May 22, 2006

North of Sunset Reviews

I’m going to use this to post reviews of North of Sunset and interviews.


The first review was at Grumpy Old Bookman. The best thing came in a comment by Cantara Christopher: "It reveals the zeitgeist of Los Angeles with the understanding, even compassion, of a native son. It is the least cynical book about Hollywood I've ever read…I get the feeling that he’s attempting to stretch beyond Raymond Chandler, that he's going for Flaubert. I think in North of Sunset he succeeds. And he does it in only 270 pages, and one hell of a last line."

Dogmatika review. Best thing: "North of Sunset would make a fast-paced, successful movie, but don't be fooled in thinking that Baum's work is a pumped up script, it's most definitely not. The narrative is a taut as a drum and the dialogue effortless, making North of Sunset a page-turner and an example of an effective piece of storytelling that should be envied."

Poddy Mouth review: “The writing is stellar….I think you'll agree it is not so much who influenced the writing; it is who this writing will influence. Trust me when I say that this book is one you buy and one you keep.”

Compulsive Reader review: “Successful both as a suspenseful, engrossing thriller and as something more: a savage satire on aspects of modern American life in the vein of DeLillo‘s White Noise….Overall, North of Sunset is an outstanding feat of storytelling that will gain a wide readership.”

A review at Myspace’s Book of the Moment. She says: "Those of you looking for a fun summer read, here it is. North of Sunset has everything you need: romance, scandal, murder, mystery, contempt, happiness, fame and fortune."

Might make the book sound dumber than it is, but I’ll take it.

N. Frank Daniels, author of Futureproof, reviewed the book on his Myspace blog. "A uniquely crafted character study in the style of Elmore Leonard mixed with the social satire of Chuck Palahniuk."

Randy Radic's Sound of Meat review: “It's as if Raymond Chandler had been summoned from the afterlife by the Witch of Endor with the words, 'Send up the greatest, most profane noir-writer of them all'--and up popped Henry. It's that good.”

Mike Ferraro reviewed the book on “The cult of celebrity is a topic that weighs heavily on the author’s heart and he explores it throughout ‘North of Sunset’ with a thought-provoking deftness and lucidity…in this classic smart thriller.”

There’s a not so complimentary but well-thought-out review at Ready Steady Book. He says it's a "Gripping, readable story." Read my rebuttal to his review here and his response to my response here.

Read my book notes for the novel on Largehearted Boy. He says: “The rare piece of literary fiction that successfully combines a thriller with a healthy dose of popular culture. As the 'Vanity Plate Killer' roams the streets in the novel, Baum's insights into fame, film, and writing are ever present and welcome.”

A terrible review at Pod People that doesn’t bother me at all. He didn’t read the book as satire. Don’t get why people don’t see the satire—the book’s about a celebrity who kills people with vanity plates, that’s satirical enough.

A much nicer review at Podler. “A must read Hollywood thriller.”

Reader Views: "A compelling read, well-written and brilliant."

Odyssey Reviews: Five Medallions. "You will not be able to put this book down once you pick it up. Beautifully written. Buy it."

Winner of the 2006 Hollywood Book Festival Grand Prize

Listed as the #1 self-published book in Entertainment Weekly:

entertainment weekly

Bonus: here's a recent review of my songwriting.


"In North of Sunset, Henry Baum has pulled off something pretty amazing: he has written a tight, pacy thriller that manages to lose none of its momentum, even as it reveals itself to be a savage satire on the narcissism, emptiness and ugliness at the heart of the Hollywood dream." Tony O'Neill, author of Digging the Vein

"The best Hollywood novel I've ever read, including my own." Richard Rushfield, author of On Spec

“A satirical, yet eerily naturalistic L.A. fable.” –Kim Cooper, the 1947 Project


Dogmatika interview.

There’s an interview with me at Martha O’Connor’s blog.

Cesar Torres interview.


An excerpt at Scarecrow. Pages 178-181 in the novel.

Another excerpt at Storyglossia. It’s the second half of Chapter One.




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