Book Review: Loser’s Town by Daniel Depp

A couple weeks ago I filled out a questionnaire for Penguin Canada in the hopes of becoming one of their book reviewers – and now I’m getting books in the mail! Pretty sweet deal. Although I have a blog dedicated to reviewing Canadian Literature I’m going to be adding reviews to this blog too – although all Can Lit. will still go to the other blog.

David Spandau, arthritis former stuntman and sometime cowboy, cost makes his living as a private investigator. His current assignment is Hollywood “it” boy, viagra buy Bobby Dye, who’s been receiving threatening letters. Spandau figures out Bobby’s facing another threatóone that could ruin his career just as it’s getting started. Loser’s Town is gritty noir fiction, but also a Hollywood-insider novel written by someone who knows the town and the industry intimately.

Unfortunately this book did nothing for me. I wanted to like it. I usually like crime novels and, to be honest, I rarely write a review for a book I don’t like – too many good books out in the world, too little time and, at the heart of it who am I to judge? However, since Penguin sent me the book to review, review it I must.

Essentially, everything about Loser’s Town felt too contrived and I had a hard time liking any of the characters or caring what happened to them. The main character, David Spandau (who I kept calling David Spandau Ballet in my head) was interesting and could become a great character upon further development so I will give the book that. The rest of the characters: the actor who is being threatened, the agent, the gangsters, the gangster-wannabes, all just got on my nerves.

Yes the novel could be considered gritty noir fiction as it is being touted but it suffers from trying too hard.† Now every second word coming out of my mouth wants to be fuck because that is how the people in this novel spoke. Do people in Hollywood really talk like that and yell that much? I would be exhausted if I talked like that all the time: “Time for a fucking diaper change sweetie.” “Would you like some fucking Cherrios?” “Get in the fucking car, we’re going to see fucking grandma.” All the yelling and swearing and posturing gave me a headache and it all seemed so fake – just like Hollywood, and maybe that was the point. Throughout the novel I felt like I was waiting for something big to happen – something that never came, which made it rather boring.

I’m thinking maybe I’m the wrong demographic. As a houselady in Canada who is still freezing her butt off at the end of April I’m more interested in getting my daughter to sleep through the night than what anyone in Hollywood is doing these days. However, wrong demographic aside, if the novel was fantastic I would have lost myself in it no matter what my background – and I didn’t.

When I finished Loser’s Town I checked out some of the advance buzz and it seems as though others are loving it. Could it be because it is written by Johnny Depp’s brother? I suspect it has more to do with the fact that there are a lot of Hollywood Crime Noir fans out there. In spite of how I felt about this book it is probably going to do well and be liked by many.

I give Loser’s Town a rating of: N*


*I have devised a rating system for my reviews:

J: Jealous – I wish I wrote this.
A: Awesome & amazing – will probably recommend to everyone I know.
E: Enjoyable – not earth shattering but I was able to lose myself in the story for a while.
N: Not My Cup of Tea – but others may enjoy it.
T: Time wasted that I can never get back – my eyes are burning & I there is a good chance I threw this book against the wall.

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