PULP THIS

THE HOLDOUT

If you’ve never read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, hold off before reading The Holdout, by Graham Moore. Ten years ago, Maya was the lone not guilty vote who eventually swayed the other jurors to acquit an accused child-murderer. Now, someone has targeted the members of the jury and seems dead-set on […]

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Dreyer’s English

When my wife caught me listening to this book on English grammar and style, cackling with delight here and there, she sighed and said, “You’re such a nerd.” A difficult point to contradict. If you’re hip to the tongue-in-cheek irony of the subtitle, “An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style,” there is every chance […]

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Books #2020

In random order. Some audio. Some analog. Some missing. As You Like It — William ShakespeareWhat the Buddha Taught – Walpole Sri RahulaTotal Power – Vince FlynnVicious – V.E. SchwabShibumi – TrevanianThe Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – Grady HendrixGideon the Ninth – Tamsyn MuirThe Infinite Game – Simon SinekRules For Radicals – […]

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Destry Rides Again by Max Brand

Max Brand’s 1930 novel embodies one of the aspects of pulp novels that has always drawn me to them: humans struggling with or against morality in an amoral universe. The harsh, dangerous, and unforgiving landscape of the American frontier crushes the weak or merely naive, exposing bourgeois morality as a dish only those well insulated […]

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Read Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country delights readers with a yarn that includes sorcerers, ghosts, the Illuminati, interdimensional travel, interplanetary travel, magical spells, and human transmogrification, but the real horror comes from the casual cruelty of Jim Crow’s America. In this regard, Matt Ruffe’s novel feels utterly grounded. As formidable a foes as we find in the Cabal of […]

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Use Slugline 2

I’ve used Final Draft since 2003, and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, it’s chock-full of features I don’t use and has become so bloated as to complicate the use of features that I do. Then about a month ago, Henry called and told me I had to start using Slugline 2. Henry is a […]

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Rules For Radicals

Paul Carson called Saul Alinsky, Satan, which naturally compelled me to read Rules For Radicals (1970), a nuts and bolts handbook for revolution, defined as the transferring of power from the powerful to the powerless. In other words, the dialectical opposite of Machiavelli’s The Prince, which describes how those with power can best hold on […]

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A Head Full of Ghosts

Is fourteen year-old Marjorie crazy or is she possessed? It’s a familiar setup, and Tremblay’s novel drags us through the first half of the novel with a lot of hand-wringing, family dinners, and vomiting before the inevitable exorcism. (Given how fond demons seem to be of possessing fourteen year-old girls, I’d give possession good odds). […]

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Trigger Mortis

TRIGGER MORTIS by Anthony Horowitz takes place in 1956 and immediately follows the events in Ian Fleming’s novel, Goldfinger. Horowitz does a remarkable job conjuring Fleming’s voice without dipping into pastiche. At the outset, we’re brought into the world of Grand Prix racing. Horowitz has poured a lot of research into the task, and the result kicks off […]

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