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  #3946  
Old 27 Feb 17, 14:27
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"Atlas Shrugged" ~ long overdue read on my part, still valid 60-70 years later.
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  #3947  
Old 28 Feb 17, 06:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoblin View Post
Eric Ambler, Cause for Alarm


Have you read Alan Furst's books? He has reinvented the espionage genre since Ambler. The Kingdom of Shadows is a good introduction to him.
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  #3948  
Old 28 Feb 17, 06:29
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Originally Posted by G David Bock View Post
"Atlas Shrugged" ~ long overdue read on my part, still valid 60-70 years later.
Agree, the recent California dam breaking reminded me of the train in the tunnel scene and political point.
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  #3949  
Old 28 Feb 17, 07:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
Have you read Alan Furst's books? He has reinvented the espionage genre since Ambler. The Kingdom of Shadows is a good introduction to him.
Excellent comparison!
Like Ambler, whom he resembles in bringing pre-war and early war atmosphere to live, Furst has his good books (like 'KoS') and lesser ones.

Like Ambler, Furst's plots often remains vague. The moment Furst does insert a strong plot, like the attempt to stop othe Danbue shipping of German oil in 'Blood of Victory', the whole books benefits immensely.
In Ambler's 'Cause for Alarm' the plot is practically absent IIRC.
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  #3950  
Old 28 Feb 17, 22:19
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Audible version of:

All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy
by Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Really fascinating views on the KJBible and Anglican Church evolvement. Plenty of references to folks getting burnt up too.
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  #3951  
Old 01 Mar 17, 08:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Sennef View Post
Excellent comparison!
Like Ambler, whom he resembles in bringing pre-war and early war atmosphere to live, Furst has his good books (like 'KoS') and lesser ones.

Like Ambler, Furst's plots often remains vague. The moment Furst does insert a strong plot, like the attempt to stop othe Danbue shipping of German oil in 'Blood of Victory', the whole books benefits immensely.
In Ambler's 'Cause for Alarm' the plot is practically absent IIRC.
Furst is somewhat like Raymond Chandler's in his focus on atmosphere and characters while the plot suffers from just situational encounters.
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  #3952  
Old 01 Mar 17, 08:38
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This comparison reminded me of letter Chandler wrote to a friend that illustrates his (and Furst's) point of view:

"A long time ago when I was writing for pulps I put into a story line like "he got out of the car and walked across the sun-drenched sidewalk until the shadow of the awning over the entrance fell across his face like the touch of cool water." They took it out when they published the story. Their readers didn't appreciate this sort of thing: just held up the action. And I set out to prove them wrong. My theory was they just thought they cared nothing about anything but the action; that really, although they didn't know it, they cared very little about the action. The things they really cared about, and that I cared about, were the creation of emotion through dialogue and description;

To be continued
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  #3953  
Old 01 Mar 17, 08:43
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"... the things they remembered, that haunted them, were not for example that a man got killed, but that in the moment of his death he was trying to pick a paper clip up off the polished surface of a desk, and it kept slipping away from him, so that there was a look of strain on his face and his mouth was half open in a kind of tormented grin, and the last thing in the world he thought about was death. He didn't even hear death knock on the door. That damn little paper clip kept slipping away from his fingers and he just wouldn't push it to the edge of the desk and catch it as it fell.
With kindest regards,"

Raymond Chandler
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  #3954  
Old 01 Mar 17, 08:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
This comparison reminded me of letter Chandler wrote to a friend:

"A long time ago when I was writing for pulps I put into a story line like "he got out of the car and walked across the sun-drenched sidewalk until the shadow of the awning over the entrance fell across his face like the touch of cool water." They took it out when they published the story. Their readers didn't appreciate this sort of thing: just held up the action. And I set out to prove them wrong. My theory was they just thought they cared nothing about anything but the action; that really, although they didn't know it, they cared very little about the action. The things they really cared about, and that I cared about, were the creation of emotion through dialogue and description;

To be continued
Which is somewhat contradicted by his advice on plot building

"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."
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  #3955  
Old 01 Mar 17, 08:50
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Which is somewhat contradicted by his advice on plot building

"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."
What did you think of his illustration? His plots are generally weak, and when a character was no longer useful he kills them off, usually with a gun in someone's hand.
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  #3956  
Old 01 Mar 17, 10:44
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What did you think of his illustration? His plots are generally weak, and when a character was no longer useful he kills them off, usually with a gun in someone's hand.
Or sometimes he just kills them off and nobody - least of all Chandler knows who did it or why, as happens in The Big Sleep.

There is a book of short stories by Maclaren-Ross called the funny bone. Maclaren-Ross was a somewhat bohemian author of Scots - Indian -Cuban extraction who himself appears in fictional form as the novelist X. Trapnel in Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and as Prince Yakimov in Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy. In the Funny bone there are a number of parodies of well known authors including Chandler. Maclaren-Ross always claimed that he had persuaded the authors who he knew to write self parodies and although they denied it their style is got off to a T. Marlow tracks down a shadowy figure through an overcomplicated plot. This turns out to be Chandler himself who shoots Marlow dead because he can't think of an ending that works.
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  #3957  
Old 01 Mar 17, 12:52
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Or sometimes he just kills them off and nobody - least of all Chandler knows who did it or why, as happens in The Big Sleep.

There is a book of short stories by Maclaren-Ross called the funny bone. Maclaren-Ross was a somewhat bohemian author of Scots - Indian -Cuban extraction who himself appears in fictional form as the novelist X. Trapnel in Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and as Prince Yakimov in Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy. In the Funny bone there are a number of parodies of well known authors including Chandler. Maclaren-Ross always claimed that he had persuaded the authors who he knew to write self parodies and although they denied it their style is got off to a T. Marlow tracks down a shadowy figure through an overcomplicated plot. This turns out to be Chandler himself who shoots Marlow dead because he can't think of an ending that works.
Great anecdote!! Thanks for sharing.
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  #3958  
Old 01 Mar 17, 14:15
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The Discovery & Conquest of the New World by Irving/ W.W. Robertson Library of Congress 1892 Washington, DC.
https://archive.org/details/cihm_02719
https://archive.org/details/discoveryandconq00irvirich
https://www.abebooks.com/Discovery-C...11685977196/bd
I have a hard copy of my own and really like Washington Irving's works...

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Old 01 Mar 17, 15:28
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Agree, the recent California dam breaking reminded me of the train in the tunnel scene and political point.
Yes, the idea of too many politicians that because they say it is so, or order it to be done, it can and should. More modern version is: "If we can put a man on the Moon, we should be able to ...."

Where is John Galt? (When we need him.)
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  #3960  
Old 02 Mar 17, 06:14
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Where is John Galt? (When we need him.)
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