Nobody Move by Denis Johnson

26 10 2009

nobodymoveI really hope whoever bought the movie rights to this book gets Steven Soderbergh to direct, because reading Nobody Move felt like watching Out of Sight or Ocean’s Eleven, and I mean that in the best possible way.  I’ve read other books that felt more like reading a screenplay or script than reading a book (Hannibal by Thomas Harris being the worst offender) and absolutely hated it.  Instead of being able to slide into the story, I was constantly made aware of the fact that it was a story.  But Denis Johnson avoided all of that and instead did something amazing – he wrote a book that felt like a great heist movie and I loved it.

Jimmy Luntz is a loser with a past due gambling debt.  Gambol comes to collect for his boss, Juarez, and takes Jimmy on a little car trip.  In a panic, Luntz shoots Gambol in the leg and takes off with his Caddy and wallet.  He runs into the beautiful Anita, who would be out of his league if it weren’t for the fact that she’s just been framed by her husband and boss for embezzling 2.3 million dollars.  They take off together, trying to stay alive and avenge Anita at the same time.  The action jumps between the four main characters like the beginning of a Guy Ritchie movie, without the confusing accents.

I had a lot of fun trying to cast this movie while I was reading it.  I could see Casey Afflek as Luntz, and maybe James Gandolfini as Gambol – which seems a bit predictable but is totally how I pictured that character.  Denis Johnson just did such a great job describing everything, I could see the Caddy and the various buildings and landmarks – it really was like I was watching a movie – A WORD MOVIE.  And the plot was great, too.  Everything ended up fitting together nicely and there weren’t so many twists and turns that it became tedious (like Ocean’s Twelve – I still don’t understand the ending of that one.  Julia Roberts was pretending to be Julia Roberts but she didn’t need to because the egg was just a hologram??  I DON’T GET IT.)  From beginning to end, the story held my attention and it made sense the whole way through.  Which, after a lot of the books I’ve read recently, was really refreshing.

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3 responses

26 10 2009
Julia

On Julia being Julia- INDEED. Doesn’t Julia Roberts always play herself in movies whether or not a hologram is involved?

26 10 2009
elandlo

Ooh, good call! And don’t get Lo started on JR…I believe the phrase she prefers is “giant hot dog lips.”

27 10 2009
Lo

OMG I HATE JULIA ROBERTS. SO MUCH. No Steel Magnolias (sorry everyone else with a vagina), no Pretty Woman, no Erin Brokovich, no Satisfaction (that was Justine Bateman’s time to shine anyway). And yes, I DO refer to her as Hot Dog Lips. [spits on ground]

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