GERALD DiPEGO has written five novels: With a Vengeance, Forest Things, Shadow of the Beast, Keeper of the City,
. Reading them, one will find that Keeper of the City
is chilling, set in well-defined Chicago settings and a sense of psychological terror that propels the story; Cheevey
is a spectacular novel of an emotionally honest boy balanced on the edge of twenty, with clear direct prose and a graceful narrative.
What happens next is one searches for information about DiPego online. Unfortunately, what turns up is absolutely no biographical information, and credits for loads of screenplays, his main thing. That isn’t to say, of course, that he writes good movies – it is terribly surprising to find that he wrote both the slow-moving Angel Eyes and wooden Message in a Bottle. Mostly this is upsetting because out of his book comes a wonderful continuous flow of ideas, coherent and cohesive. One expects more from him.
It could be said that it would ruin things for oneself by being exposed to Cheevey before the rest of his works, or it could be said that it is the only work of DiPego’s that need be read. And it need be read, I am not kidding. In his own words:
”I guess I have the softest spot for … the novel Cheevey. Those were breakthroughs for me, as a person, as a writer. Even if they had never gotten produced or published, they proved something to me. To make each idea work, I knew I had to go deeper than I've ever gone before, right from my deepest place. And to let go of having one eye on the marketplace, or having one eye on what maybe people expected me to write. I let go of all that... It was that final breakthrough into being braver…”
How did DiPego become a screenwriter? Gerald started out as a reporter for several years, then tried graduate school which seemed juvenile compared with the world outside. Instead, he decided to use the year for experimentation, signing up for some film and television courses. Once finished, he settled in Chicago and worked with sales training films and the like. Next it was off to L.A. with a script to try and get through somewhere. DiPego’s first TV movie was made in 1973. (For lack of further biographical information, I will just assume it all grew from there.
Filmography as Writer
Apologies. I could not find any birthdate, nor birthplace, nor short sweet story of his life. I can, however, share with you the dedication from his novel, Cheevey:
And to my sons, Justin and Zack,
And to the boy who was me.
Many Thanks writersdigest.com, IMDB, and