The Steel of Men and Structure

  High Steel – The Daring Men Who Built The Worlds Greatest Skyline, 1881 to the Present, by Jim Rasenberger Quite often when writers take on a particular slant on history, they leave out the critical human element, i.e., how that particular bit of history affects the people involved. Not so with High Steel. Rasenberger…

If You Fall…Get Back Up!

Rise + Hustle, by Mike Whitfield I’m no longer concerned with the oddities of commercial writing. Besides all the postmodern variations on story structure and purpose, I’ve reviewed a novel to be used for (other) business purposes, so I don’t blush at all to review Rise + Hustle, Mike Whitfield’s book about the promise and…

Taming Literacy in This Age

Is the novel dead? Why do the remaining book readers today prefer nonfiction to fiction? When I had been working as an engineer for some 6-7 years, the Chief Structural Engineer called me in and said, “Bob, I need you to write a letter for me.” What he meant was a scolding letter to a…

Consultation No. 5 – With Virginia Woolf

We had a rare opportunity recently to talk with Virginia Woolf, and so I had my staff look into her personal history. My God! It’s a wonder the woman could write at all. We were advised by her latest agent to go easy on that in conversation, but she proved as open as anyone we’ve…

Consultation No. 3 – With John Steinbeck

Here we are up to our ankles in yet another imagined conversation with an American writer whose work has been, and continues to be, acclaimed for the passion of his characters, even when he leaves them subject on occasion to a side-splitting, acerbic humor. Charley, Steinbeck’s dog,  has been dead some forty years on the…

Consultation No.2: With James Joyce

We were very excited to, through the magic of imagination, talk with James Joyce about his writing, how he climbed down from the rarefied atmosphere of a classical education to wallow in the morass of humanity, as he put it over the telephone during our first contact with him for this talk. We were able…

Wars of the Annunaki, by Chris Hardy – Part 2 My last post on this book, written halfway though the reading posed a lot of questions, some prescient, some unwarranted, some remaining unanswered. First let me set the stage for Professor Hardy’s project here: She has examined texts of both Sumerian language and the later…