Tony O’Neill Sick City
07 September 2010
Tony O’Neill is one of my favorite writers. That’s not because we’re friends or because he used to play keyboards in my live band.
It’s because his stories of hedonism and underground heroism grip you by the throat and don’t let go! His new novel Sick City is a true gem.
If you like William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski , Dan Fante’s work, then chances are you will go crazy for Tony O’Neill’s brutally street elegant books.
Tony’s debut novel ‘Digging The Vein’ was a gritty thrill ride through the seedy underbelly of L.A. Based on Tony’s own experiences as a drug addict.
I still have depraved scenes from that wonderful book pop in to my head now and again when I least expect it and it’s been years and years since I read it!
I am midway between his brilliant new novel ‘Sick City’ I’ve been staying up way too late reading it actually and he has excelled even my high expectations with his twisted hilarious new story about two junkies (again set in L.A.) and their plan to sell a scandalous Sharon Tate orgy tape. Delicious sub plots and stellar characters make this dark roller coaster ride a real classic.
Tony’s books sit alongside the greats, William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski on my bookshelf and I often smile to myself when I think back to the time he gave me a chapter from ‘Digging The Vein’ to read, way before he’d moved to New York or found a publisher.
I knew instantly that he was a highly skilled writer (I had been unable to put the manuscript down!).
At the time I asked him why he wanted to play keyboards when he was writing amazing stuff like the chapter I had just read. He just smiled. Tony is an excellent guy, a fantastic keyboardist and one hell of a writer.
Later down the line he moved to New york and began writing for real. When ‘Digging The Vein’ was first published I was delighted to read such an exquisitely written dark tale and have been a fan of Tony’s work ever since. He’s published poetry and ghost written books with others,including t recent ‘Neon Angel’ about with Cherie Currie from The Runaways.
Every work of Tony’s is laced with desperation and the stark beauty of lives derailed and I marvel at the lucidity of his creations. You can find out more about Tony here. He does readings and signings around the U.S. and U.K. and especially in New York, so if you’re lucky enough to catch him live, please send him my love!