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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.

Tuesday, September 27


With his snow-white hair and mustache, Tom Hanks became Sully Sullenberger in Warner Brothers Sully. I and, I would assume, most of the viewers of this film knew the basics of that watery landing in the Hudson, but we didn’t know any of the back-story about Sully’s anguish over what he did or didn’t do, the possibility of his being fired and losing his pension. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) tried to make him a goat instead of a hero by proving that he should have brought the plane back to LaGuardia instead of into the river, needlessly endangering everyone on board the plane. Sully kept claiming that his forty-two years of flight experience told him he wouldn’t have been able to make it that far. The two dramatic moments in the film were the actual landing and rescue of the 155 people aboard and later, at the NTSB hearing, the computer-generated simulations of what he should have done, bringing the plane in to LaGuardia. The simulations showed that he could have landed safely in either place, LaGuardia or New Jersey. But they didn’t take into account a time gap when the pilots were checking to see if either engine could be started. Sully argued that in the simulations, the pilots immediately turned back when they were given the runway for landing. He also pointed out how calm the simulator pilots were as opposed to the true tension in the real situation. The board granted him 35 seconds and then ran the simulations again. In both cases, the plane would have come down short of the runways and crashed into buildings. Vindication for both Sully and his second in command Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). When board member Elizabeth Davis (Anna Gunn) asked Skiles what he would have done differently if he had it to do over, Skiles said, “I’d have done it in July.” Big laughter all around. Heroes, then, and not goats. Those two moments made the film and all the rest was merely fluff—Laura Linney as Sully’s fretful wife and the incidental details about some of the passengers. Director Clint Eastwood so admires the subject of his film that he’s quoted as saying, “Although I’m going to vote for Donald Trump in November, I think Sully Sullenberger would made a better president.” The same could be said about nearly anyone.
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