- File Size: 1906 KB
- Print Length: 71 pages
- Publisher: Great Detectives Ebooks; 1st Edition edition (January 20, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 20, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006DIOLA8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
All I Needed to Know I Learned From Columbo (Life Lessons from Great Detectives Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 71 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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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.
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. Graham more than holds his own in this company- and in discussing "And be a Villain" and "Instead of Evidence" he not only offers the reader some excellent insights, he prompts excitement at the thought of reading, or re-reading our old friend, as irascible and confounding as he may be.
The discussion of Father Brown contains references to a BBC radio series I didnt know existed and am quite interested in tracking down, although I did know about Mutual's radio show. Graham also includes the Fr. Brown short story "The Three Tools of Death" in this digital book and I am sure that any modern reader is likely to be quite taken aback by the reason behind the story's death. There is a British Father Brown series from the early '70 that is streaming on NetFlix and it is quite enjoyable to compare the characterization of the victim to the description in the story. When I first saw the show I thought the actor was playing it far too broad, but in reading the story now I find Chesterton's description drawing be back unavoidably to that portrayal.
In short this digital book is like meeting old friends and taking an enjoyable trip with them. Laugh at their faults, thrill in their successes, remember all over again, and pick up a hint or two to another great book or show to track down and enjoy. And waiting in patient hope for the day when Nero and Archie get the due on the screen.
Graham has both a knowledge, reverence and appreciation of his subject matter. If this is a seed for a longer work in this field by him that would be welcome news to all mystery fans.
At $1.99 I am sure that all but the most encyclopedic mystery fans will feel that have received their money's worth. Even great readers in the genre are unlikely to have the radio knowledge that Graham has.
And since the book is free on Prime if you are interested in classic mysteries this is a no-brainer purchase.
Give it a shot, you will likely be amused as I was.
Look for Adams podcasts, "The great detectives of old time radio" and his "Dragnet" podcast as well.
(Thanks Adam, keep up the good work.)
Most recent customer reviews
Concept = A+, Breadth = B, Substance = C.
Most other reviewers have described it as I see it.Read more
Excellent examination of the strength, foibles, and life lessons from some of our favorite fictional characters.Read more