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All I Needed to Know I Learned From Columbo (Life Lessons from Great Detectives Book 1) by [Graham, Adam]
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All I Needed to Know I Learned From Columbo (Life Lessons from Great Detectives Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 71 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • 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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By C. Koepp on 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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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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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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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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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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Most of the detectives talked about before Columbo were before my time. After reading about the early detectives I can understand more of the plots that are on TV now. I really enjoyed reading about how the detective shows that we watch now evolved. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys police or detective shows.
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