Search Results for: Books Read

A

“A” Is for Alibi

Abandon Ship!

The ABC Murders

About a Boy

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

After the Funeral

Against All Enemies

The Agenda

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 

The Alienist

Alive

All the King’s Men

All the President’s Men

American Conspiracies

American Jihad

American on Purpose

American Rhapsody

America’s Great Unsolved Mysteries

The Amityville Horror

The Ancient Alien Question

And the Sea Will Tell

And Then There Were None

Angela’s Ashes

Animal Farm

Anna Karenina

The Antichrist

Appointment with Death

Arctic Drift

Are Men Necessary?

Around the World in 80 Days

Art That Changed the World

The Ask

Atonement

Aunt Dimity’s Death

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Autobiography of Mark Twain

Awake in the Dark

 

B

Bad Love

Bag of Bones

Ball Four

The Beatles

Beautiful Ruins

The Bedwetter

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Being There

The Bell Jar

Benjamin Franklin

Bias

The Big Short

The Big Sky

The Big Sleep

The Black Arrow

Black Like Me

Blizzard

Blood Feud

The Bonfire of the Vanities

Bonjour Laziness

The Book of Genesis

The Book of Guys

The Bourne Identity

Brave New World

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast of Champions

A Brief History of Time

A Bright Shining Lie

 

C

Call of the Wild

Candy Girl

Captains and the Kings

Captains Courageous

Cards on the Table

Carrie

The Case of Jennie Brice

The Case of the Stuttering Bishop

Catch-22

Catch Me If You Can

The Catcher in the Rye

The Cater Street Hangman

Cat’s Cradle

Cell

Chariots of the Gods?

The Chill

Christine

A Christmas Carol

The Circular Staircase

A Clockwork Orange

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

The Club Dumas

The Cobra Event

A Coffin for Dimitrios

The Coffins of Little Hope

Cold Mountain

The Color of Magic

The Coming Generational Storm

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper

The Concrete Blonde

A Confederacy of Dunces

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Confessions of a Video Vixen

Contact

The Count of Monte Cristo

Creepy Archives, Volume 1

Creepy Archives, Volume 2

Crime and Punishment

The Crying of Lot 49

Cujo

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Curtain

 

D

The Da Vinci Code

Danse Macabre

The Dante Club

The Dark Side of Genius

Dark Soul of the South

Dark Star Safari

Darkness, Take My Hand

The Daughters of Cain

David Copperfield

The Day of the Jackal

The Dead Zone

Deadly Innocence

Death by Black Hole

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Death in Holy Orders

Death in the Clouds

Death Is Now My Neighbor

Death of a Salesman

Death on the Nile

The Deep Blue Good-by

Deliverance

Democracy in America

Desperation

Devices and Desires

Devil in a Blue Dress

Diary of a Drug Fiend

The Diary of a Young Girl

Different Seasons

Dog On It

The Dogs of Riga

Don’t Look Now

Dr. Death

Dracula

Drift

A Drinking Life

Duma Key

Dumb Witness

The Dying Animal

 

 

E

Early Autumn

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Eerie Archives, Volume 1

Eleven on Top

Empire Falls

The End of Men

The End of the Affair

Endgame

An English Murder

Equus

Everything Bad Is Good for You

Evil Under the Sun

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

Exclusive

The Executioner’s Song

The Exorcist

Explosive Eighteen

 

 

F

Faceless Killers

Fahrenheit 451

Fatal Vision

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear of Flying

Fearless Fourteen

The Fellowship of the Ring

Fiasco

50 Great Short Stories

Fight Club

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen

Firestarter

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers in the Attic

Forging the Tortilla Curtain

Fountain Society

Four Past Midnight

Four to Score

The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Frankenstein

Friday Night Lights

From Beirut to Jerusalem

Full Service

The Further Prophecies of Nostradamus

Future Shock

 

 

G

The Game

Game Change

A Game of Thrones

Get Shorty

The Ghost

Ghost Soldiers

Ghost Story

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

God Is Not Great

Gone Girl

Gone with the Wind

The Good Nurse

The Grand Design

The Grapes of Wrath

A Great Deliverance

Great Expectations

The Great Gatsby

Gulliver’s Travels

The Guns of Navarone

The Gunslinger

 

