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  • "Atlas Shrugged" ~ long overdue read on my part, still valid 60-70 years later.

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    • 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.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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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.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • 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.
          Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 28 Feb 17, 07:53.
          BoRG

          You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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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.
            I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford. Lord Halifax

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            • 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.
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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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
                Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 01 Mar 17, 08:46.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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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
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                  Comment


                  • 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."
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                      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.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                      • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                        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.
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • 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.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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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...
                            Last edited by SmackUm; 01 Mar 17, 14:27. Reason: edit link

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                            • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                              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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                              • Originally posted by G David Bock View Post

                                Where is John Galt? (When we need him.)
                                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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