Kind One

Kind One

by Tom Epperson
4.6 9


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Kind One by Tom Epperson

In the kill-or-be-killed criminal underworld of 1930s Los Angeles, "Two Gun Danny" Landon has a distinct disadvantage. According to the fellas, he used to pull all kinds of shoot-ups and shenanigans...but damned if he can't remember a thing from before last year, when he got hit over the head with a lead pipe. Sadistic mobster Bud Seitz — known to friends and enemies alike as "The Kind One" — seems to have big plans for him, but truthfully, Danny can't stomach the dirty work. His aim is off, the other wiseguys laugh at him, and he'd gladly trade in the drunken parties and the endless broads for a day at the movies with his colorful and mysterious neighbor Dulwich and eleven-year-old Sophie, whose deadbeat mother delivers an endless stream of emotional and physical abuse. But when Bud's beautiful girlfriend Darla begs Danny to help her escape the Kind One's dark, brutal world, Danny must confront a dangerous test of loyalty that could irrevocably change his future — and his past — forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416596981
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 04/07/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tom Epperson is the cowriter, with Billy Bob Thornton, of A Family Thing (starring Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, nominated for the Humanitas Prize), One False Move (named as one of the year’s best films by a number of top critics), and The Gift (directed by Sam Raimi, and starring Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, and Hillary Swank). Epperson’s first book, The Kind One, was nominated for an Edgar and a Barry Award in 2009. He lives in Los Angeles.

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The Kind One 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 'The Kind One' on something of a personal dare. A friend thrust a copy of the novel into my arms and insisted, 'Read it. You'll like it.' I thought 'Never!' I hate gangster films. I never see them. And a gangster novel? What could be worse! But since this book was a gift from a good friend, I felt obliged to actually read the damned thing. And so I did it with an I-dare-you-to-make-me-like-it attitude. I lost the bet -- big time! But in this case, losing meant winning -- I gained a thrilling read. To label this book a gangster novel does not do it justice. It is really a first-rate character novel about an interesting, likable fellow, two-gun Danny, who just happens to be thrust into the world of gangsters. How he got there is precisely the issue -- and one he keeps asking himself since he has lost his memory of his past life. He does not seem to fit into the thuggish world of his truly frightening boss. As he struggles to figure out his past, he meets several other misfits, both in and outside of the gangster world. For me, the most interesting set of characters were those he met in his Hollywood apartment complex, each of which is sharply drawn and wonderfully memorable. Epperson deftly weaves all of their lives together in surprising twists as this psychological thriller unfolds, with their lives converging at the end. By the time I approached that end, I found myself reading more slowly to draw out the pleasure of remaining with the characters. As I closed the book cover, I wondered: is this really a gangster novel if Epperson's artful, psychological portraits made me forget his characters were largely in a gangster world?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Instantly engrossing, Epperson takes the reader on a wild noir-scented ride to a time of larger than life crooks, their scary and scared henchmen, and the beautiful women they keep. The story centers on Danny Landon, now a gangster suffering from amnesia, who searches for love, both forbidden and familial, while struggling to piece together his past. Filled with cleverly crafted characters, this absorbing novel grabs the reader intellectually and by the heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the creation of Danny Landon, author Tom Epperson has given us a wonderfully nuanced character who simultaneously provides an outward glimpse of wildly colorful 1930s LA as well as a clever existential peek inward at a truly lost soul. Yes, 'The Kind One' contains all the fun and picaresque adventures one would expect from the City of Angels. But Epperson is going for so much more, and it's immensely satisfying to realize how successful he is. One would have to go back to the Argentinean master Borges to find such a skillful exploration of identity and its ontological implications. All that and gangsters shooting it up--what's not to love in this exciting and thought-provoking novel?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Epperson's thrilling Hollywood noir echoes the greats--Chandler, Cain, Ellroy--while at the same time introduces a hugely original new voice to the genre. Though as hard-boiled as the best of them, 'The Kind One' moves beyond category with the artistry of its character depth and descriptive eloquence. Epperson's 1930s Los Angeles is portrayed with time capsule clarity, every page in the novel filled with fascinating (and well- researched) period detail. This is a book that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Epperson¿s ¿The Kind One¿, set in Depression-era Los Angeles of the 1930s, is a well written and fast-paced gangster tale with heart. The main character is Danny, literally and figuratively a ¿lost soul¿. Having no memory because of an unspecified accident, Danny finds himself consorting with killers and thugs and molls, and on the payroll of a psychotic crime boss. The brutality of his criminal companions is a stark contrast to Danny¿s humaneness and decency - he saves an abused and neglected little girl, he¿s chivalrous to the woman who beguiles him, the beautiful Darla, he¿s even loyal to his monstrous boss. The action in this book keeps our interest piqued while its non-action ¿ Danny¿s melancholy dreaminess and search of self - engage our empathy. There is an elegant symmetry to the surprise ending of this story. It¿s an altogether pleasurable read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1930s Los Angeles, Danny Landon struggles to recall his recent history having suffered an injury. He has been told by cohorts that he is a hired gun working for malicious gangster Bub ¿The Kind One¿ Seitz and that he has a bloody no nonsense past. In fact he is respectfully called ¿Two Gun Danny¿ for his homicidal skills.------------ However, Danny struggles with the descriptions of his violent nature as he finds it difficult to harm anyone. His boss assigns Landon to watch Darla to make sure she is not cheating on him. Landon finds the task despicable as he likes Darla and believes she deserves better than someone spying on her, but challenging Seitz would be suicidal.--------- Although the plot is a bit thin, readers will enjoy this Depression Era urban noir due to Two Gun Danny who is a believable protagonist struggling between the description others have of him and what his gut says he is. Tom Epperson also provides a wonderful sense of time and place as 1930s L.A. comes vividly alive. Americana historical mystery fans will enjoy this fine tale wondering which Danny will surface.--------- Harriet Klausner
LBCba More than 1 year ago
This book takes you back to when gangsters ruled Los Angeles. So many great characters, great plot. This one should really be made into movie......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stork2009 More than 1 year ago
I can see how this works for some people, but I never could quite get into it