 

H

Hallowe’en Party

Ham on Rye

Hamlet

A Handful of Dust

The Handmaid’s Tale

Happy Endings

Hard Eight

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter:  Page to Screen

Harvey

Hating Women

The Haunting of Hill House

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Heart of Darkness

Heartburn

Helter Skelter

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

Hickory Dickory Dock

High Fidelity

High Five

Hitchcock

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Hocus Pocus

Holy Bible

Homefront

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

Hot Six

The Hot Zone

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The House Next Door

How to … Make Love Like a Porn Star

The Hunger Games

The Hunt for Red October

Hush Money  

 

 

I

I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed

I Am Legend

I Hate Other People’s Kids

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

I Lock My Door Upon Myself

I Love This Game!

The Ice Princess

I’ll Always Have Paris!

In Cold Blood

In Defense of Women

Independence Day

The Inferno

Inside the White House

Insomnia

An Instance of the Fingerpost

Into Thin Air

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

The Island of Dr. Moreau

It

 

J

Jane Eyre

Jaws

The Jewel that Was Ours

Johnny Carson

A Journey to the Center of the Earth

Juliet, Naked

 

K

Kidnapped

The Killer Inside Me

Killing Floor

King Arthur and His Knights

King Lear

Kiss the Girls

Kitchen Confidential

The Kite Runner

  

L

Last Bus to Woodstock

The Last Good Kiss

The Last Magazine

The Laughing Policeman

Lean Mean Thirteen

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Les Miserables

Let the Right One In

Lies My Teacher Told Me

A Life on the Road

Light in August

The Lodger

Lolita

Lonesome Dove

The Long Walk

Look Homeward, Angel

Looking for Rachel Wallace

Lord Edgware Dies

Lord Grizzly

Lord of the Flies

The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover

The Lovely Bones

Lucky Jim

   

M

Macbeth

Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard

Main Street

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

The Man with the Golden Gun

Master and Commander

Master of Ballantrae

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Mein Kampf

Memoirs of a Geisha

Men and Marriage

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Men in Love

The Merchant of Venice

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Mike’s Election Guide 2008

A Million Little Pieces

Misery

Miss America

Moby Dick

The Monkey’s Raincoat

The Monster of Florence

The Moon and Sixpence

The Moronic Inferno

Mortal Stakes

The Most Dangerous Game

The Mother Tongue

A Moveable Feast

The Moving Finger

The Moving Toyshop

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Mr. Murder

Mrs. McGinty’s Dead

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Obliged, Jeeves

Murder in Mesopotamia

A Murder Is Announced

Murder Must Advertise

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder on the Links

Murder on the Orient Express

My Dog Skip

My Life and Hard Times

My Life So Far

Myra Breckinridge

Myron

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Island

  

N

Naked Pictures of Famous People

Needful Things

Neither Here Nor There

Never Let Me Go

The “New” New Rules

Nickel and Dimed

The Nigger of the Narcissus

Night Film

Night Shift

A Night to Remember

The Nine

1984

Nineteen Minutes

No Easy Day

No Mercy

No More Dying Then

Nothing to Lose

Notorious Nineteen

  

O

Obsession

The Odyssey

Of Mice and Men

The Old Man and the Sea

Oliver Twist

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

On Death and Dying

On the Beach

On the Road

On Writing

The Once and Future King

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One for the Books

One for the Money

102 Minutes

One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes

The Osterman Weekend

Our Final Hour

Out of Sight

Out on a Limb

Outrage

The Oxford Murders

 

P

Pale Blue Dot

The Passage

The Pelican Brief

People Who Eat Darkness

Peril at End House

Pet Sematary

Peter Pan

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Playmates

Plum Lovin’

Plum Lucky

Plum Spooky

Plutocrats

The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

The Poet

Portnoy’s Complaint

The Post-American World

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Presumed Innocent

Pride and Prejudice

Primary Colors

Private Parts

Pros and Cons

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

The Psychopath Test

Pygmalion

 

