Monday, August 11, 2014

Ken Kuhlken's "The Good Know Nothing"

Ken Kuhlken’s stories have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines and anthologies, been honorably mentioned in Best American Short Stories, and earned National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship. His novels have been chosen as an Ernest Hemingway Best First Fiction Book, a Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel, and a Shamus Awards Best Novel. The novels are Midheaven and the Tom Hickey California Crime series.

Here Kuhlken dreamcasts an adaptation of the new Tom Hickey novel, The Good Know Nothing:
I once tried to get The Loud Adios to Steve Martin, thinking a comic actor in a dramatic role might inspire some interesting complexity. Otherwise, after seven Tom Hickey novels, I haven't assigned the role of Tom to any actor, in part because he keeps aging. In The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, he's 22. In The Vagabond Virgins, he's 74.

But for Tom's sister Florence, who I sometimes consider the main character of The Good Know Nothing, I would cast a clone of Marion Davies, the actress who was also William Randolph Hearst's long-time beloved mistress. Or a clone Mary Pickford might work, since Tom's mother both works for and is a ringer for Pickford, and Florence, who resembles her mother, could be a double for Marion Davies.

Now that I'm casting, I wonder if Scarlett Johansson might be the answer. She could play all four of those women, two of whom are fairly angelic, another somewhat snooty and conniving, and the fourth deeply wicked.

And Harry Longabaugh, aka Hiram Beebe and the Sundance Kid, of course needs to be played by Robert Redford, who is about the right age.
Visit Ken Kuhlken's website.

Writers Read: Ken Kuhlken.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Know Nothing.

--Marshal Zeringue