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Loser's town (David Spandau #1)

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
In this darkly comic thriller set in modern-day Hollywood, an aging private eye is hired by a rising young actor at the center of a scheme gone wrong.

David Spandau is a P.I. and sometime rodeo cowboy. At the tail end of some much-needed vacation time, he takes a meeting with a talent agent whose client, Bobby Dye, is being blackmailed and threatened. Dye is young, brash,
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Hardcover, 290 pages
Published 2009 by Simon and Schuster
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eric_W
Spandau is an ex-stunt man and cowboy (if you can define cowboy as someone who ropes steers coming out of a chute) who is currently working as a P.I. The plot is rather ordinary, but the characters have a certain appeal and the dialog is fun. Spandau is hired to protect an actor, r Bobby Dye, who is being blackmailed by a local thug, Ritchie, who did him a favor by getting a dead body out of his bathroom. Ritchie wants to use Dye in a second-rate movie and Dee wants desperately to get out of doi ...more
Maddy
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
PROTAGONIST: David Spandau, PI
SERIES: Debut
RATING: 4.0

David Spandau is a private investigator who was at one time a stuntman. Although he never reached the big time, his experience in the movie business comes in handy as he works with Hollywood types. His newest client is a hot young actor named Bobby Dee, who is being blackmailed. Spandau is a bit world weary and not particularly impressed by his employer. Perhaps that is why Bobby trusts him more than the other sycophants who surround him.

The
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Maya Panika
Mar 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastically enjoyable read filled to the foaming brim with pathetic, lonely, evil, hilariously funny, believable people.

Daniel Depp clearly knows his landscape and his characters personally; you can practically smell the smog and the petrol fumes, see the heat-haze rising from the black top. The sleaze and the glamour – and occasionally, the terror - of the movie world is described in such hateful detail, you’re practically living in Bobby Dye’s trailer, being assaulted by his self-loathing
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Richard
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of what are currently two novels by Depp featuring PI David Spandau. There are a ton of mystery novels in circulation featuring the down and out PI and you could easily make the mistake that this is yet another, but it isn’t. Depp writes a very engaging wry and frequently funny take on life in LA as seen thru the jaded eyes of his PI character Spandau. All you need to know to get interested is contained in the following two quotes:

“I came out to Los Angeles in the 30’s during the Depre
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Barbara Kramer
Pretty good debut. Daniel Depp is the brother of actor Johnny Depp and there are parts of the book where his insider knowledge of Hollywood is very well displayed. His descriptions of the "red carpet" and the exploitation of the actors show great insight.

There are other parts of the book I could have easily done without. It may or may not be accurate to use the F-word in every sentence, but I would have enjoyed the book more without it. In my opinion, that word is a substitute when the author ca
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Steve
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
The author has a gift for dialog and for creating compelling characters; this I'm sure is due in part to his screenwriting experience. This is a great first crime novel. The only difficulty I had was that some of the most interesting characters and storylines were partially developed but not followed through -- it was frustrating because I was equally as interested in some of the minor characters as I was in the principle characters. This is a wicked, cynical, funny book. Even the bad guys show ...more
OK Dad
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this made me think back to my days working at the Roger Corman studios in Venice, CA. Tough work, but kinda like boot camp. Glad you did it, but glad you don't have to do it over again.
Ruth
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-pi
i liked this book - hope Depp writes more- although i prefer the main character to have a little less baggage.
Jennifer
Interesting debut novel and provide a snapshot of what it is like in the movie industry.
Fireflydances
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this guy's characters, story line, sense of humor and wonder. Detective stories that are deep and satisfying. Impatiently waiting for his next book.
Bindu
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: too-real
the glitzy world of shinning lights camera and stars... drunk in fame, money, drugs and desperation!
Josh
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Depp, little brother of movie star Johnny, is a former screen writer and Hollywood insider, who draws upon his knowledge of tinsel town to depict an inner sanctum of stardom that grits the gloss, dramatises the drama and foils the facade.

LOSER’S TOWN is the first in what I hope is a long standing run of Hollywood PI novels featuring former stuntman and general all ‘round hard man David Spandau. Called in from vacation he’s tasked with investigating death threats made to up and coming act
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Paul Pessolano
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
First time author Daniel Depp has come up with a winner.

David Spandau is employed as a private investigator with a side hobby as a rodeo cowboy. David is asked to take a job that involves VBobby Dye, a hot movie star commodity.

Bobby seems to be having a few problems, one of which is a dead girl in his bathroom. She has died of a self induced drug overdose. Bobby asks local gangster, Richie Stella, to make his problem "go away". Richie sends two of his goons, Potts and Squiers, to dispose of the
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mark
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: men-s-fiction, crime
Loser's town is Los Angeles, taken from a quote by Robert Mitchum, one of Hollywood's super-male actors in the mid twentieth century. The novel, by Daniel Depp, related to the early twenty-first century super-male actor, Johnny, is Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" in novel form. If you liked that movie, you'll probably like this book. I read it in one day. It's character driven and the characters are rich--good guys, bad guys, regular guys caught up in bad situations ... and girls along for th ...more
Ice
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Larry H
Terrific book. Hope it's the start of a long series, as both Daniel Depp and his main character, David Spandau, show tremendous promise. (I'll admit that one of the things that attracted me to this book is the fact that the protagonist shares a last name with one of my favorite 80s guilty-pleasure bands, Spandau Ballet. And there it is.)



