The Old Shelter

Dieselpunk Roaring Twenties. Sarah Zama's Author Blog

Archive for the tag “1920s”

8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks #19

dieselpunkssquarelogoAlthough Adam’s point of view first appears only on chapter 11, he’s one of the main characters of the story. His arc is integral to Michael’s in the sense that what’s happening to him is relevant to what happening to Michael.

I had a lot of fun creating Adam’s past, as well as his family’s past, even if only a tiny part of it found its way into the trilogy. But I hope inklings of what I do know will filter into the story.

Here’s a snippet from the first episode in his POV

‘Why has it come back to me?’

He thought he had defeated it long ago. That dream. That dream that haunted him as a child. That dream that woke him up every night, crying, shouting someone wanted to kill him, driving Dad and Aunt Edith crazy.

He rubbed his face hard, felt like falling.

Why was it back? Why was it back, he had defeated it.

He started to shiver again. In the back of his mind, he heard people whispering behind his back, ‘Like Stacy, like his grandfather. He ended up hanging himself, the poor soul.’

Adam couldn’t stop shaking. He had defeated it long ago.

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Did you enjoy my snippet?

If you didn’t, I’m sorry (shed one tear), I’ll try better next time, so don’t give up on me.

If you did, here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. If you are a dieselpunk or steampunk writer, you might want to join the 8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks‘challenge’.  Head over to Dieselpunks, sigh up and look for the 8 Sentence Sunday on Dieselpunks And join the fun!
  2. If you are a dieselpunk or steampunk writer and you have a blog, you might want to post eight sentence from your work on Sunday and share it. Make sure to leave a link in the comment box below and I’ll be sure to visit.
  3. If you are a historical writer and you have a story or more sent in the Twenties too, you might want to post eight sentence from your work on Sunday and share it. Make sure to leave a link in the comment box below and I’ll be sure to visit.
  4. If you are a dieselpunk or steampunk writer, or if you are a historical writer writing in a Twenties setting or if you are just a reader, by all means leave a comment below. I’ll never oppose to that.

Thursday Quotables – The Dain Curse

I asked him if he knew Eric Collinson. He said he did; there was nothing to know about him except that he was engaged to Gabrielle Leggett, that his father was the lumber Collinson, and that Eric was Princeton, stocks and bonds, and hard-ball, a nice boy.

‘Maybe,’ I said, ‘but he liked to me.’

‘Isn’t that like a sleuth?’ Fitzstephan shook his head, grinning. ‘You must have had the wrong fellow – somebody impersonating him. The Chevalier Bayard doesn’t lie, and, besides, lying requires imagination. You’ve – oh, wait! Was a woman involved in your question?’

I nodded.

‘You’re correct, then,’ Fitzstephan assured. ‘I apologize. The Chevalier Bayard always lies when a woman is involved, even if it’s unnecessary  and put her through a lot of trouble. It’s one of the convention of Bayardism, something  to do with guarding her honor or the like. Who was the woman?’

‘Gabrielle Leggett,’ I said, and told him all I knew about the Leggetts, the diamond and the dead man in the Golden Gate Avenue. Disappointment deepened in his face while I talked.

‘That’s trivial, dull,’ he complained when I was finished. ‘I’ve been thinking f Leggett in terms of Dumas, and you bring me a piece of gimcrackery our of O. Henry. You’ve let me down, you and your shabby diamond.’

quotation-marks4Because I’m writing the Twenties and because I like mysteries, I of course wind up reading Dashiell Hammett. I can’t say that something clicked with him, which is kind of a shame, but there are things I do like about him. Definitely his style, which is essential in the extreme, but very effective, really natural-sounding and loaded with era lingo, which is certainly a bonus for me.

I also like his ability to create peculiar characters. Fitzstephan is sure one of these. A novelist with a sharp mind and an egocentric personality, a sharp wit… and a few secrets. He was the most fascinating in the book. I enjoyed all the episodes where he appears.

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Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.

The Damned and the Beautiful

One morsel review: Well-informed dissertation about life of the new youth of the Roaring Twenties. Maybe a bit too wordy, but very interesting.

51FcBARjmvLThe Damned and the Beautiful
American Youth in the 1920s

Paula S. Fass

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Genre: social history
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The book presents a portrayal of family life, with special regard to the education of young people in Victorian/Edwardian Eras. It presents the social and material change that allowed a loosening of habits with regard to man/woman relationship and gives a vivid image of the life of young people in 1920s America.
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The book opens with a presentation of the upheaval  the new behaviour of youth stirred in the Twenties, then goes back so to relate what life was like for these youths’ parents in Victorian and Edwardian Eras. People familiar with the history of family will know these facts, but for me everything was new and very interesting. The attitude of bourgeoisie families toward children and personal aspirations in Victorian Era was enlightening, because they made sense of many characteristics of that age, especially with regard to man/women relationship. It was the idea that the fulfillment of personal aspiration was fine, the shifting of social expectation from a community welfare to a more personal fulfillment, and the advancement in contraception techniques, that allowed that explosion of egocentrism that was the Twenties. Young couple could decide now when to have children and even how many children and this resulted in a more satisfying life for the parents and a richer, freer life for the children.
This first part of the book was really very interesting and eye-opening for me.

The central part focuses on a very important age of life for the youth in the Twenties: college. In the Twenties, the number of middle-class young men and women going to college skyrocketed, which of course again impacted on personal aspiration and expectations, but also amplified the change already happening in the lives of young people.
It was in the colleges that what the author calls the ‘peer society’ was born. For the first time, young people found an early, prolonged adolescence free of family and society obligations and so they could devote all of themselves to their friends and groups of friends, who were the ones setting values, approving and sanctioning behaviours and generally choosing by themselves, never actually seeking the approval of the older generation. This attitude of finding their own way with their own means and shaped by their own values was general, but in colleges it became amplified by the share number of students gathering in the same place, away from their families’ direct control.
Although the dynamics presented are interesting, I found this central part of the book to be quite boring. The author reiterates the same concept over and over and over again without really adding anything new every time she talks about the subject matter. I really think this part could have easily been half the length and lose nothing.

The last third of the book was the more interesting for me because this is where the author covers attitudes and behaviours of the young generation of the Twenties. What they did, how they dressed, what they wanted to own, who they wanted to be around with. But also, more importantly, why they acted like that, why they dressed like that, why they talked like that, what they thought and why their values clashed with those of their parents even if there wasn’t a true breaking between the generations. It also covers how young people’s lifestyle influenced and often reshaped the lifestyle of the older generations as well in what was truly a social revolution.

So, all in all, the book was very interesting and informative. Pity it was too long in the central part and generally too long-winded in style.

Thursday Quotables – Ellis Island

Beyond Lady Liberty was the city itself. It was a dull day and the tall buildings emerged from the grey horizon like ghosts. We stood, a small and shivering crowd of newcomers, silenced by the skyline. It was as if it had emerged from under the sea itself, grown out of the was nothingness of the ocean we had come to know over the past week.

quotation-marks4I had high expectation for this novel, because it seemed to have all the elements I like in a story: the journey, the displacement, the seeking of one’s true identity. I found nothing of this.

The author seems far more concerned with the outside world, with the materialism of the situation, that with the more intimate movement of the soul. I had a very hard time connecting with a character that was too much focused on getting wealth than finding happiness.

Still, the prose was quite pleasant to read, if a bit shallow for my likings, and sometimes created nice imagery.

You can read my review of the book here

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Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.

Ain’t We Got Fun?

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