R

The Rant Zone

Rebecca

The Red Badge of Courage

Red Dragon

Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon

The Redbreast

The Regulators

The Remains of the Day

The Remorseful Day

Rendezvous in Black

The Riddle of the Third Mile

The Right Stuff

The Road

Robinson Crusoe

Rosemary’s Baby

The Round House

The Ruins

The Rules

The Rules of Attraction

Rules of Prey

 

S

‘Salem’s Lot

Sanibel Flats

The Scarlet Letter

The Searchers

Second Reading

The Secret Adversary

The Secret Life of Bob Hope

The Secret Sharer

Semi-Tough

Sense and Sensibility

A Separate Peace

Serling

Service of All the Dead

Seven Up

The Shining

Shock Value

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Shrub

Sidetracked

The Silence of the Lambs

Silent Witness

A Simple Plan

The Sirens of Titan

Sizzling Sixteen

Skeleton Crew

Skinny Legs and All

Slaughterhouse-Five

Smokin’ Seventeen

The Sociopath Next Door

The Solitary Vice

Some Buried Caesar

Someone Like You

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Song of Solomon

The Sound and the Fury

Sphere

The Stand

Starship Troopers

State of Wonder

Stealing Shadows

Stiffed

Stormy Weather

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Stranger

The Stranger Beside Me

Stupid White Men

The Sun Also Rises

The Swiss Family Robinson

  

T

Takedown Twenty

A Tale of Two Cities

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Ten Big Ones

The Terror of Living  *

A Test of Wills

A Thief of Time

The Thin Man

The Thin Woman

Third World America

The Thirty-Nine Steps

Three to Get Deadly

Through the Looking-Glass

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

The Tiger in the Smoke

The Time Machine

A Time to Kill

Timeline

The Tin Drum  *

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

To Kill a Mockingbird

To the Nines

Totally MAD

Toxic Bachelors

Track of the Cat

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Treasure Island

True Grit

The Turn of the Screw

The Twelve Caesars

Twelve Sharp

20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea

Two for the Dough 

 

U

Ubik

Undaunted Courage

Under the Dome

The Unexpected Guest

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

  

V

Valley of the Dolls

Vanity Fair

Velocity

Visions of Sugar Plums

 

W

Waiting for Godot

War and Peace

The War of the Worlds

The Way Through the Woods

The Way We Live Now

Weir of Hermiston

The West Wing

What Cops Know

What’s the Matter with Kansas?

When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden

White Fang

The White Lioness

White Teeth

Who Goes There?

Whose Body?

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Why You’re Still Single

The Window at the White Cat

Wiseguy

The Witches of Eastwick

Wolf Hall

Women on Top

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Working Stiff

The World According to Garp

Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love

Wuthering Heights

  

Y

The Year of Magical Thinking

You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again

  

 

*  There are two books on the list that the Grouch did not read from cover to cover.  The Terror of Living was too terrible to finish; The Tin Drum was simply annoying.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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Since we are “self isolating,” we thought this would be a good time to post something fun. So here are thumbnails of the covers of books that Grouch has read over the past 25 years. Where possible, the covers shown are the actual covers when the books were purchased, whether in 1995, 2005, or yesterday — probably about 95 percent of the titles. The list is alphabetical. 

Click on any image for a view of the full cover. 

 

grouchyeditor.com perfect people 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew … that’s a lot of scrolling. If you’d like to read short reviews of about one-third of the above books, click here for an index with links.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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Books

 

If Art Garfunkel feels the need to post a “books read” list on his Web site, then so does the Grouch.  Here is a list of Grouch’s literary conquests of the past 20 years – works of genius and works of dreck.  Click here.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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 by Joe Queenan

Queenan

 

Humorist Queenan, now in his 60s, says he occasionally visits the suburban Philadelphia library that he patronized in his youth, and where a librarian from that era, one Edith Prout, still toils among the shelves.  One of Queenan’s books is stocked on those shelves.  “Edith herself isn’t all that taken with my work,” Queenan tells us.  “Too cynical, she says.  Too snarky.”

