Re: RARA-AVIS: Blonde Lightning

From: Nathan Cain (
Date: 15 Oct 2007

Thanks for mentioning Lankford's novel. I had been looking for something completely off my radar to read, because I've been in kind of a rut lately, reading the same authors over and over, and this seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. I checked Earthquake Weather and Blonde Lightning out of the library this weekend. I've finished EW, and I thought it was quite good. Both the setting and characters reminded me of Robert Ferrigno, although Ferrigno tends to use burnt out journalists as opposed to burnt out movie types (although there was that one where Ferrigno had a character similar to McCoy who got killed, can't remember what it was off the top of my head.) Anyway, I'm about to start Blonde Lightning and I have high hopes.

On 10/12/07, <> wrote:
> so I had been happily reading a few chapters of Ken Bruen's The Guards
> every
> evening before turning in, enjoying the man's liquid prose style, when I
> made
> the big mistake of cracking open Terrill Lankford's Blonde Lightning and
> proceeded to lose two work days
> I'm not necessarily a slow reader and Terrill's text goes down easy. but I
> kept finding myself re-reading so I could hear William Holden's voice in
> my
> head narrating it to me. because Blonde Lightning is a crime story in the
> same
> way that Sunset Blvd is. not a mystery per se, more of a very dark drama
> about the desperate individuals who are attracted to Hollywood like
> mayflies to
> a buglamp
> with similar results
> I have to cop to the fact that Sunset Blvd is my favorite movie of all
> time
> and I identify with Joe Gillis the washed up screenwriter/gigolo to a
> pathetic
> degree. heck, the look in Ben Affleck's eye before he blows his brains out
> in Hollywoodland still haunts me months later. it's my default expression
> similarly, I find myself looking in a mirror as exiled development exec
> Mark
> Hayes clings to his sad little dream of making movies and haunts many of
> the
> same places I've found myself in late at night
> Blonde Lightning not only nails the personalities of those occupying the
> various social strata in our increasingly dysfunctional business, it also
> features
> a journalistic play by play of how a small, independent film is made, and
> the
> things that can go wrong. if you've ever been there, you can't help but
> nod
> your head and laugh
> and yet, the book is not the typical screed most Hollywood novels are.
> it's
> a riveting thriller, it is emotionally satisfying in a way that good drama
> is, and the plot is as tight as the jeans I used to wear back in the 70s.
> the
> depiction of Mexico as the end of the road is as vivid as Kent
> Harrington's
> Tijuana in Dios De Las Muertos. you can smell the dogshit baking in the
> sun.
> and finally, the denouement proves that you don't have to be dead, maimed
> or
> in jail at the end to be noir either
> sometimes getting what you want qualifies as well
> so, thank you Terrill for getting it right
> I still haven't finished reading The Guards
> John Lau
> **************************************
> See what's new at
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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