Wednesday 3 July 2024

Beyond Columbo: The Life and Times of Peter Falk - Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes

Beyond Columbo: The Life and Times of Peter Falk
ISBN 9781521881491
eISBN 1230001769661

Beyond Columbo: The Life and Times of Peter Falk - Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes

Over the last year I have been alternating seasons of M*A*S*H* and Columbo. It has been hard after ever season of Columbo not to just start the next. I am just about to finish season 8. I because fascinated with Peter Falk while watching these made for TV movies. I want to read Falk’s autobiography Just One More Thing, but there is no eBook edition so I know it will take me a while to get around to reading it. Once I started reading this I could hardly put it down. It was as compelling as an episode of the show itself. We know the ending but reading this book we encounter the start, the beginning and the middle, before we get to Falk’s decline with dementia. 

The pacing of this biography is as well-crafted as the best of the Columbo episodes. We get clear insight into the man, his love of his craft and his life. The book does not sugar coat anything. It is clear about the cause of his divorce, his late night partying with friends, and how often he was his own worst enemy. It also shows the caring and compassionate side. The man who wanted to do what he did well. It follows his bohemian youth travelling the world, and often getting into one bind or another. And it clearly shows he would do almost anything for a friend. 

I knew he did other acting but was unaware of just how much. And this volume seems to give inside information on almost everything he was in. The book is well researched, the authors did over 100 interviews, and drew heavily from Peter’s own biography and the book Columbo Phile - A Casebook by Mark Dawidziak. For fans of Columbo or fans of Falk in general this will be a fascinating read. Some of the stories of his capers are laugh out loud funny. And some are much more sombre. 

Books about Peter Falk or Columbo:
Columbo Phile - A Casebook - Mark Dawidziak
Cooking With Columbo Suppers With The Shambling Sleuth - Jenny Hammerton
Just One More Thing - Peter Falk
Shooting Columbo The Lives and - David Koenig
The Columbo Companion, 1968-78: Investigating Every Detail of All 45 'Classic Era' Columbo Adventures - The Columbophile

Columbo Novels by William Harrington:
Grassy Knoll
The Helter Skelter Murders
The Hoffa Connection
The Game Show Killer
The Glitter Murders
The Hover Files

Related Posts:
Columbo Series Overview

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