Saturday, July 11, 2009
Nobody Move: Neo-Noir With a Twist
I recently read Denis Johnson's new Nobody Move, and posted the following mini-review on my Living Social/books page.
This unexpected left turn from acclaimed author Denis Johnson has to count as one of the darkest, fastest-moving and most vivid crime novels I've read in a long while - sort of like Elmore Leonard, except with more flesh on those bones and more "literary" (that's not at all a dis on Leonard, a longtime favorite of mine).
Protagonist Jimmy Luntz is a gambler with a passion for barbership singing (goofy, but it works) and a real problem - he owes a heavy gambling debt to some very bad people. The twist here, too, is the fact that the novel is pure neo-noir - crackling tough-guy dialogue, bleak outlook, a beautiful but dangerous woman, rain-slicked streets - but set in the contemporary West. That aspect of it reminded me of the underappreciated John Dahl film Red Rock West.