David Spandau is a former Hollywood stuntman and sometime private investigator hired to protect and investigate threats being made against rising star Bobby Dye.
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Jason
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Depp's first novel, much like the people who populate the real Hollywood where this novel is set, contains plenty of plastic characters, two-dimensional scenery and debauched excess, yet it shows promise.

Depp writes at a crisp pace with a good flow that makes one want to continue reading, and most of the chapters are 6-10 pages long or at least divided into easily digestible morsels.

I don't necessarily have a feel for what David Spandau looks like, but Depp does a great job establishing more imp
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Dale
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A look at Hollywood from an insider's point of view

Daniel Depp knows his way around Hollywood - he is a screenwriter and his brother is famed actor Johnny Depp (a fact I did not know until after I read the book). Loser's Town features David Spandau, a former stuntman turned private detective. Spandau is jaded and definitely not impressed with the Hollywood movie scene.

Spandau is called back from vacation to take a case involving Bobby Dye, an up and coming new star on the verge of making it to
...more
Hobart
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Um, ugh. This is a really well-written, occasionally clever, disappointment.

See here's the thing...in a detective novel, the protagonist, or if you will, the detective, should detect things. Spandau did nada. His violent associate (not really a Hawk, Joe Pike or Bubba Rogowski, but close enough) investigated; his boss did; his boss' secretary did. Spandau? He sat around and mooned over his ex-wife, bullied his client, bullied his associate, bullied the bad guy, was a jerk to just about everyone.
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Mary Sue
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dark comedy/thriller is written by Daniel Depp. Daniel is the brother of actor Johnny Depp and I am not surprised when one of the main character, a heart-throb actor, is named Bobby Dye. This book is not for those who are easily offended by vulgar and vile language. Aside from that is is an interesting looking in to Hollywood on the studio lots, the drug-party scene, and the infusion of the mob. The hero is David Spandau, a former stuntman, who knows his way around the business, familiar wi ...more
Deni Cary
Loser's Town is probably somebody's cup of tea, just not mine. But I read it on the advice of Donald Maass, who called it riveting, and I'll have to agree that the writing is pretty darn good. A page-turner. David Spandau is an engaging sympathetic character. The story is a bit loosely woven toward the end and I would appreciate a little more Spandau in certain parts. I'm not sure if the mayhem was a bit gratuitous at the end, but I bet that's how it goes in this kind of book.

Would I recommend i
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Michael
I've heard where this cynical, shady picture of LA comes from, but it's strange to keep reading this stuff when my experience is shaking out much differently. This is another LA swimming with sharks novel.
My favorite thing here is that one of the main characters lives on a boat just like mine, in a marina in LA. Cool. He's a kung-fu master that dies in a gunfight, while having sex with a barmaid, at sea...... Naw, I'm not that cool.
Hedrives
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loser's Town is a fine first novel. Author Depp uses a rambling style of story-telling, reading like a movie script in parts. The story is set in contemporary Hollywood so the style fits the story. Depp shows flashes of brilliance especially early in the novel when setting the scene. I've also read his newer book in the series and liked it for the same reasons.

Recommended read.
Paul
Mar 24, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
There's an interview in The Observer with the author that intrigued me sufficiently to want to read this: comparisons to James Ellroy and some scenes drawn on the author's experiences hanging out with his half-brother Johhny Depp. The interviewer doesn't say whether she liked the book or not though.
Elderberrywine
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Sometimes one wants a bit of a chaser, after several books along a more literary vein, and Hollywood sleeze always qualifies as that. This was certainly not the best I've ever read, in that category, but not the worst either.

But, dude. Redlands is not a desert town, not by any stretch of the imagination. Someone need to get out more.
Wilde Sky
An L.A. private detective (who used to be a stuntman) gets involved in the world of an up and coming Hollywood star.

The sections dealing with the interactions between the stars / agents / fans were all believable and entertaining (some were laugh out loud funny) but the gangster sections didn’t ring true and clouded the story (at least for me). The ending felt too neat / simplistic.
J
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Sep 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho-hum. A book that starts with a promising premise ends in a tale of woe.
It reads like the author lost something dear to him when writing this book.
Birgit
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hat mir sehr gut gefallen, es wirkt sehr realistisch und zeigt die nicht so schöne Seite Hollywoods und der Filmindustrie, der schreibstil ist erfrischend und es ist sehr leicht zu lesen :)
Sue Nami
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty cool book by Daniel Depp (yes to what you're thinking). I'd read more of this series.
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