Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Queen of Patpong

Tim Hallinan’s The Queen of Patpong arrives in bookstores today and, come to think of it, so should you. Go ahead! Buy a few copies; get an early start on your Christmas shopping. Buy a copy for yourself, get one for your best friend, give one to your brother’s ex-wife’s sister’s boyfriend. Give a copy to your third cousin in Paducah. Or buy a box of them and hand them out to homeless people on a downtown street corner.

Seriously, The Queen of Patpong is a great, good read; Kirkus Reviews liked it enough to give it a star (getting a star out of Kirkus involves about the same amount of effort as squeezing river rock until it bleeds). If I gave out stars with my reviews, The Queen of Patpong would get five of them. Yeah, it’s that good.

Speaking of reviews, you can read my review of The Queen of Patpong here. If you click on the links near the end of the review, you’ll find other reviews, author info, lots of good stuff for dedicated readers and writers of thriller fiction. You won’t be disappointed.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

From the Gulf of Mexico to Coxsackie-Athens High

Regular readers of this blog are well aware that my blogging activities sort of ran off the rails in early April and that my blog posts since then can be counted on the digits of one hand—with a couple of thumbs to spare. Getting my various projects back on the rails and back up to speed has been a long, slow process, so when Barbara O’Brien (The Mahablog) asked me if I could post one of her articles on my other blog (Petey’s Pipeline) I readily agreed. I might be too proud to ask for help, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m too proud to accept help if it’s offered.

After you’ve read Barbara’s most excellent and insightful piece about the Gulf Oil Disaster, do yourself a favor and read Coxsackie-Athens High School valedictorian Erica Goldson’s graduation speech in which she makes a scathing condemnation of institutionalized education. Larry Hamelin (The Barefoot Bum) believes that Erica’s profound and moving speech deserves the widest dissemination, and I concur. It is, after all, hard to be smart if you can’t think.

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