Michael Newton, How to Write Action Adventure Novels ©1989, p. 27

"As a theme in literature, revenge has been around forever. Moby Dick is a revenge yarn, and despite the fact that college courses have been built around the 'hidden symbolism' of the story, I suspect that Herman Melville -- and his readers, too -- were more contemporarily concerned with the adventure aspects of the tale, its pacing, and the monster waiting to make hash of Captain Ahab at the end."

Hidden symbolism, quote unquote. Do you think Mr. Newton has actually read Melville? Probably not.  He also quotes with admiration the opening of William Nolan's The White Cad Cross-Up, which we loved too, for different reasons:

"The Marshal's big automatic crashed twice, and two .45 slugs whacked into my chest. At close range, the force of the bullets drove me back like boxer's fists, and I landed on the rug, gasping and plenty nervous."


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