well as recaps along the way.

I don’t think this is quite Ellroy at his best. The L.A. Quartet stuff is great (at least Big Nowhere and L.A. Confidential) because you can see him inventing the method. (If you’ve read some of his earlier work – like some of the Lloyd Hopkins, it’s all the clearer to see how he made himself into a real master from what was otherwise just pedestrian stuff.) The Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy is probably his most sustained period of greatness because, with the method figured out, he sets out to show how the America we know is the product of some pretty debased people. It’s bleak and beautiful, and easy just to get lost in.

This second L.A. Quartet – which precedes the first chronologically – seems to know more of what it’s supposed to be doing without quite finding the ambition of the Underworld U.S.A. stuff. I very much enjoyed Perfidia, and I think this one is almost as good, but I’m less surprised by Ellroy with these. He isn’t breaking new ground as a stylist – though, he’s got the style mastered – and he’s revisiting characters whose fate we should already know. And there’s also the matter of his sometimes calling on his characters to act out of character for effect. Hideo is the best lab tech in the country; why would it serve anyone to have him facing shotguns?

Anyway, my only real disappointment with this one is that it’s over already. Listening to it was a deep pleasure. Maybe, since there are moments I just let slide by me, I’ll give this one another listen before long again.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best narration I'vd heard (500+ audible books)

Raw, complex and enlighting story told in Ellroy's fierce straight-ahead style. It engaged me from the get-go. Wasson's narration is the best I've heard in more than a decade as an Audible listener. He brings each of Ellroy's many characters to life.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Set up your lawn chair in the gutter,watch the sho

If you like soggy cigarette butts from the gutter and cheap whore's perfume, this book is for you.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not for the faint of heart

The Demon Dog of LA noir is back. This Storm feels like a Tarantino film transmogrified to the page. Its 26 hours of unrelenting extreme violence, racism, complex corruption, and worldwide destruction. Its certainly the most absurd and over the top Ellroy has ever been, and the least grounded in reality. I personally loved that, but I could see it being off-putting to hear about Himmler bathing in virgin Jewish blood or nazi orgies. Craig Wasson is a masterful storyteller and his inflections and emphasis make the story land 10 times harder. I can't recommend it enough, but know what you're getting yourself in to.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

This... trash

Ellroy's better days are behind him. His stories have always been brutal and ugly, but at least he could grip and compel you in the actual tale he was telling
Now, he just mindlessly and incoherently rambles on and on. I truly believe that all he does now is vicariously live out his own racist, violent, and sexual perverse fantasies through his, "stories". I think I'm done with this guy.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Impossible to listen to.

This is by far the worst audiobook I have ever listened to. The narrator is awful and the story is worse. Every sentence clipped. Like. He. Couldn’t. Think. Of. Any. Other. Way. To. Write. And. Not. Just. Once. In. A. While. But. Every. Damn. Sentence. Fragmented.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ellroy has stopped being a crime writer

Listened for 3h, going back several times but just couldn't get this going for me. Ellroy these days writes like he is making Ellroy parodies. His style is so burdened by inconsequential detail and names that provide nothing. The dialogue is as sharp as ever but that is little comfort.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

Ellroy is just pure fun. The plots are as thick as anything Raymond Chandler ever conceived. Anyone who has read him knows his unique, characteristic syntax. It is part of the joy one has when reading him. The narrator brings the subtleties of each character to life. Dudley Smith’s brogue is right on, and I have to say that he seems to be channeling a young Jack Nicholson when he voices Ed Satterly. The overly politically correct should be warned that almost all the characters are bigots One way or another. Their dialogue more than reflects this. Be prepared.