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David Corbett's Blog

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Jan.19.2011
After Dark My Sweet
Ironically, Red Room requested a blog about books into films at the same time I was posed a similar question by Randy Dotinga of the Christian Science Monitor, who’s writing an article on books that inspired film noir. But this ended up leading to an exploration of how to portray evil, the...
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Jan.19.2011
After Dark My Sweet
Ironically, Red Room requested a blog about books into films at the same time I was posed a similar question by Randy Dotinga of the Christian Science Monitor, who’s writing an article on books that inspired film noir. But this ended up leading to an exploration of how to portray evil, the...
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Jun.22.2010
On June 11th and 18th, 2010, Bay Area authors Keith and Kent Zimmerman, in association with Litquake http://litquake.org/ , hosted the very first Literary Throwdown inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison. It took place at the Zimmerman brothers' Creative Writing Class on the San Quentin H-...
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Jun.02.2010
David Corbett.JPG
Or so it seemed to me in my fifteen years as a private investigator. Yes, I'm talking real-life detectives here, and specifically three of the women I worked with. The most famous, and the materfamilias for the others, is Sandra Sutherland, who was my boss, along with her husband Jack...
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May.26.2010
Terri & Bugsy.jpg
In my first novel, The Devil's Redhead, one of my characters makes that pronouncement, equating life with luck, and being lucky with terror. It was my way of describing the anxiety I saw in so many of the nouveau riche clients my wife Terri and I saw in her law practice, well-to-do people with real...
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Mar.07.2010
The term "noir " has become so universally misused-like other vague descriptives such as "Freudian," "post-modern," and "cute"-that it's virtually a cipher, obscuring more than it clarifies. Ask three different people if a certain writer is "noir,...
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Mar.03.2010
David Corbett
To paraphrase Richard Ford: This is not a happy story, I warn you. More troubling than that, I'm not entirely sure it's true, even though I remember it vividly. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1950s and 1960s. When I was four-to-five years old, I was one of the younger members of the...
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Feb.17.2010
David Corbett
Worst typo ever? Easy. Page 301 of The Devil's Redhead, hard cover edition (page 313 in the mass paperback version): "sandstone palavers." I wish I could blame some drudge in the bowels of Random House, anyone but myself. No such luck. The word I wanted, of course, was "pavers,...
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Jan.29.2008
In at least one regard, Patry Francis may be the luckiest woman I’ve never met. (I know: Any woman who has never met me might be luckier than I care to admit). Patry’s good fortune is the natural result of having an army of friends, some of whom, like me, would be strangers if not for the devotion...
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Jan.21.2008
CORBETT (Blood of Paradise) Cover.JPG
Blood of Paradise, my recent novel about corruption and betrayal in present-day El Salvador, has been nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. The Edgars are given each year in a variety of categories to the best in crime/mystery/thriller fiction. I'm in superb company in my...
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Jan.09.2008
Both the RAND Corporation and a former military advisor to the Salvadoran military described our efforts at counterinsurgency in El Salvador as failures. Despite this, numerous conservative commentators, many with links to the Reagan administration (John Negroponte, Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich, John...
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Jan.09.2008
Attempts to characterize the U.S. counterinsurgency effort in El Salvador as a “success” require a very limited definition of that word. By all accounts, the best the Salvadoran government could achieve, despite a decade of military and non-lethal aid totaling over $6 billion, was a stalemate with...
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Jan.09.2008
Protestors of Water Privatization Arrested and Charged as Terrorists: In July 2007, events in El Salvador turned decidedly insidious. As one observer noted, "The rule of law and respect for human rights are crumbling," and the country seems to be careening toward violent civil unrest. The...
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Jan.08.2008
As I noted in a previous bolg, a number of commentators on the right—most visibly Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz—continue to analogize our foreign policy efforts in 1980s Central America with those in the current Middle East, claiming in particular that our “success” in El...
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Jan.08.2008
Our foreign policy in Central America, especially as it applies to counterinsurgency, has been frequently invoked by Bush Administration policymakers as an apt template for our efforts in Iraq. As I argue in “From Troy to Baghdad,” the essay that concludes Blood of Paradise, I consider this attempt...
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