From the National Book Award–winning, bestselling author of Tree of Smoke comes a provocative thriller set in the American West. Nobody Move, which first appeared in the pages of Playboy, is the story of an assortment of lowlifes in Bakersfield, California, and their cat-and-mouse game over $2.3 million. Touched by echoes of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Nobody Move is at once an homage to and a variation on literary form. It salutes one of our most enduring and popular genres—the American crime novel—but with a grisly humor and outrageousness that are Denis Johnson’s own. Sexy, suspenseful, and above all entertaining, Nobody Move shows one of our greatest novelists at his versatile best.
"First serialized in Playboy (wouldn't Dickens have loved that?), Nobody Move, packs white heat."—Vanity Fair"Johnson's latest, a burning shot of neonoir titled Nobody Move, distills its hero's knack for doing the wrong thing and runs with it. The novel opens as Jimmy Luntz—competitive choir singer, gambling addict and all-around shady guy—gets picked up in Bakersfield, California, by Gambol, a Cadillac-driving thug who has been dispatched to collect money or break a bone or two. Jimmy manages to shoot (but not kill) Gambol, and then goes on the lam. He soon meets Anita, a lush who is in the process of robbing her corrupt ex-husband of millions. Together, they try to stay alive amid ambushes, torture sessions and gunfire. It's bracing to experience this wisecracking and sexy novel's speed, the ways that Jimmy bumbles his way directly into mayhem. But compared with Johnson's previous work, Nobody Move has little aftertaste. There's none of Jesus' Son's creepy drug euphoria or spiritual back draft. As a palate-cleansing riff on Dashiell Hammett, it's great."—Michael Miller, Time Out Chicago
"National Book Award winner Denis Johnson's darkly comic novel examines the appeal of get-rich-quick schemes—a welcome idea as out 401(k)s tank."—Jihan Thompson, Marie Claire"A fast-paced, dialogue-driven crime novel that explores the baser instincts of some California grifters. Instead of more glamorous Los Angeles or San Francisco, Johnson sets his novel in the environs around Bakersfield . . . Paying homage to and subverting the conventions of the era of pulp fiction at its seediest."—Kirkus Reviews"Originally serialized in Playboy, this combines Jim Thompson's violent noir, a shot of sexuality, and Elmore Leonard's darkly comic characters."—Library Journal
Denis Johnson is the author of six novels, three collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. His novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award. He lives in northern Idaho.