No, it’s not a style of reading…it’s the book title. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it. It’s been out since 1988. So far I’m on page 85 and I am kind of astonished that the book is managing to hold my interest considering that every short chapter has basically been a little scene with two people talking. But the stuff they talk about really seems to hold my attention.
The structure of the story and the style of dialogue is very Pulp Fiction, ala Quentin Tarantino. That’s right. Tarantino didn’t invent that style…it’s just a jazz riff of years of pulp fiction and greats like Leonard. But hell, it’s not like Tarantino hid that fact did he? Duh. He celebrates it and I love that he made it “cool” all over again.
Here’s the Freaky Deaky beat down (new dance move perhaps?)–
Chapter One: two bomb squad guys (Chris, our main man) at a home where a guy is stuck sitting in a chair in his bathroom because if he gets up it will blow ….ok…so there are more than two characters talking here…it’s three…haven’t I seen this before? Lethal Weapon 2 or 3 ? Well, granted, you put a bomb in the room, under somebody’s ass, and things are going to get exciting no matter how many people are talking.
Chapter Two: Robin and Skip talking. They’re plotting.
Chapter Three: Back to cop Chris, now talking to Psychiatrist.
Chapter Four: Robin and Skip
Chapter Five: Chris talking to his dad.
Chapter Six: You guessed it…Robin and Skip. More detailed plotting.
Chapter Seven: wow..this chapter splinters. Starts Chris and Dad, then goes to Robin and Mark. Then Robin and Skip. Then Robin and Mark.
Chapter Eight: ooooh..now we get what feels like the classic detective novel scene from the ’40s. Hot babe comes into the office of detective (this case cop Chris). Will she be a femme fatale? Doesn’t matter either way….i gotta keep reading.
Chapter Nine: —just starting it….Chris is the focus.
And of course we know these story lines are going to collide somewhere, a structure we’ve seen a million times before and always makes me think of old black and white films where they held off a movie star’s appearance until a ways into the movie, then you’d slowly see them turn around at a bar or look up from a big brimmed hat.
Easy (even obvious) structure can be enjoyable as long as everything else about the story is fresh, strong, interesting. Even though I’ve seen and read a lot of things like Freaky Deaky, I enjoy it because I love the genre so it’s giving me what I want and hitting all the right buttons.
A movie version is in pre-production…but I think that’s been the case since 2007. Not sure why I picture Ed Norton as Chris. So far anyway. Leonard is great at only tagging discriptions on occassion when it is necessary …mostly he lets our imaginations paint most of the picture and that works for me 🙂