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We get wordy and reflective this week with our guests, authors Andrew Klavan and C.J. Box. Of course, we talk about Weiners, wives, and the death of shame, but also some insight into the work habits of writers, James meets a radio legend, and Rob discusses his alleged coarsening of the culture

Andrew Klavan’s new book A Killer in the Wind is available here. C.J. Box’s new book The Highway is available for pre-order here

Music from this week’s show:

Let Him Dangle by Elvis Costello

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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Members have made 37 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive

    Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. There’s always a better word to replace a weak noun or verb, a chance to adjust syntax to improve clarity, and whole passages to be rewritten for better cadence and rhythm. It’s part of the process that no writer can avoid. Not to mention writer’s block which is an occasional annoyance for even the best. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us.

    • #1
    • July 26, 2013 at 1:01 am
    • Like0 likes
  2. Profile photo of Tommy De Seno Contributor

    My “Carlos Danger” name is “Feliciano Clandestine” according to Slate. Awesome I might keep it.

    Find out yours here

    • #2
    • July 26, 2013 at 1:18 am
    • Like0 likes
  3. Profile photo of billy Inactive
    Tommy De Seno: My “Carlos Danger” name is “Feliciano Clandestine” according to Slate. Awesome I might keep it.

    Find out yours here. · 45 minutes ago

    Edited 4 minutes ago

    Benito Catastrophe.

    • #3
    • July 26, 2013 at 4:06 am
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  4. Profile photo of David Knights Member

    Julio Kill

    • #4
    • July 26, 2013 at 5:24 am
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  5. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive
    Peter Robinson
    ~Paules: Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us. · 8 hours ago

    Well and truly said, Paules. Nobody finds writing easy–nobody. (The fastest writer I ever knew was Bill Buckley. Why did he write so fast? “Because I find it so painful.”) · 5 hours ago

    It’s an odd sort of comfort to know that we suffer together. One might well ask why we do it at all. The writer’s craft is the most abstract art form known to man. How many artists deal exclusively in symbols? Only writers can make that claim. We paint word pictures in the mind of our reader. What an awesome canvas! And yet each writer is known for his own unique style, as recognizable as the chisel marks left by a sculptor or the pastels used by an impressionist painter. We suffer because we love it so much. And we do love it.

    • #5
    • July 26, 2013 at 5:59 am
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  6. Profile photo of Karen Member

    I think we should ease up on the Huma bashing. That’s exactly what they want – for the right to criticize her so much, that the left defends her, along with Weiner. She has a child by the man, which was conveniently not mentioned on the podcast. Maybe she’s trying to keep her family together or maybe she’s just an opportunist. It doesn’t matter. She’s not running for office. Weiner is, and as creepy as he is, he’s no worse than Mark Sanford and David Vitter. As far as I’m concerned, NYC deserves him.

    • #6
    • July 26, 2013 at 6:00 am
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  7. Profile photo of Shelley Nolan Inactive

    Can’t wait to listen, just know this is going to be great fun. Love the NRO picture!

    • #7
    • July 26, 2013 at 6:16 am
    • Like0 likes
  8. Profile photo of
    Karen: I think we should ease up on the Huma bashing. That’s exactly what they want – for the right to criticize her so much, that the left defends her, along with Weiner. She has a child by the man, which was conveniently not mentioned on the podcast. Maybe she’s trying to keep her family together or maybe she’s just an opportunist. It doesn’t matter. She’s not running for office. Weiner is, and as creepy as he is, he’s no worse than Mark Sanford and David Vitter. As far as I’m concerned, NYC deserves him. · 12 hours ago

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/25/senator-calls-for-further-investigation-into-huma-s-money.html

    • #8
    • July 26, 2013 at 6:18 am
    • Like0 likes
  9. Profile photo of
    Karen: Well, Andy can keep his guilt by association crack pot theories, and shame on NR for publishing such drivel. But this kind of sensational speculation is what passes for journalism these days. I bet Andy and Huma go into business together in couple of years as a consulting firm. After their book deals, of course. Churning up conspiracies gets the attention of low information voters and keeps journalists from having to actually work on real stories, like oh say, the 20% cut to Defense HQ. But let’s keep talking about “Huma the sleeper cell.” Look, I was at GW in the early 2000’s, and you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Muslim on campus. It’s where diplomats send their kids. Many are/were sympathetic toward groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Some hate Israel. That doesn’t make them terrorists. Andy has lost any credibility he had. · 8 hours ago

    Are you forgetting about her other close association, Hillary Clinton, Sec. of State?

