The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 February 2004

As the pages turn

There was no way I could pass up David Kent's debut novel Department Thirty. For one thing, Kent lives here in town; for another, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to put out a novel about shadowy anti-government conspirators. In Oklahoma City. In 1995, yet.

But this isn't some variation on a theme by Timothy McVeigh. Kent's scruffy hero, Ryan Elder, comes home to Oklahoma after being sacked from yet another radio job, and his parents seem strangely distant, even cryptic.

And then they kill themselves.

What all this is about takes a while to unfold. Some of it is sort of predictable, some of it isn't, but all of it moves at decently high speed, and you know there's bound to be a screenplay in there somewhere. (Of course, if they do make a movie out of Department Thirty, they won't film it here; they'll throw in some exterior shots of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and shoot the rest in Vancouver, so this is one of your few chances to tour the Okay City's meaner streets.) It's a good read, and I'm looking forward to Kent's next book.

Posted at 12:26 PM to Almost Yogurt

"Meaner Streets" -- sounds like Air Depot to me.

But seriously -- the book does sound intriguing...will probably add it to my list.

Posted by: David at 5:22 PM on 16 February 2004

This was a GREAT book!! I am glad to see you have read it and given it more exposure. The book is up for best fiction title in the Oklahoma Book Awards. Pocket Books is lucky to have David Kent. I am also anxiously awaiting his next book. I heard him say in an interview that there will be a recurring character from Department Thirty.

Posted by: mike donovan at 11:42 AM on 17 February 2004