Category Archives: Great Books

New Start at New Address

Those Metropolitan Museum of Art bulletins are having an insidious effect. They remind of what’s been left behind. That’s why I’m already looking ahead to August 2015 for a return to New York.

Of course one upside regarding this move to Nevada is finally being able to enter contests whose grand prizes are all-expense paid trips to New York City. Before, sponsors never failed stuffing my inbox or mailbox with entries. For trips to New York City. Maybe if I lived in Buffalo or Plattsburgh the excursion offered might’ve been worthwhile.

Instead, had I entered and somehow won, travel would’ve consisted of catching a commuter train to Grand Central Terminal, then, depending on the hotel, taking a subway or cab there.

That sojourn wouldn’t have provoked any bug-eyed, screaming gratitude. That just would’ve been another weekend downtown.

Strangely enough now that I live in Las Vegas, I’m receiving pitches whose big prizes are Vegas vacations. Like I said, strange. Continue reading New Start at New Address


    After rather involved February and March posts, the intent was to have been concise through April. Content will still be shorter but the subjects have changed.

    April 2014 is the centenary of French author Marguerite Duras’ birth. Best known here for her book The Lover (most guys watched the movie version to ogle a gloriously naked Jane March), Duras also collaborated on the Hiroshima, Mon Amour script, a cinematic feat that set intellectuals, and those who adore their brilliance, swooning. Continue reading Unwritten

Not Your Father’s Blue Carbuncle

    We’re dumbing down Sherlock Holmes. If the recent Robert Downey, Jr., efforts making “Sherlocking” more accessible for the earbud/self-absorbed set weren’t puerile enough, BBC TV has gone whole-hog to render Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective and his associate Dr. John Watson relevant for 21st century viewers.

    No need to wonder what Conan Doyle might’ve made of those revisions. He would’ve looked at them as if H.G. Wells had monkeyed with his template. On absinthe.

    The Downey reboots were jarring. Are jarring. Will be jarring. Holmes as imagined by Sax Rohmer. Or H. Rider Haggard. Ripping yarns instead of Victorian Age mysteries. Holmes mirrored his time. Downey’s Holmes distorts it. Continue reading Not Your Father’s Blue Carbuncle

My Akhmatova

    When first creating this forum I intended flogging my ebooks Reveries and Cool Brass. That, and resume some kind of writing discipline by telling stories. Nearly two decades have passed since I last graced a newsroom, and 10 years from any article bearing my real byline.

    Writing is easy. Self-promotion is craven. Funny thing is while I’m reticent about myself and my product, I could be P.T. Barnum’s spiritual heir if it came to hawking some loser starving for celebrity or another kind of dog food. Continue reading My Akhmatova

What Came Along

    Blessed and cursed are those of us residing in the New York Metropolitan area. Regarding the first, where else on earth can inquisitive minds, the nakedly ambitious, poseurs even, find such a concatenation of amusements, outlets and audiences? 

    On the downside, cheap is expensive here.
    In order to avoid falling into an exaggerated subsistence level, throughout January I  performed certain economies. The 2008 financial tumble washed over me in 2009 but I didn’t start gasping for air until last year.

    Being luckier than many others reduced my pay, transformed my bonus into lousy tip money, while my investments only started recouping their declines slower than a tired fat man climbing Empire State Building stairs. Continue reading What Came Along