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John Dunning biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

John Dunning
Rykken Johnson

John Dunning

John Dunning Biography

John Dunning was the Nero Wolfe Award-winning author of Booked to Die; The Bookman's Wake, a New York Times Notable Book of 1995; and The Bookman's Promise. An expert on rare and collectible books, he owned the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver for many years. He was also an expert on American radio history and the author of a novel about old-time radio, Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime, and a nonfiction book, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio.

His other works include The Holland Suggestions, Denver, Deadline, The Sign of the Book and The Bookwoman's Last Fling.

He was for many years host of the weekly Denver radio show Old-Time Radio. John Dunning lived with his wife, Helen, in Denver, Colorado. He died in May 2023.

John Dunning's website

This bio was last updated on 05/30/2023. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Dunning explains the story behind Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime?, his novel set in the world of 1930s and '40s radio.

What's the story behind Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime?
It's a novel I've wanted to write for years -- to show what it was like to work in radio when it was the top entertainment medium in the country. Even movies took a back seat to radio in the Thirties and Forties, especially in the Thirties. The country was in the middle of a depression and people couldn't afford to go out. It cost a dime or a quarter to see Eddie Cantor on the screen -- you got him free on the radio, and it was all live, that was the excitement and magic of it, it was happening right then as you were listening to it. There was no phony laugh track, a comic lived or died by his material, and there were a dozen ways a dramatic show could fall apart. But when it worked, ah, man!...there were some great shows, some almost perfect pieces of air. Radio was a wonderfully creative business then, but everything you read and see plays it as high camp, as if the entire radio era was directed by Woody Allen. It wasn't like that, not to the actors who did fifteen shows a week, not to the writers who created what went on the air. To them it was the stuff of life. And at its best it approached high art. That's what my book is about...

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Books by this Author

Books by John Dunning at BookBrowse
The Bookwoman's Last Fling jacket The Sign of The Book jacket Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for John Dunning but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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