The Manipulated, the latest title in the series, is about:
Sleeping with a surrogate daughter ... a Golden Globe ... hockey at Staples Center ... the Velour Overground ... black, green, and oolong tea ... Mao's Kitchen ... alternate realities ... Zoloft ... chicken marsala ... James Bond ... Johnny Depp ... Pink Pearls ... the use of light and shadow ... fatherhood ... stalking a former lover ... a head shop ... a time-traveling ninja master ... Iraq, because everything's about Iraq ... Beyoncé ... the Felonious Monks ... a little Taoism ... the Venice Riots ... a spate of epiphanies ... tentacles ...Among the praise for The Manipulated:
"Entertaining prose, frequent humor, quirky L.A. scenes, and a lovable protagonist strongly recommend this fourth entry in the Joe Portugal series.'Here's the opening paragraph of Walpow's entry at My Book, The Movie:
"Joe Portugal has a great compassion for filmdom's bottom-feeders, and his wounded, good-guy humanity makes The Manipulated a moving, fulfilling read."
"Walpow writes one of the most entertaining series being done today. His writing styly feels smooth and casual and instantly absorbs the reader ... like a cold beer on a really hot day, cool, refreshing and just what you need to feel good."
"The pace is fast and furious and the dialogue is snappy. Forget [name omitted] and all of those writers with a million dollar marketing program backing them up. Those people are just pretending to be writers anyway. Nathan Walpow is the real thing."
"I thought the last Joe Portugal novel - One Last Hit - was unbeatable. Wrong. The Manipulated is even better. Suddenly this is a must-read series."
--Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels
"The Manipulated is one slick read. Nathan Walpow has a keen instinct for balancing humor and suspense, and Joe Portugal is one of the hippest series characters around. Entertaining as hell."
--Victor Gischler, author of Gun Monkeys
"Nathan Walpow writes like the slacker love child of Ross MacDonald and The Big Lebowski. The Manipulated is funny, smart, snide and rocking, and I'm not just talking air guitar."
--Denise Hamilton, author of the Eve Diamond novels
I've thought about casting my protagonist, Joe Portugal, a TV commercial actor who keeps stumbling over dead bodies, pretty much since the first book came out in 1999. Never came up with anyone I've been truly happy with. A few years ago I started considering Hank Azaria (who I was in a comedy improv class with a couple of decades ago). He'd be good, but seeing him doesn't quite make me jump up and say, "Hey, that's Joe." Another name that's come to mind lately is Steve Carell. I've seen him in a couple of movies, and I think he'd work nicely, but again I don't experience the that's-Joe moment. I watch The Daily Show every day, and Jon Stewart would be right physically; he's got the comedy chops, but I'm not sure about the more serious stuff. Finally, give him a few more years, and I'd consider John Cusack, who I think is vastly underrated. [read on]Read an excerpt from The Manipulated and learn more about Nathan Walpow and his books and short stories.
My Book, The Movie: The Manipulated.