Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Earthquake Weather -- Terrill Lee Lankford

Some of you who know Terrill Lee Lankford from books like Shooters might be thinking that Earthquake Weather is something along the same line. You'd be wrong.

I suppose you could call
Earthquake Weather a crime novel, or even a mystery novel. There's a murder, and it's solved at the end of the book, but the murder and its investigation are secondary to the real subject of this book, which is Hollywood. And not just Hollywood but the people who inhabit it. Not the Big Guys, but the strugglers: the starlets who don't quite make it and turn to crack and sex, the schlock directors who just want to make money and don't give a damn about what kind of movies they make, the writers who burn out after seeing their ideas mangled one time too many, the low-level flunkies like Mark Hayes, the narrator, who's been going from job to job, waiting for the Big Break that will allow him to make movies. But who's going to hire a guy who's suspected of killing his latest boss?

If you're looking for a tour though some of the lower circles of Hell and don't want to dig out that copy of Dante's Inferno that you didn't read in college, you should grab Earthquake Weather and start reading. Nathanael West did Hollywood in the '30s about as well as it could be done. Lankford does the '90s and matches him stride for stride. Check it out.


Vince said...

I'll second you on EARTHQUAKE WEATHER. It's one of the best books I've read in the last few years. And the follow-up, BLONDE LIGHTNING, will be out any day.

Duane Swierczynski said...

I'll third you, Bill. I finished EARTHQUAKE WEATHER a few weeks ago, and it quickly became my favorite Hollywood-gone-to-hell novel. Full of great writing, genuine surprises, and even a crackin' whodunit. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Aldo said...

Ditto. I have read the ARC for BLOND LIGHTNING and its great. Lee warned all of us not to read the ARC because he rewrote 1/3 of it for the final version. Keep an eye on Lankford, his star is certain to rise!

Anonymous said...

Aldo, why did you disobey a direct order from High Command? You're in trouble now.

And I didn't rewrite 1/3 of the book after the galley was printed, so let's not start vicious rumors. But I did tweak it enough to warrant warning people who wanted to read it to not waste their time on the galley. Now you will have to struggle through it a second time in its finished form as punishment!

But thanks guys, for your words of encouragement and thank you, especially, Bill, for your extremely generous review.


P.S. - I think it's supposed to be some sort of publishing secret, but Blonde Lightning is already available for sale.

Aldo said...


First I apologize for the mis-speak (is that a word?)

I picked up my hardbound copy this morning and I'm a thrid of the way through.

More later.

Anonymous said...

I smell a cover up in the works.