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All I Needed to Know I Learned From Columbo [Kindle Edition]

Adam Graham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

“Murder mysteries are, among other things, our most moral form of entertainment.”
--Orson Welles

Detective stories are fun and interesting, but as Adam Graham writes, they also have a lot to teach us about life..

Join podcaster Adam Graham on this fun journey through the annals of detective fiction as he examines the history and career of seven of the greatest detectives from literature, radio, and television. Along the way, he stops to point to the sometime surprising insights that these detectives teach such as:

-How to avoid cluttering your brain from Sherlock Holmes.
-How to form valuable opinions from Nero Wolfe.
-The importance of character from Dan Holiday.
-The proper use of anger from Columbo
-How to find courage from Adrian Monk

These detectives provide twelve timeless life lessons in a fresh and entertaining way. All I Needed to Know I Learned From Columbo is a must-read for any fan of detective fiction.

About the Author:

Adam Graham is the host of three Podcasts featuring golden age radio programs, “The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio,” “The Old Time Dragnet Show,” and, “The Old Time Radio Superman Show.” He is also an author and blogger, writing about religion, politics, and history. He and his wife published the novel, “Tales of the Dim Knight” available They live in Boise, Idaho with their cat Joybell.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1901 KB
  • Print Length: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Great Detectives Ebooks; 1st Edition edition (January 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006DIOLA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lessons of Fiction December 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fiction is a fascinating teacher. Not only will every reader see something different but the same reader on different occasions will glean different messages. Sometimes a reader will even pick up on the ones the writer intended.

All I Needed to Know, I Learned from Columbo is a look at fictional detectives throughout the history of the genre and the lessons about life some of them had for us.

Each chapter takes a look at a different detective's origins and describes the qualities that made that character unique and entertaining. After this overview, Adam picks important features of that character's personality and explains their importance in our daily lives. He uses examples from the shows, stories, and novels to illustrate the point.

The character overviews are interesting in their own right. As much as I enjoy old mysteries, I hadn't heard of some of the detectives he picked for his work. These introductions helped me understand the later points.

Throughout the work, Adam uses a conversational tone that is easy to understand and demonstrates insight into the importance of the lessons to be gained from the way these fictional detectives lived.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of an appreciation, and a good one at that January 6, 2012
By Turin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The "All I need to know..." might be a bit of a dated cliche and an unnecessary one at that. Maybe Graham felt he needed the rhetorical device to help organize his writing but I doubt that the reader will come away with a conviction in, or the necessity for, the title phrase.

It simply isnt necessary for the reader.

What we get here is better termed an Appreciation. Graham takes through seven of the all-time mystery greats, considering and enjoying their body of work like you might hold a tawny port in your mouth savoring it. As the author says in his introduction "to read Nero Wolfe, or to watch an episode of Columbo or Monk, is to take a journey with an old friend."

Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Father Brown, Dan Holiday- you cant even name check these characters with engendering a warm smile in most mystery readers. And Graham goes far past a name check or just a mere recitation of dry facts of books sold, total cases, etc. He has an appreciation for each of these detectives and a great knowledge of their 'careers' in all media. Adam is able to cite their various appearance on radio, movies and tv. I think Graham is right that despite being essayed by Sidney Greenstreet, William Conrad and Maury Chaykin we still havent seen a "most satisfactory" portrayal of the most enigmatically drawn Nero Wolfe.

The essays that stand out the most for me are probably Wolfe and Father Brown. Bantam reissued about 50 Wolfe books a decade ago and included in each was a introduction by another detective on the Stout and his character- so Graham has waded into a field that already has several dozen entries by mystery professionals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wish they'd taken their ideas further than they did. January 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I purchased this book hoping to learn what made the great fictional detectives discussed in this book great. But if the creators of these detectives had to make them two-dimensional to fit onto the pages of their books, "All I Need to Know I Learned from Columbo" reduces them even further, to one-dimensional characters.

To illustrate this point by example: the key lesson we are to learn from the Columbo mystery series is that there's room for anger. Huh? I've seen almost all the Columbo mysteries (and read all the books) and while there is one show in which he bangs his fist on the desk of the bad guy, generally speaking anger is definitely not a key personality characteristic of the good Lieutenant.

I had similar issues with many of the other detectives described in this book. I personally think that one of the characteristics for great fictional detective is that they have multi-layer, nuanced personalities that make their response somewhat unpredictable. But I came away from `All I Needed to Know...' learning about one, maybe two, characteristics of some of the most fun personalities in modern fiction. The authors had a great idea with this book but I wish they had developed it farther than they did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read! January 7, 2012
By daveNYC
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Adam Graham's unique perspective shines in this book, in which he provides an entertaining peek into the psyche of some favorite detectives. Enjoy this book and think about how its lessons can apply to your everyday life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Think! February 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
What a terrific book! It wasn't long, just right. It highlighted various detectives from the past and present including Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolf, Columbo (of course!), and Monk. Each chapter includes one or more 'life lessons', such as finding courage, respecting others for their own talents and abilities, being real about who you are, moral integrity, and truly caring about people. I would gladly recommend this to other readers.

I received this book free from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun little read March 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have loved detective fiction for as long as I can remember. So it was fun to read how the Grahams drew life lessons from some of my favorite sleuths and from some I was not that familiar with. The book is a quick read and I found it nice way to pass a cold snowy afternoon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good life lessons in a setting that speaks to Mystery buffs.
Published 26 days ago by Richard D. Lake
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read
It was fun to read this book. It reminded me of some of the joy I had in reading and watching detectives. It also introduced me to some detectives I hadn't read before. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Nancy Sewing
5.0 out of 5 stars What Life Lessons Colombo Can Teach Us
Thanks to a recently discovered TV station that shows all the "oldies" I was introduced to Colombo. Somehow I missed him whem I was younger. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jill R
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Lesson for Real Life
I only know Sherlock and Monk but I learned all sorts of lessons in this book. One detective I didn't know, Wolfe, really showed how spending your time wisely and making time for... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sheena-kay Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars All I Needed to Know I Learned from Columbo
Ok, so I'm sure I've said over and over again (enough to irritate anyone who listens) that I am a HUGE fan of Mystery. I've seen every Columbo episode/movie there is. Read more
Published 10 months ago by megHan
3.0 out of 5 stars A+, B, C
I received this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Concept = A+, Breadth = B, Substance = C.

Most other reviewers have described it as I see it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sprocket
4.0 out of 5 stars What do your favorite fictional characters have to teach you?
All I Needed to Know, I Learned from Columbo by Adam Graham
Excellent examination of the strength, foibles, and life lessons from some of our favorite fictional characters. Read more
Published 10 months ago by CreativeArtist
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, but more follow through needed.
The premise for this book is wonderful. There are many things that we can learn from the Great Detectives in literature, about both detective work and life in general. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Lessons from Columbo
This is a fun little book, with an interesting premise. It shares life lessons we can glean from famous fictional detectives. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for mystery fans
Being a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe, I picked up a copy to see what life lessons I could learn. Mr. Read more
Published 10 months ago by James E. Jacobs
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