“Pomona Queen,” the movie

I’m a bit late in noting this, but Kem Nunn’s 1992 novel “Pomona Queen” has been optioned for a movie. According to a Variety article forwarded by Derek Deason, Shoreline Entertainment has hired Jeremiah Chechik to direct the film, with Christopher Doyle as cinematographer and with shooting to begin before the end of the year.

As Variety summarizes the plot: “The book revolves around Earl Dean. He is a broken-hearted door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman who happens to knock on the wrong door. Before he knows what happened, he is embroiled in a stranger’s manic quest to avenge the death of a brother. The story takes place over the course of one night.”

It also takes place in — where else? — Pomona, with mentions of such local spots as the Midway bar, Golden Ox hamburgers and Buffum’s department store. After I recommended the book in print a few years ago, readers were divided on its merits, with its grittiness turning off some and delighting others. For my money it’s an entertaining way to learn the darker side of our local history.

Nunn, a former Pomona Library page, has gone on to write several well-regarded “surf noir” novels and he created HBO’s recent “John From Cincinnati” series.

Incidentally, the Pomona Queen of the title was a real-life orange crate label. Now it’s the name of a local brew by Dale Brothers. That probably means something, but I’m not sure what.

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