His latest novel is Terminal Island.
A couple of weeks ago I asked the author about what he was reading. Greatshell's reply:
At the moment I’m re-reading a book I loved years ago, called Dino, by Nick Tosches. It’s a wonderfully gonzo (in the true Hunter S. Thompson sense of the word) biography of Dean Martin, a performer I mainly knew of from his sloppy, lascivious TV appearances in the ‘60s and ‘70s. To me, Dino was a prime example of the hideous drunken misogyny that passed for sophistication in the ‘50s, a hipster dinosaur that refused to go extinct.View the video trailer for Terminal Island, and visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.
Dino captures Dean Martin’s rise and fall by going deep, not only into the place and time, but into Martin’s terrifying pit of a soul, which derived fleeting satisfactions from booze and broads, but only really craved the sweet release of death. This sounds depressing, but there is also something so inherently hilarious about such a ghoul being forced to share his career with Jerry Lewis (can there be a more exquisite vision of Hell?) that we can’t stop laughing. However fairly or unfairly Tosches portrays Martin’s inner life, he deserves credit for at least making the man interesting. If only all celebrity bios did as much.
The Page 69 Test: Terminal Island.
My Book, The Movie: Terminal Island.