Tough Guy Lit: Roderick Thorp’s Nothing Lasts Forever

Tough Guy Lit recommends and discusses a tough guy novel from yesterday. Feel free to send Sean Tuohy your own suggestions in the comments section or tweet us at @WritersBone along with #toughguylit.

By Sean Tuohy

Unlike what the title suggests, Nothing Lasts Forever has lasted quite a while. Published in 1979 by thriller author Roderick Thorp, the action-packed novel has stayed in publication over the years with a little help from the film adaptation…a little film called “Die Hard.”  

Yes, the action film that spawned a multi-billion dollar film series and an action sub-genre was based on a novel. The tale of how Nothing Lasts Forever became "Die Hard" truly deserves its own book (It’s a classic Hollywood story that is filled with twist and turns).

Nothing Lasts Forever hits the ground running and follows ex-NYPD detective Joe Leland as he goes to L.A. to visit his daughter Stephanie, an executive at a massive oil company. The moment he arrives, the aged Leland finds himself at odds with his daughter, a free spirited woman who does drugs and is having an affair with her boss, Harry Ellis. Before father and daughter have time to connect, everyone’s favorite bad guy Anton “Little Tony the Red” Gruber and a group of terrorists seize control of the building and hold the partygoers hostage. Leland, shoeless and armed with only a Browning Hi-Power pistol, sneaks around building while trying to thwart the terrorists.

Besides the blockbuster-sized action, a lot of which is found in the film, Nothing Lasts Forever is very much a story of a tired and scared old man trying his best to keep himself and his family alive. Throughout the novel, Leland spends time reviewing his life, his relationships, and who he is as a man.  

Nothing Lasts Forever is a great way to for “Die Hard” fans to see the blueprint for what became the iconic action series. Any lover of great action and well-crafted story will find Nothing Lasts Forever to be the perfect read. 

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