Sunday, August 14, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 304

Sunday, August 14, 2005---545 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds
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Rave: Fanny Grace
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Didjaknow: Yogi Berra was among those who stormed ashore on D-Day at Normandy.
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Underrated: Glenn Ford, John Garfield, Laura Lippman, and “Band of Brothers.”
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Rave: At eight years of age, Lucifer Dye could “shill a crap game, pimp for a whore house, speak six or seven languages, roll drunks, and hustle the rubes,” but could neither read nor write.
Dye is the central character in “The Fools in Town Are on Our Side” (1970) by Ross Thomas.
It is a complex, unique, compulsively entertaining small town corruption novel.
After Dye completes his education on a “scholarship” granted by a clandestine government agency he is employed by the agency, Section Two. And, he is told, “There is no Section One.”
After being unceremoniously dumped by the outfit, he is hired by Victor Orcutt to corrupt the corrupt in a Gulf Coast city.
Myriad scalawags abound, chicanery is the order of the day and abundant deceptions are trump cards, as a cast of sharp, unforgettable characters are manipulated by Dye, Orcutt and two associates.
There is never a dull moment in the absorbing narrative.
The “heroes” are tarnished and shady, and not much better than their adversaries.
The novels of Ross Thomas are fascinating and impossible to put down.
Out of print for nearly a decade, several of his works are being reissued by St. Martin’s Press. Do yourself a favor---pick one up and enjoy the ride.
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Overrated: Jude Law, poker on TV, reality shows, TV coverage of Natalee Holloway
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Driver’s Ed 101: It is infinitely easier to back into a parking space that it is to back out of one!
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Absolutely meaningless factoid: The Baltimore Orioles are the first team in the history of baseball to replace one manager (Lee Mazzilli) with two zees in his name with another (Sam Perlozzo) who has a double zee.
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Rant: Why are the Lakers scheduled to be on national television 24 times next season? Is America that eager to watch the seventh-best team in the West?
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Could be: Are the Polish going to get the NCAA to eliminate the pole position in automobile races?
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Funny Biz: While my political views swing 180 degrees away from those of Bill Maher, he can be a funny, funny man. In his latest book, “New Rules: Polite Musings of a Timid Observer” he effectively skewers the cult of celebrity, pop culture and politics as only he can.
And, life is too short if one cannot laugh at oneself, and “New Rules” gets me to do just that.
Things do have a way of balancing out however, as Bernard Goldberg’s “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” is the #4 Best Selling Nonfiction title according to Nielsen BookScan.
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Quote: “Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure.”---Atwood H. Townsend.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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