More Than a Tour of Duty

Youngblood, by Matt Gallagher War novels tend to be nihilistic, with elevated existential passages; not always well written, but punctuated with graphic passages that leave the reader all too aware of the toll war takes on humanity. Almost no modern war novel, then, leaves the reader with a sense of winning or losing; instead reminding that […]

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  I’m on the horns of a dilemma. Okay, I won’t use such a creepy cliche again. Ever. Promise. I’m writing a novel that’s vaguely autobiographical. The advantage to fiction – at least in this case – is that I can assign my history to a string of characters, sort of a literary shell game. […]

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Appreciating the Writer

I just finished reading a short article in Esquire about the late Jim Harrison and his writing life, and a couple of things resonated strongly for me – as I’m sure they would for any serious writer. Before “Legends of the Fall,” Harrison, his wife, and two daughters subsisted on some $9,000 a year. Think […]

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A Detective’s Achilles Heel

  The Guise of Another, by Allen Eskens I like mysteries, especially if they’re well written, and Eskens has been flirting with a literary version of the genre in his first two books. In many ways, The Guise of Another extends his command of the genre; in at least one other way, though, flaws have […]

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