One of the most difficult popular fiction genres to define with any precision is the “thriller.” Years ago in a book review (I can’t recall which one right now), John Updike wrote, “At some level, every novel aspires to be a thriller.” Or words to that effect. I think he meant…
On May 19, the New York Times carried an extended obituary of a Scottish novelist named Elspeth Barker. The following day, the Times ran an extended…
I’ve argued before on this blog that 1975 was the greatest year in the history of crime/mystery fiction. Whenever I find myself in a good used-book…
This August brings us the seventieth anniversary of the release of John Ford’s classic 1952 film The Quiet Man, which starred John Wayne, Maureen…
It is often said that politics is downstream from culture. In the 1990s, various films (Philadelphia, Love! Valour! Compassion!, etc), and TV shows…
The year 2021 was an odd one for me as a reader. Much of the reading I did was done in the service of some article I was writing. I’ve always wanted to…
In 1994, at the age of 36, I found myself unemployed and in need of money. A downturn in the real-estate market had cost me my job in the…
Legend has it that Otto Preminger was so abusive to Thomas Tryon, the star of Preminger’s film The Cardinal, that Tryon gave up acting after completing…
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A Boomer and His Books