James Gabriel has been cannery worker, fry cook, pump jockey, performance car builder, gun dealer, White House staffer, university professor and diplomat. He was born in San Jose, California and has lived in Washington, Manila, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, London and Amman, Jordan. He now summers in Colorado and winters in Carmel. Among other distinctions, he is the only former A%W counterman ever to be both the "quote of the day" in the New York Times and the subject of an article in Car and Driver magazine, to have shaken hands with Charles Lindbergh and had a drink with Buzz Aldrin, and to have danced with his wife in the East Room of the White House and the Grand Ballroom of Buckingham Palace.
on Oct. 02, 2013 :
I recently read Dead Is Dead by James Gabriel in an e-reader version. I would like to say that it it was disgustingly edited. I realize that it was written in a certain style of the character but, aside from that, there were typos and grammatical errors on each page, sometimes
several on each page. It was difficult to read the story at times. The mistakes were so distracting and the whole book was truly appalling in the editing. Shame on the person responsible for proofing this book! I hated it for this reason!
(review of free book)
on July 14, 2013 :
Writing a story with real people you don’t know is something only the very most experienced writers should attempt. The real people should have been edited out of this one. The only characters more trite and flat than the made-up people were the real ones.
This was another one of those stories that is told from a man’s point of view, told first person, in Hollywood’s golden era when men were all tough and women were either easy or your sister/mother. Real-life Hollywood stars weren’t just names dropped, but they had lines and everything. Joan Crawford was a major supporting character.
In the midst of all the hedonistic parties and murder is our main character that works for the film studio and is the only character in the book with a conscience. He feels bad that he was a sleaze in his youth. Everyone else grew up to be sleazier and criminal. I finished the book, but never expecting it to get better. In that, I wasn’t disappointed.
The book eventually ended with the main character finally understanding why things are so screwed up, why he is. And there is little to make the reader believe it changes anything.
(review of free book)
on Aug. 25, 2011 :
This is the second story in a row I've read that is marred by a lack of editing. Dead is Dead has great characters and a plot that made me continue reading late into the night. Unfortunately the author must have an aversion to (a & the) because many of both are missing. That coupled with a lot of misspelled words slowed the pace and made reading difficult. The extra commas and periods could be overlooked on their own but added to the other flaws are too much. What would have been a five rating with good editing is now a three. There is no excuse for an author publishing a book with this many errors.
(review of free book)
on Aug. 15, 2011 :
Author James Gabriel takes us inside a world that existed in our suspicions: A clean-up man for Hollywood excesses. Jake Thorne provides Louis B. Mayer with the muscle to keep his Box Office stars out of trouble--even when murder is involved. For fans of Turner Channel Movies, all those leading men and women are revealed as never before. Gabriel leans on Hollywood histories to bring to life Clark Gable, in love with alcoholic Carole Lombard who delighted in broadcasting Rhett Butler's human weaknesses. That Gable smile, for instance, showed false teeth that produced an odor offending Lombard--something she would broadcast to the saloon. A good part of the plot revolves around Joan Crawford who was free with her favors to anyone who could help her career and that includes Jake Thorne. Author Gabriel's writing style evokes Raymond Chandler at his best. And, you expect to see Jake Gittings and Chinatown pop up in some of the strong scenes created by Gabriel. Hero Thorne uses a blackjack and a niblick to subdue the pond scum that surrounds Tinsel Town. But he suffers even deeper wounds when he realizes the extent of personal involvement in the death of a starlet in a sea of booze and sex at a director's mansion. The taut scenes and fast flow of events leaves you wanting to see what Jake Thorne will be doing in Gabriel's next thriller.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)