I think Edith might have a point.  Although Queenan’s homage to the book, in which he writes lovingly not just of his collection’s content but also of each title’s importance as a symbol of treasured moments in his life, is often funny, sometimes poignant, and frequently biting,  I think One for the Books is probably best read in bits and pieces, rather than all at once – too much snarkiness can be hazardous to your health.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by Jonathan Yardley

Reading

 

What a great book about books.  Yardley, a literature critic at The Washington Post since 1981, has an infectious writing style; I couldn’t decide what I enjoyed more, the prospect of digging into some of his recommendations, or the reviews themselves.  Yardley praises the majority of “notable and neglected books revisited,” but on occasion he unfurls critical claws, most memorably on Steinbeck (“too often, for me, reading his prose is like scraping one’s fingernails on a blackboard”), Ulysses (“a book I simply cannot read”), and The Catcher in the Rye and The Old Man and the Sea (“two of the most durable and beloved books in American literature and, by any reasonable critical standard, two of the worst”).  He also has some choice words for the National Book Award:  “I read Morte d’Urban not long after it won the NBA; in those years that prize still occasionally went to books that deserved it.”  But mostly, Second Reading is a love letter to the 60 books and authors in its pages.  I’d say more, but I have to get reading.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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Click on title for review 

 

Adios, America!

Aesop’s Fables

Against Football

The Almost Nearly Perfect People

American Conspiracies

American on Purpose

The Amityville Horror

The Ancient Alien Question

Anna Karenina

Art That Changed the World

The Ask

Atonement

Autobiography of Mark Twain

Beautiful Ruins

The Bedwetter

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Being There

The Big Short

Bleak Harbor

Blood Feud

Booked to Die

Brideshead Revisited

Candide

The Case of Jennie Brice

The Chill

A Christmas Carol

The Clocks

The Coffins of Little Hope

Consider the Lobster

The Corrections

Crooked House

The Cuckoo’s Calling

Dark Soul of the South

The Daughters of Cain

David Copperfield

Death in Holy Orders

Death in the Clouds

The Devil in the White City

Diary of a Drug Fiend

Dog On It

Don’t Look Now

Down the Rabbit Hole

Drift

The End of Men

Endgame

An English Murder

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

Explosive Eighteen

The Far Side Gallery

Fatal Vision

Final Justice

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen

Five Little Pigs

Flashman

Four Past Midnight

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy

Free Women, Free Men

Full Service

Game Change

A Game of Thrones

Get Shorty

The Ghost

The Girl on the Train

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

God Is Not Great

Gone Girl

The Good Nurse

The Grand Design

Grand Hotel

The Handmaid’s Tale

Happy Endings

Harry Potter:  Page to Screen

Heartburn

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

The Hunger Games

The Ice Princess

Iron Lake

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Jane Eyre

Johnny Carson

The Joy Luck Club

Juliet, Naked

The Killer Inside Me

Killing Lincoln

Killings

The Killings at Badger’s Drift

The Last Magazine

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Les Miserables

Let the Right One In

Lights Out

The Lodger

The Long Walk

Lord Grizzly

The Lost World

Lucky Jim

Magpie Murders

Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard

Making Movies

The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Martian

The Merchant of Venice

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The Moon-Spinners

The Moon’s a Balloon

The Most Dangerous Game

Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You

A Moveable Feast

The Moving Toyshop

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Murder in Mesopotamia

Murder in the Crooked House

My Life and Hard Times

The Mystery of the Blue Train

The Mystery of the Yellow Room

The Name of the Rose

Needful Things

The “New” New Rules

Night Film

No Easy Day

Notorious Nineteen

The Old Man and the Sea

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

One for the Books

Out on a Limb

The Oxford Murders

The Passage

People Who Eat Darkness

Plum Spooky

Plutocrats

Presumed Innocent

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

The Psychopath Test

Pygmalion

The Redbreast

The Road to Little Dribbling

Roadwork

Rosemary’s Baby

The Round House

Sanibel Flats

The Searchers

Second Reading

The Secret Adversary

The Secret Life of Bob Hope

Sense and Sensibility

Service of All the Dead

The Shakespeare Requirement

Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Ship of Fools

Shock Value

The Silence of the Lambs

Sizzling Sixteen

Smokin’ Seventeen

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Someone Like You

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Stalin

State of Wonder

Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films

Stiffed

Sting-Ray Afternoons

Takedown Twenty

The Terror of Living

A Test of Wills

The Thin Woman

Things That Matter

Third World America

Thirteen Guests

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

The Tiger in the Smoke

Time and Again

The Tin Drum

Totally MAD

Track of the Cat

True Grit

The Twelve Caesars

Ubik

Valley of the Dolls

The Voyeur’s Motel

Waiting for Godot

Welcome to the Monkey House

What the Dog Saw

The White Lioness

White Working Class

Who Goes There?

