Book Review: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

High atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, an office Christmas party turns into a deadly cage-match between a lone New York City cop and a gang of international terrorists. Every action fan knows it could only be the explosive big-screen blockbuster Die Hard. But before Bruce Willis blew away audiences as unstoppable hero John McClane, author Roderick Thorp knocked out thriller readers with the bestseller that started it all.

A dozen heavily armed terrorists have taken hostages, issued demands, and promised bloodshed all according to plan. But they haven’t counted on a death-defying, one-man cavalry with no shoes, no backup, and no intention of going down easily. As hot-headed cops swarm outside, and cold-blooded killers wield machine guns and rocket launchers inside, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between anti-hero and uber-villains. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight to the death. Ho ho ho!

What I Thought:
I’ve been meaning to read Nothing Lasts Forever for years, but never got around to it, so when I came across this edition, commemorating 25 years since the first Die Hard movie, I thought I would finally give it a go.

There are – of course – some notable differences between this book and the film (the name of the main character for a start) but, on the whole, the 1979 novel stands up well to the movie, and is also a pretty solid action thriller if you disregard what followed.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know the broad story, but there are elements here that were changed, or left out which add a great deal of extra detail to the plot and show the main character – Joe Leland in the book – as more than just a man willing to kill to liberate the hostages. There is also a great section in this commemorative edition that features Roderick Thorp’s original notes on the book and the character. It’s good to see those both transcribed and in his own handwriting. There is also, at the end of the book, a snippet of Walter Wager’s novel, 58 Minutes, which was the basis for Die Hard 2.

As I said, Nothing Lasts Forever is definitely recommended for fans of the Die Hard franchise, but it is also good introduction to those 1970s action/disaster thrillers that went on to dominate the big screen.

Nothing Lasts Forever is published by Graymalkin Media.

Note: I received a copy of the book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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