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Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:24 am
William Diehl, R.I.P.
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Los Angeles Times:

William Diehl, the bestselling author known best for “Sharky’s Machine” and “Primal Fear” – fast-paced thrillers that became hit movies – died Friday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He was 81.

(I’ve warned you before that I’m an obituary reader.)

Diehl led a more interesting life than most people, and had the kind of variety in experiences that seems less likely to occur nowadays. And I always admire the late bloomers:

He had no permanent job and was on his second marriage in 1974 when he turned 50. Someone had given him a party with an ice-cream cake shaped like a typewriter, an allusion to Diehl’s long-held dream of becoming a novelist.

The cake, too pretty to eat, melted into a gooey mess, which struck Diehl as a metaphor for his life.

“I’d been working for 30 years and what did I have to show for it?” he recalled thinking when he beheld the cake.

The next day, he sold all his cameras, borrowed $5,000 from his best friend, and resolved to launch his best and final career.

He may not have achieved–or aspired to–literary greatness, but he sure entertained a hell of a lot of people.

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