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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, December 28


“Heavy-handed” might be the best way to describe Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s take on Louis Zamperini’s story about his ordeals during WWII. Granted, his story deserves to be told in film as well as print. But I came away from seeing this movie with a bad taste in my mouth. Too much about it was heavy-handed, sort of forcing his pain during his stay in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp down our throats, thus the bad taste in my mouth. Some of what was inflicted on Zamperini seemed to be too much, just not plausibly possible. When his Japanese tormenter, “The Bird,” forced every prisoner to stand in line and then strike Zamperini in the face—what looked like at least a hundred men, in the face, at least a hundred times. And at the end of the striking, Zamperini had only a few facial cuts and a black eye. Nah! Just not plausible. Near the end of the war (and the end of the movie), “The Bird” forced Zamperini to pick up what looked like a 4 x 8 x 8-foot plank (probably weighing fifty or sixty pounds) and hold it, telling the guards to shoot him if he dropped it. And after hours and hours of holding the plank across his shoulders, in final defiance, he hoists it above his head and holds it and holds it. Nah! Maybe really dramatic, but just not plausibly possible. All the prisoners were on a starvation diet, yet after two years of imprisonment, they didn’t look all that emaciated. And nowhere does it suggest that they had regular haircuts and regular shaves, yet their hair was cut throughout and no one had beards.
The same can be said about their 47-day stay on the tiny lifeboat, no long hair, no beards, no apparent loss of weight. And granted, these prisoners and others like them were required to work shoveling and carting coal for shipping, something that was against the provisions of the Geneva Convention. But did they all have to look like they’d been dumping coal dust over their heads? Like I said, too heavy-handed, Ms. Jolie. I admire Louis Zamperini’s bravery and his stamina against all odds, I admire his story, but I don’t admire what you did with it.
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