Tuesday, December 21, 2010

John Belushi is Dead

I came across "John Belushi is Dead" by Kathy Charles on Bret Easton Ellis' Facebook page. He mentioned that he was reading the book. After some research, the story looked interesting so I bought it on my last trip to Borders. From the back cover:


Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.

Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life."

Kathy Charles' first book is an interesting and easy read in spite of what I would think of as a "young adult" novel. The story started out extremely strong, especially delving into the underworld of Hollywood deaths, but fizzled a little toward the end with a somewhat predictable finish (a very minor complaint). I found Hilda's characterization and personal arc the most enjoyable aspect of the story and its strength. There really isn't much more I can add without giving away too much of the story. Recommended, lots of great Hollywood information tied into somewhat of a coming of age story.

Why have I been only blogging about books lately? I've been sick on what feels like my deathbed over the last few days. Hopefully things will return to normal if I ever start to feel better.

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