    • #9
    • July 26, 2013 at 6:21 am
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  10. Profile photo of Benjamin Glaser Member

    Politics is becoming so boring and predictable

    • #10
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:25 am
    • Like0 likes
  11. Profile photo of Beowulf's accountant Inactive
    Karen: I think we should ease up on the Huma bashing. That’s exactly what they want – for the right to criticize her so much, that the left defends her, along with Weiner. She has a child by the man, which was conveniently not mentioned on the podcast. Maybe she’s trying to keep her family together or maybe she’s just an opportunist. It doesn’t matter. She’s not running for office. Weiner is, and as creepy as he is, he’s no worse than Mark Sanford and David Vitter. As far as I’m concerned, NYC deserves him. · 2 hours ago

    Andrew C. McCarthy begs to differ. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354351/huma-unmentionables-andrew-c-mccarthy

    • #11
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:35 am
    • Like0 likes
  12. Profile photo of C.J. Box Inactive
    ~Paules: Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. There’s always a better word to replace a weak noun or verb, a chance to adjust syntax to improve clarity, and whole passages to be rewritten for better cadence and rhythm. It’s part of the process that no writer can avoid. Not to mention writer’s block which is an occasional annoyance for even the best. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us. · 19 hours ago

    Quite true.

    • #12
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:46 am
    • Like0 likes
  13. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Tommy De Seno: My “Carlos Danger” name is “Feliciano Clandestine” according to Slate. Awesome I might keep it.

    Find out yours here. · 19 hours ago

    Edited 18 hours ago

    Raul Distress.

    Which is perfect.

    • #13
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:54 am
    • Like0 likes
  14. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    C.J. Box
    ~Paules: Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. There’s always a better word to replace a weak noun or verb, a chance to adjust syntax to improve clarity, and whole passages to be rewritten for better cadence and rhythm. It’s part of the process that no writer can avoid. Not to mention writer’s block which is an occasional annoyance for even the best. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us. · 19 hours ago

    Quite true. · 8 minutes ago

    Man, am I ever relieved to hear you say that, CJ.

    • #14
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:56 am
    • Like0 likes
  15. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    C.J. Box
    ~Paules: Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us. · 19 hours ago

    Quite true. · 7 minutes ago

    Forget it. Part of being a writer is being bitterly jealous of other writers — especially those who are a lot more successful. So I’m happy to wallow in my self pity here, convinced that CJ is just better and more successful at writing because it’s easier for him.

    Hey! Just thought of something. Maybe there should be a federal program for writers like me who are disadvantaged by our laziness and inability to stop surfing the web! CJ’s not better, he’s just part of that privileged 1%!

    • #15
    • July 26, 2013 at 8:57 am
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  16. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    PJ: Isn’t he holding the sign upside down? · 20 hours ago

    Perfect. Laughing very loud now.

    • #16
    • July 26, 2013 at 9:01 am
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  17. Profile photo of Goddess of Discord Member

    Listening today was the best time I ever had getting my oil changed. Mr. Weiner – rather than a turtle out of his shell, I’d say he looks like one of his pictures.

     Ariel Catastrophe

    • #17
    • July 26, 2013 at 9:12 am
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  18. Profile photo of Daniel Sattelberger Inactive

    Re the Pullman books: I read them several years ago (I think I was 11 or 12 at the time). I didn’t find any sort of political message in the books, but I read a ton of fantasy series back then and just treated it like any other. As far as quality, I agree with Andrew. The first was quite good, though at the time I attributed it more to the fact that the world it created was limited, believable, and logical; whereas the world and plot of the last two just sort of exploded into a massive, complicated mess.

    • #18
    • July 26, 2013 at 9:15 am
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  19. Profile photo of Karen Member

    Well, Andy can keep his guilt by association crack pot theories, and shame on NR for publishing such drivel. But this kind of sensational speculation is what passes for journalism these days. I bet Andy and Huma go into business together in couple of years as a consulting firm. After their book deals, of course. Churning up conspiracies gets the attention of low information voters and keeps journalists from having to actually work on real stories, like oh say, the 20% cut to Defense HQ. But let’s keep talking about “Huma the sleeper cell.” Look, I was at GW in the early 2000’s, and you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Muslim on campus. It’s where diplomats send their kids. Many are/were sympathetic toward groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. Some hate Israel. That doesn’t make them terrorists. Andy has lost any credibility he had.

    • #19
    • July 26, 2013 at 9:43 am
    • Like0 likes
  20. Profile photo of Goddess of Discord Member

    Mentholatum Deep Heat and Carter’s Little Liver Pills! How long has it been since you really felt like dancing? Thanks for the link to the Couple Next Door! 

