Goodbye Johnny Thunders
by Tania Kindersley
Category: Fiction / General
312 pages; ISBN: 0 340 67225 0
Rating: 5/10 (Ratings explained)
Tania Kindersley's fourth novel tells the story of an ill-starred relationship between an American girl in London and a drug dealer who worships the degenerate American rocker of the title.
Although Thunders' heyday was the 1970s this novel is actually set in the summer of 1990, the year of his long-predicted demise.That, unfortunately is it as far as anything of interest attaches to this book.
You really can't care much for Nancy the narrator when she's such a cliche, a nice American career girl who has issues with her famous writer father and doesn't fully understand the cynical city in which she's landed.Nor does it help that her vocabulary is so limited - the constant use of the word "all" as a utilitarian adjective becomes maddening.
As for the other characters, from drug dealing ex-public schoolboy Jack and his coterie of debauched hangers on to Nancy's own unnaturally supportive friends and colleagues they lie stillborn on the page.
In the later stages of the novel Kindersley is able to convey some of the pain of the inexplicably dumped.Yet without a convincing explanation of the attraction of Jack (beyond the "every girl loves a bad boy" nonsense)or any attempt to address the moral questions posed by Jack's vocation, the reader's ability to empathise is strictly limited.