In a break from the typical sci-fi/fantasy based Kindle Singles, I just read a biography of one of my all-time media favorites, Humphrey Bogart.
Stefan Kanfer's Tough Without a Gun is a fairly detailed analysis of what makes Bogie so iconic. If you believe the AFI, Bogart is the greatest American film star of all time. Yes, his acting was rather monotone and his ability to play outside a rather narrow band of characters was slim. But Bogart represents an America that many of us are nostalgic for, hence his staying power.
I found the story of Bogart's youth and his struggle to achieve his fame to be rather amazing. I'd never known that he was so lost -- the directionless son of a wealthy family. Poor little rich kid. Acting was really a trade he fell into, via family friendships and a lack of marketable skills.
I think I'll put on my trench coat, fedora, and go wander around Manhattan.
Stefan Kanfer's Tough Without a Gun
To call Shopsin’s “a Greenwich Village institution” was to understate something profound and important and weird and funny: Shopsin’s (first a grocery store, later a restaurant) was a kind of secret reservoir of the odd and wonderful and informal world that New York City once represented, in the pre-Trumpian days of Sesame Street and Times Square sleaze: Tamara Shopsin grew up in Shopsin’s, and Arbitrary Stupid Goal is her new, “no-muss memoir,” is at once charming and sorrowing, a magnificent time-capsule containing the soul of a drowned city.
There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library.
I’m teaching the Clarion Science Fiction writing workshop at UCSD in La Jolla this week, and tomorrow night at 7PM, I’ll be reading from my novel Walkaway at Comickaze Liberty Station, 2750 Historic Decatur Rd #101, San Diego, CA 92106. Hope to see you!
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