The Window at the White Cat

Wolf Hall

The Woman in White

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

A Wrinkle in Time

 

Books Read 1995 – 2014

The Bookshelf

 

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by William Kent Krueger

 

There is a dead judge and a missing boy in the northern Minnesota wilderness, and it’s up to our hero, a small-town, mild-mannered ex-sheriff, to save the day.

Iron Lake is an OK thriller, but it’s oh-so-familiar. If you read enough of these crime novels (I’m guilty), many of the protagonists – Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch, or in this case, Cork O’Connor – begin to morph into the same character. The hero will be a hard-headed, middle-aged man, often a cop or ex-cop, who drinks and smokes and broods over a lost love. And then there is a call to action, often involving a family member or that lost love, and our hero proves his mettle against all odds. Only the settings change in many of these books.

Iron Lake was of interest to me because this time the locale was not L.A. nor New York, but rather rural Minnesota, where I grew up. The story was fine; the characters were fine; but mostly this was nothing new.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by Amy Tan

 

As I read The Joy Luck Club, I was reminded of what’s great about books, especially fiction. Here I am, a middle-aged white man living in 2019 America, suddenly immersed in the lives of Chinese women and their Chinese-American daughters, spanning most of the 20th century. It was a bit like snooping in a stranger’s medicine cabinet: Much of what you see there is fascinating; some of it is unfathomable.

Tan is very good at world-building. Open her book to any page and you are immediately absorbed by whatever she’s writing about. Vivid images and memorable metaphors abound. That’s the good news.

Yet if I’m honest … there are eight main characters in the story – four mothers and four daughters – and I often found them indistinguishable. The mothers all suffer hardships and learn valuable life lessons, which they attempt to pass on to their girls. The daughters are all more optimistic but also more foolish. At times I felt I was reading the same story four times over, just with different character names.

But Joy Luck seems relevant to me, some 30 years after its publication, in part because there is so much talk about China today, and it illustrates the gap between the Chinese way of seeing the world, and the American way. The Chinese – at least traditionally – seem to be all about fate and omens and what the West might consider superstition. They see America as a place of much opportunity, but too little wisdom and too much worship at the altar of money.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by Calvin Trillin

 

Killings is a compilation of true-crime accounts that Trillin wrote for The New Yorker, primarily in the 1970s and 1980s, about murders in the country’s heartland. Murder is an inherently interesting subject, and Trillin admirably fleshes out the lives of otherwise-unremarkable people caught up in horrific circumstances, but perhaps because we are by now accustomed to books and movies that spare no gruesome detail, Killings’s less-sensationalistic stories can feel sedate, at times almost quaint. As you read them they hold your interest, but you might not recall any of them six months later.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by David Niven

grouchyeditor.com Niven

 

“Well, old bean, life is really so bloody awful that I feel it’s my absolute duty to be chirpy and try to make everybody else happy, too.” – David Niven

 

Movie star Niven’s 1971 memoir is certainly “chirpy.” And if you’re a fan of old Hollywood, it’s guaranteed to make you smile. But Balloon also reminded me of – of all books – a more recent “memoir”:  controversial author James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces. I read Frey’s bestseller after it was revealed that much of his allegedly true story was pure fiction. But I liked it anyway.

In Niven’s case, later biographers have debunked many of the anecdotes he relates in The Moon’s a Balloon as either exaggerated, sugar-coated, or outright fabrications. But I liked it anyway.

It’s odd, though. So much of Niven’s life was so inherently interesting – World War II service, Hollywood stardom, glamorous pals – that you have to wonder why he felt the need to embellish.

My guess is that the above quote explains at least part of it. Niven was a born entertainer, and if that meant stretching the truth a bit, so be it. Or maybe he was just practicing what Hollywood preached in its “golden age”:  Life goes down better with a happy ending.

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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