Chicago

David Mamet. Custom House, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-279719-3
Playwright Mamet returns to the scene of one of his greatest successes, the screenplay for Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, with his new novel, set in Chicago during Prohibition in the 1920s. Mike Hodge is a veteran pilot of the Great War and current reporter for the Tribune. In a very Mamet touch, the book begins with a literary conversation between Mike and fellow reporter Clement Parlow in a duck blind. But in no time, Mike is racing off to find the killer of his girlfriend, Annie Walsh. All he has to go on is a fuzzy photo of two unknown men at the funeral of nightclub owner Morris Teitelbaum, so Mike cuts a swath through gangland Chicago. All this is basically just an excuse for the author to exercise his patented talent with dialogue (“There’s this to say for a broken heart, it keeps your weight down”). Unfortunately, this works better in his plays than here, where the highly charged conversations slow down the haphazardly plotted story. But Mike proves himself the spiritual kin of Chicago reporter Hildy Johnson from Hecht and MacArthur’s The Front Page, and Mamet’s Chicago setting is immersively evoked. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Paperback - 978-0-06-283593-2
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-279721-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-9746-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-284298-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-9747-0
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