Steve Ulfelder

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Mini-review: The Forgotten Man

Posted by on Sep 22, 2008 in Book Reviews, Writing |

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, by Amity Shlaes This is a good history that coulda-shoulda been great. There was a hole in my understanding of the Great Depression, and I suspect I’m not alone. We knew the stock market crashed in ’29; Herbert Hoover was run out of Washington on a rail, replaced by Franklin Delano...

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Gregory Mcdonald is dead

Posted by on Sep 10, 2008 in Writing |

He wrote the Fletch and Flynn series, among others. He was damn good. It’s been awhile since I read his stuff, but I remember him as a guy who quickly mastered, then toyed with, the genre. It appeared that writing a truly strong plot, with just the right clues and red herrings, not to mention memorable characters and plenty of laughs, was...

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The very model of the modern male mystery protagonist

Posted by on Aug 27, 2008 in Palaver, Writing |

It’s all in this impressive (27,000 interviews!) study. Takeaway: “Being seen as honorable, self-reliant and respected was more important to [survey respondents’] idea of masculinity than being seen as attractive, sexually active or successful with women.” The whole post-Spenser PI archetype is really spelled out here, although PI...

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Even a master is entitled to a stinker now and then

Posted by on Aug 20, 2008 in Writing |

As I’ve noted before, I’m rereading my favorite series of all time – John D. MacDonald‘s Travis McGee – in order. Just wrapped up book 10, The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper. This will be the last one I read for awhile, indeed the last fiction of any sort I read for awhile; I’ve just begun earnest work on the third...

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‘Train wreck for the grammar-challenged’

Posted by on Aug 13, 2008 in Palaver, Writing |

I don’t get my undies in a bunch over grammar or spelling mistakes – if only because Murphy’s Law dictates that if you write about such things, you will commit an error or two that pedants will jump on like hyenas on a three-legged zebra – but the misuse of its and it’s does cause my teeth to grate. Which is bad for my teeth,...

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