Friday, 15 May 2009
Loser’s Town by Daniel Depp
Simon & Schuster
Daniel Depp? I know that name!
Johnny’s big brother, indeed.
Oooh, a babe?
Mmwell, when the talents were divvied up in Clann Depp, Johnny got a fair share of the handsome gene. Daniel has more of a Bilbo Baggins look - if you like ‘em short, plump and beardy, he’s the man for you. But he has a lovely personality.
Hmm. Can he write?
Hilarious and dark and heroic. ‘Loser’s Town’ is Hollywood - and Depp knows La-La-Land from the inside. As one of the characters, a gangster turned producer, says: “Movies make heroin and cocaine look like child’s play.”
Yeah, yeah. But is Johnny in it?
Heavens, no. Just a superstar called Bobby Dye.
Bobby Dye, Johnny Depp. No resemblance
Actually, no. Johnny Depp is a nice guy, from all accounts. Bobby is a weak little sniveller who’ll compromise his every friend for the sake of his career. And Hollywood is run by the Mafia.
So far, so noir
Yeah. Bobby’s getting death threats - “You’re going to Die, Dye!” So our hero - tall, taciturn, rock-like white knight David Spandau, a heartbroken former stunt man who’s now a detective - is brought in to help.
All so typically American
Ah, but there’s an Irish angle. Spandau’s sidekick is wee Terry from Derry, who learned martial arts in the IRA -
- and now lives on a houseboat in Ventura, listening to Bach and reading Tolkien and longing for love. And overcoming big guys with magical kung-fu grace.
My kinda guy
Don’t get too attached. I warned you it was noir. But the writing is gorgeous. When a criminal psycho meets the girl he loves as he’s on his way to do a murder, he “felt happiness come over him like a cool mist”.
And funny too?
Really funny - full of bitchy cracks and crazy scenarios, and you like the characters - even the creepos. And written like a bullet: hard and fast.
Run, don’t walk, and be first to grab it before it goes.