Privileged Characters & Others
Born in Hartford in 1925, Dominick Dunne had an impressive literary run that produced 11 novels and scores of articles for Vanity Fair. In WWII he was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of Metz. Post war, after graduating from Williams College, he worked in TV as a producer and eventually moved to feature films, collaborating with his writer brother John Gregory Dunne, husband of celebrated author Joan Didion. He also adapted several of his own works and those of others. He produced the film version of his sister in law’s Play It as It Lays (1972), starring Tuesday Weld. He was the host of two TV shows that focused on criminal justice. And he made seven appearances as an actor on the big and small screen. In the early ‘80’s he began writing fiction. His second book, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, based on an actual case, was on the NY Times Best Sellers list for months. Told from the point of view of someone like Dunne, it is the story of a woman who grew up relatively poor in the Midwest. She becomes a NYC show girl and seduces a rich young man who makes the mistake of marrying her. To avoid scandal, the family keeps its contempt behind closed doors. From the very early stages, the reader knows where the narrative is headed. I would have preferred not to know even though the outcome would not have been unexpected. Still, the scenario is interesting from start to finish and the protagonist has much more substance than others of the romance genre. The portrait of the lives of the wealthy families, who close ranks to protect each other, is fascinating. There is abundant name-dropping of personages and products. Told largely in short bursts, the prose and dialogue are first rate, only a tad overwritten. The second Mrs. Grenville is the mother in law. The 374 pages of the Bantam paperback read like considerably less given the smoothness and many breaks. 198 readers at Amazon have rated The Two…, forging to a consensus of 4.5 on a scale of five. I wouldn’t go nearly that high, but I did enjoy it. I’m disappointed the TV movie of it, starring Ann Margaret and Claudette Colbert, isn’t available at Netflix by mail. Occasionally a magnet for controversy, Dunne passed away at 83 in 1993.
According to an article at foxnews.com, there was an interesting development before last night’s soccer match in Dallas. All the players kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem, and many in the limited crowd booed. This prompted an angry tweet from a thin-skinned player. Let me get this straight — players can protest but fans can’t?
According to an article at nypost.com, out of work bartenders have started a trend, making cocktails at home, putting the brew in plastic bottles and peddling them outdoors. One man says he earns $500-$600 per day on weekends in Prospect Park. He charges $10-$15 per. Here’s a happy customer in an nypost.com photo:
Apparently, other areas of the country have DMV frustrations too. Here’s a photo from foxnews.com:
I don’t root for teams anymore. Part of that is a natural progression toward indifference to the plight of the privileged, many of whom are contemptible. The Yankees have been at the bottom of my list for decades, and Notre Dame second. Of course, I know my dislike is silly. Those entities aren’t much different from all the others except in their history of success. Anyway, none of that matters. The Fighting Irish football team has always operated as an independent, refusing bids to join any conference, so they are free to play this fall despite the pandemic. So far their season is a go. Most of their opposition will be from the ACC.
Rain put the kibosh on the floating book shop today, but not before a woman who is moving to Florida made her second to last donation. She brought about 75 books, 50% eminently marketable, 20% in Russian. My thanks. Although the inventory was already stellar, I look forward to seeing how the new editions fare.
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