AuthorDavid Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

The Secrets Bookshelves Hold

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One thing I’ve missed during the pandemic is going into other people’s houses and examining their bookshelves. If I enter someone’s house and I don’t see any bookshelves or if the only bookshelves I see are decorated with objects d’art and not lined with books, I get tense, as if I were entering a dangerous dark alley. I begin to question just who is this stranger whose house I’ve entered...

KLARA AND THE SUN, Kazuo Ishiguro

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I remember talking many years ago to my dear, departed friend Patrick about a Kazuo Ishiguro novel. He said, “You start reading and you think there’s no way he can pull this off. And you keep going and you’re still thinking no way. And then you get to the end and you’re astounded because he did pull it off.” What does Ishiguro pull off, in novel after novel? Almost invariably through the device...

The Big Lie, Revised

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How long a shadow the Big Lie casts conceived and perpetuated by the Fuhrer and his minions Keep it simple, keep it outrageous, keep it repeating Blame everything on the Jews, they did And the Big Lie surfaces again from another would-be Fuhrer A stolen election! People will believe People will believe a simple, outrageous repetition If we’re so susceptible to believing why not turn the Big Lie...

Weather Report

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If I hadn’t ended up a writer, I could have been a weatherman. Better yet a weatherperson. Although the profession never did make the list of my brilliant career. What appeals to me is the careful blending of weather data, facts, and analysis with the creative presentation of the weather report. What to leave in and out. How to make the dull day interesting, the horrific day not so apocalyptic...

Ask Dave: Andy Writes Back

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Not every day does someone follow my advice and then write back to me. So I can’t help but publish the response I got from Andy following our original correspondence. I’m sure he won’t mind my sharing this with you. Dear Dave: I don’t know you or what your credentials might be for dispensing advice. You were just a random online dude and I clicked submit before I meant to because I happened to be...

Ask Dave: Vol. 8, Number 11

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Sometimes I post letters here that I’ve received at my other website, the advice column, Dear Dave. Recently I shared one about a fellow who almost set himself on fire. I got a huge number of emails saying I had missed the point of the letter. Maybe I’ll do better this time with a letter I received yesterday. Dear Dave: I’m an important and powerful person and have many people working for me...

Safe Travel in the Time of COVID?

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I just finished watching the Netflix six-episode series “Behind Her Eyes,” a supernatural psychological thriller based on a novel by Sarah Pinborough. The series was entertaining enough, but it tried to pull off a genre-switch halfway through that strained credulity. You may or may not appreciate the big twist at the end. What did capture my attention in the series was the astral projection...

ZONE ONE — Colson Whitehead

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Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for each of his last two novels (The Nickel Boys, The Underground Railroad), an unprecedented literary achievement. Ten years ago, before either of those novels were published, Whitehead blended literary and genre writing and came out with his zombie apocalypse novel, Zone One. I’ve long been a reader of literary fiction although have never been a reader of...

Writing Advice: 5 Cents

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I had a strange email recently from a woman I did not know. I usually delete emails from strangers without even opening them. But this person was clever in getting my attention by appealing to my vanity. She wrote a compelling subject line. “I liked your novel Clean Break.” Of course I opened the email. I could use a little stroking. Who couldn’t? But that wasn’t the purpose of her...

Dr. Seuss, Place Your Neck In This Noose

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I’m conflicted that the company managing the estate of Dr. Seuss decided to stop printing and licensing a number of the author’s books. Their reasoning is that “the books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The books were written in a previous era, when cultural expectations were different. They included what are considered today to be racist images and stereotypical portrayals of...

Nocturnal Visitor

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A sound or a movement alerted me and I sat still for a moment listening, hearing nothing, feeling the prickly sensation along my spine of an intruder. I carefully raised the shade and peered through the window and we locked eyes, me and this nocturnal visitor. A buck, because close to the top of its head I could see jagged nubs remaining where its antlers had been shed. Where there’s one deer...

Dia Beacon: A COVID-era Destination

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Dia Beacon is located in a former box-making factory in Beacon, NY. Huge spaces have been transformed into experiential art galleries. Some of the installations are fascinating, and some are head-scratching. All of it is an immersive, altering experience. Reservations required in the time of COVID due to limited capacity. The space is enormous, with few people about. From the Measurement series...

We Need More Mental Health Support

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There’s a good chance the person you love, or just happen to be talking to, is not feeling super well. Along with exacerbating a lot of other awful things, COVID-19 has coincided with a steep rise in mental health disorders. Forty-one percent of adults have reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder over the past year. Only 11 percent had reported those symptoms before the pandemic...

MOLLY’S GAME

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The title turned me off at first. Molly’s Game. Sounded young adult or chick flick, two genres I don’t watch often. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the film when it came out in 2017. But then I discovered Jessica Chastain was the star. She’s on my list. She appeared in two movies I thought were excellent and I highly recommend: Take Shelter (she plays the wife of Michael Shannon, another...

A Walk On the Ice

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Cross here? What do you think? Looks pretty good. Better than downstream. The ice is strong right here. Just a little slush on top. What about out the middle? I don’t know. It looks okay. How deep is the water? Just a couple of feet here. But out there, over your head. Great. What do you think? Sun’s out. It’s a warm day. You don’t think we should? What are we going to do on the other side? I...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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