ROLLING THUNDER by William Simmons

ROLLING THUNDER

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for Howard Stern? It’s not all fun and games, if this first novel is at all true to life—but it’s a hell of a ride. “Just in case you aren—t one of Velez & Oldham’s legion of listeners and have just wandered in here by mistake, let me begin by telling you that Velez & Oldham pretty much is FM rock morning radio here in New York City.” But, as narrator Dennis Oldham would be the first to admit, Roberto Velez is very much the senior partner of that act. A loudmouth and exhibitionist, Velez is the sort of disc jockey the WRTR (—Thunder Rock—) execs love to hate: offensive, abrasive, often obscene—and irresistibly entertaining to more than a million bleary-eyed New York listeners. Oldham has to play straight man to Velez’s clown, but he is glad just to be on the air. After a poor start as an accredited journalist, Oldham fell in with Velez by chance, and he is now content to plug rock bands and Hollywood blockbusters between traffic reports and Velez’s banter. Lately, however, Oldham’s life is looking more and more complicated. First, his ex-wife is challenging his custody rights. Second, he’s trying to score with Sally Wallach—a twentysomething studio intern whose dad owns the station—with only marginal success. Third, Sally’s father may be selling WRTR to a British media tycoon, who may be expected to change the format. Fourth, Velez’s drug- dealing brother has gone missing, and the mob may have something to do with it. Once a gofer, always a gofer, so naturally it’s Oldham’s job to solve everybody’s problem. Can he pull it off? Well, he didn—t get where is today by accident, did he? Raucous and surprisingly good-natured: Simmons” descent into the Dark Night of the Studio is required reading for anyone who has ever pondered the question: How can Robin Quivers live with herself?

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-57962-019-1
Page count: 275pp
Publisher: Permanent Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999