    • #20
    • July 26, 2013 at 9:56 am
    • Like0 likes
  21. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    ~Paules: Well, guys, I don’t think C.J. Box finds writing any easier than the rest of us despite his prolific output. Writing is a craft that requires constant editing. There’s always a better word to replace a weak noun or verb, a chance to adjust syntax to improve clarity, and whole passages to be rewritten for better cadence and rhythm. It’s part of the process that no writer can avoid. Not to mention writer’s block which is an occasional annoyance for even the best. Be you not envious of Mr. Box. He suffers just like the rest of us. · 8 hours ago

    Well and truly said, Paules. Nobody finds writing easy–nobody. (The fastest writer I ever knew was Bill Buckley. Why did he write so fast? “Because I find it so painful.”)

    • #21
    • July 26, 2013 at 10:00 am
    • Like0 likes
  22. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    A graf from McCarthy’s piece, plucked at random:

    To recap, Ms. Abedin worked for many years at a journal that promotes Islamic-supremacist ideology that was founded by a top al-Qaeda financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef. Naseef ran the Rabita Trust, a formally designated foreign terrorist organization under American law.

    Not saying that proves anything, but it’s certainly interesting, and if a Romney administration figure worked at a mag founded by someone who, say, had Klan roots and ran an organization the government identified as a racist hate-group, there might be some stirrings in the media. Chris Matthews might even bring it up. 

    I don’t think she’s a “sleeper agent” entrusted to skillfully guide the hapless hubby into the corridors of power, then use him to ban dogs in Gramercy Park. Likewise, the fact that GW had lots of Muslim students in the Oughts doesn’t mean that “Shrug, whatves” is the only reasonable reaction to the Sec’y of State’s close aide having parental and professional connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s the incuriousness I find notable.

    • #22
    • July 26, 2013 at 10:24 am
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  23. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    That said, this graf is what really ought to grind your gears:

    …what did get Washington chattering was a scandal far more typical in Clinton circles — the lucrative arrangement Ms. Abedin struck with Mrs. Clinton’s State Department that allowed her, after returning from maternity leave, to draw a $135,000 State Department salary while remaining in New York, not actually working at Foggy Bottom, and moonlighting as a “strategic consultant” for an outfit called Teneo – founded by Bill Clinton’s chum Doug Band.

    I’m inclined to believe that money and influence and position matter more to her than the emanations of the penumbra of parental ideology, or the batsh*t babblings of whoever founded the mag where she worked as an intern. Because she seems intelligent and sensible, and that’s the way the DC game is played. 

    By general consensus she seems insulated from criticism. Once she dumps Senor Danger there will be a People story on Huma’s New Life, complete with carefully staged photo (with child) and a sidebar on where she buys her shoes. Rote admiration will be obligatory. She’s been through so much.

    • #23
    • July 26, 2013 at 10:32 am
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  24. Profile photo of Beowulf's accountant Inactive
    Karen: Well, Andy can keep his guilt by association crack pot theories, and shame on NR for publishing such drivel… I bet Andy and Huma go into business together in couple of years as a consulting firm… Andy has lost any credibility he had. · 51 minutes ago

    Andy? Do you know Mr. McCarthy that well– has he given you leave to call him that. As far as I know, and please correct me if I’m wrong, Andrew McCarthy is the only person mentioned on this thread that has actually successfully prosecuted a case against Islamist terrorists. His credibility is not in question with me.

    • #24
    • July 26, 2013 at 10:47 am
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  25. Profile photo of Ryan M(cPherson) Listener

    Just downloaded this onto my phone. Looking forward to it, guys! Always a treat on Thursdays.

    • #25
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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  26. Profile photo of Merina Smith Inactive

    Is it just me, or does Anthony Weiner greatly resemble a rat in looks and character?

    • #26
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm
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  27. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member
    Merina Smith: Is it just me, or does Anthony Weiner greatly resemble a rat in looks and character?

    If only he would do the proper rat-like thing, and scurry away and go into hiding.

    • #27
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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  28. Profile photo of PJ Coolidge
    PJ

    Isn’t he holding the sign upside down?

    • #28
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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  29. Profile photo of Salamandyr Inactive

    Physique aside, he looks like someone dragged him behind the barn and beat him with the ugly stick. He’s the very definition of a “two-bagger”. 

    He has no legislative accomplishments to speak of, and his only claim to fame is he somehow manages to convince women to interact with him in a manner that neither his job, future prospects, wealth, looks, or reputation could possibly justify.

    • #29
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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  30. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member

    I am not done listening to the podcast yet but I’ve already laughed more than in the last two days. Thanks guys! The Klavan suggestion for the new motto for Democrats has already gone up on my FB page as quote of the day. 

    • #30
    • July 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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