Sunday, September 5, 2010

Read: "The Walk" by Lee Goldberg

Read: The Walk by Lee Goldberg, 2004, 159414110x.

Goldberg has mentioned this novel numerous times online since he started selling a Kindle edition. So, I reserved a copy that came from Juneau PL. A good book. A fairly quick read as well.

SPOILERS LISTED AHEAD. I recommend you stop reading this and buy and read the book instead. It's good

TV executive Marty is in downtown Los Angeles visiting a filming location when a massive earthquake hits and destroys most of the city. Marty changes into gym shoes from his wrecked car, grabs some supplies and starts walking to get home to his wife in Calabasas. Marty is a selfish prick and failed writer who ended up in an executive position. Marty judges everything against a perspective of tv shows and tv reality.

Marty stops to help lady crushed in car who has 5-year-old daughter in the Valley. Car blows up and Marty whacks his head. Marty starts walking again and stops at - low and behold - an open restaurant. Marty meets Buck, psychopath bounty hunter. Buck starts walking with Marty. Marty hates Buck. Buck forces Marty to help boy trapped in car about to fall off crumbled overpass. Marty and Buck part. Hollywood damn breaks and floods the ruins. People drown. Marty escapes. Buck reappears. Marty gives blood and nurse says he should get head wound from car explosion looked at. SPOILER AHEAD Marty takes off. People are burned in gas explosion. Marty gets to Valley and is impaled on rebar in a fall. Marty rescues self. SPOILING Marty gets exploding car woman's daughter. Marty gets back to wife. SPOILER Marty finds out Buck was hallucination.

Thoughts, comments
1. Many flashbacks to tell the story about Marty's wife, their struggling marriage, Marty's infertility.
2. MORE SPOILING Marty conquers many obstacles on the way home and becomes a new man. WATCH OUT FOR SPOILING But, without the "twist" of Buck what other ending could there be except some lame "Marty looked over the wasteland and the orange, setting sun" bullshit?
3. Confusion between character and creator. Goldberg has done plenty of television work. A reader who knows that, like me, might consider Marty partially autobiographical. I didn't. Okay, I did. But not too much.
4. Marty's walk describes a lot of L.A. geography but I have no freaking clue which street is which or where he is walking.
5. Goldberg worked on Seaquest. A character in the novel comments on the failure of underwater TV shows. "Though the last successful underwater show was thirty years ago"
6. Gratuitous Diagnosis Murder and Murder, She Wrote references.
7. "Stunt twat"


Lee Goldberg said...

I wish you wouldn't reveal the twist ending without alerting people ahead of time that your summary/review contains a major spoiler.

Gerard Saylor said...

Fair enough. I'll add in some warnings.

(I like Goldberg. He does good work and has some neat observations on writing and publishing.)