Book Review: Chance by Kem Nunn


Chance by Kem Nunn tells the story of Dr. Eldon Chance, a psychiatrists in the San Francisco area. Chance is on a downward spiral starting with a recent divorce and on top of that the I.R.S. is auditing him. To help get himself out of debt, he looks to sell some antique furniture. Turns out he can get more for the furniture if big D uses his wood working skills to make it something it quite isn’t.

Big D is a large man with a unique set of skills. He can work with furniture as well as wield a knife with deadly skill. He is a master of urban warfare, knowing where to be and when to be there.

Chance also gets involved with a femme fatale with multiple personality disorder. Chance’s love interest happens to be married to a crooked cop. You mix these four characters and you have a crazy noir trip through the Bay Area.

Kem Nunn is known for his surfer noir books and this is a bit of a departure for him, though we do get a minor character towards the end that is a surfer.

This book was released in 2014 and soon after Nunn started working on a screen adaption. Originally looking at a movie deal, it soon switched to a television series. Scoring major talent behind the camera for this series also attracted a major star for the character of Chance. Hugh Laurie will be playing Chance in a guaranteed two season deal. After a bidding war for the distribution rights to the series, Hulu won. The first season will follow the story ark from the book, not sure if season 2 will see a book first or if it will be an original story for the series itself. Nunn will be the writer either way. You can read all the details about the new show that will start filming soon here:

‘Chance’ Drama Series Starring Hugh Laurie Lands 2-Season Order At Hulu

This is a good book and I can see potential for a great television series. Noir fans should check out this novel and look forward to another great noir series coming to a television or computer near you soon.


Beach Party Blogathon: Revisiting the Laser Disc Collection: Point Break

It’s Beach Party Blogathon!  When I seen this, the first film that came to mind for this site was Point Break! Is there any better neo-noir or noir film where the beach is such a big part of the story?

So Kem Nunn writes a book called Tapping the Source(something I have on my to read list), it was bought for the movie rights, soon after publication.  After many re-writes and changes it finally became Point Break.  Because of all the re-writes there was not much left of the original story and Nunn was never given a writing credit for the film, but he started his own sub-genre, surf noir.

Before Vin Diesel took the adrenaline junkie genre film to the absurd in xXx and the Fast and the Furious franchise, this movie inspired a whole generation of adventure athletes to live their dreams instead of working for the man.

This film had a great cast including Gary Busey, Lori Petty and John C. McGinley as well as an uncredited appearance from neo noir regular Tom Sizemore. Lets not forget Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis as a surf nazi. Even with all that talent this film will be known for having two of the biggest stars of the 1990’s going head to head, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.  This film is directed by Kathryn Bigelow who hasn’t made a lot of movies, but she sure has made some great ones.

Our story starts with the most famous bank robbers from the 1990’s, The Ex-Presidents(how many times has this been reused in someway since this film).

They rob a bank, in and out in 90 seconds, clean, and they are professional.   Johnny Utah, played by Reeves makes his way to the F.B.I. Headquarters in Los Angles as a rookie agent.  Him and his 22 year vet partner played by Busey are on the case.  Busey has a crazy theory about the Ex-Presidents being surfers.  Soon Johnny Utah is going undercover as a surfer and befriends Tyler, played by Lori Petty, and is introduced to surf guru Bodhi played by Swazye.  Our adventure takes off from here with night surfing, beach football and sky diving.

This may be a rehash of movies where somebody goes undercover in a gang of outlaws, sometimes siding with the bad guys by the end or at least understanding why they do what they do.  This film is original because our outlaws are not doing what they do to get rich or own possessions or buy their next hit of drugs, they are doing it to finance their lifestyle, and it’s a healthy lifestyle if you will.   With the Ex-President masks, were they telling us we all are slaves to the system?  A system they are not willing to be apart of anymore?  Can we see why the All-American quarterback turned F.B.I. agent is seeing the light and does not want to be a cog in the system anymore?  Are the big bad bank robbers the bad guys in this or are the straight-laced suit wearing, living in the system guys, the real baddies here?

So everybody who is a fan of this film, and there is a lot of followers for this cult film, knows we are getting a remake soon. We have two lesser known actors playing the leads and Teresa Palmer playing Tyler.  I guess I’m getting old, because the first thing I thought was “Isn’t it to soon for a remake?”  Then I noticed this film was made almost 25 years ago.  I hope they keep the realism and concentrate on the relationships of our leads and not make a superhero movie, to wild to be believed in the vain of Fast and Furious or xXx, with lots of unbelievable C.G.I. and explosions for no reason.  Sadly based on the box office results of Furious 7, and the first trailer, I think that is exactly what we will get.  I guess I’ll hook up the old Laser Disc Player and pop this in again to get my adrenaline fix.