Book Review: ‘Blair Underwood presents South by Southeast’
Authors: Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes
It should have been a dream job.
You’d wanted to work at that business since forever. You thought about it for years, in fact, imagining what it would be like. It was the exact job you said you wanted when adults asked you what you wanted to do when you grew up.
But when you landed the position (finally!), you were astounded. Like so many things in life, anticipation was better than reality, and the job stunk.
It happens, and in the new book, “South by Southeast” by Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes (c.2012, Atria, $15/$17 Canada, 373 pages), it happened where there should’ve been sun and fun.
Tennyson “Ten” Hardwick gave up on Hollywood stardom long ago.
He still did minor roles, sure. But his fame, it seemed, would forever be linked to detective work he did as a sideline, and to escort work he did before he gave up The Life. But film? No fame there.
So when Gustavo Escobar offered Ten the role-of-a-lifetime in a new horror movie, Ten leaped at the chance, even bringing his entire family to Miami. It would be a good thing: a new city would give his ailing father a change of scenery, and Chela, Ten’s ward, could check out the beaches.
And it might have been a great time for everybody—had the job turned out better.
There was a dark side to Escobar, and Ten had seen it. Escobar was a jerk, asking for extra takes, long hours, things that Ten wasn’t willing to do. Ten wasn’t sure he wanted stardom that much.
He quit at least once, much to the horror of his agent.
Yes, the part should’ve been a dream job—but it wasn’t.
And then things turned worse.
An old friend of Chela’s from back in the day showed up on the set, and Chela’s former life was no longer an off-limits topic between her and Ten. He was worried, and tried to send her home to stay with his girlfriend-not-girlfriend. Chela was offended that he didn’t trust her.
But when the old friend’s body washed up on the beach, Ten knew he couldn’t trust anyone. And that included a certain director with a temper, a cruel streak, and a past that was drowning in suspicion….
Oh, man, I really have to stop reading Tennyson Hardwick novels before bed.
Authors Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes pack everything you ever wanted in a noir thriller between pages that can barely hold it all. As usual, the authors’ main character, Tennyson Hardwick, is smooth, responsible, and suave. But this time, we’re given much more about the people who surround him: their troubles, and their pasts. That adds up to a fast-paced, chilling, keep-you-up-all-night package you shouldn’t wait to open.
Yes, this book is part of a series, and while it’s possible to figure out what’s going on without reading prior novels, you’d probably like it better if you were up to speed. Once you’re there, though, grab this book because “South by Southeast” is a noir-lover’s dream.
How—and when—will the world end?
Depending on what (or who) you believe, it’s coming sooner, later, or not at all. We’ll go in glory or a fiery ball of war; Armageddon, Rapture, or a lights-out fizzle. Depending on who (or what) you listen to, it’s going to happen in five minutes, five hundred years, sometime around Christmas, or 10 days after never.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Women and minority writers made gains in Hollywood employment over the past decade, but their representation still lags far behind the demographics of the U.S. population, according to a report released today by the Writers Guild of America, West.
When you think about your future, you can see yourself clearly.
You’ll have a great place to live, filled with all the things you love. You’ll work a job you enjoy, maybe travel a little, and spend time with family. One day, you’ll even retire somewhere warm.
Yep, when you think about the future, you can just see yourself.
Unfortunately, that’s the problem. You can just see yourself.
You were so sorry.
Of all the things you regret, this one is right at the top. The bad haircut, that horrible outfit you loved at the time, things lost or lent and never found—those are all unimportant.
No, you’re most remorseful for the thing you didn’t do. You missed saying words that would have meant so much to someone.
People say that summer colds are the worst, but that’s not entirely true.
A cold stinks no matter when you catch it.