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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show
"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket
"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming
February 11, 2009
I'm going to be busy for a while being alive. But in the meantime, I'm wondering whether anyone who visits this site has heard of Charles McCarry. I recently read his novel The Tears of Autumn, and was mildly stunned by how good it is. Now I'm trying to read all the rest of his books.
The Tears of Autumn was published in 1974, and is about a CIA agent named Paul Christopher who believes he's figured out who shot JFK and why. This is from a section near the beginning; Patchen is Christopher's supervisor:
They were alone on the sidewalk, and when they reached Connecticut Avenue the broad street was empty of cars...
They were in front of a bar, and Patchen started toward its door. "Let's stop outside a minute," Christopher said. "You know what's involved here, David. If these politicians never know what happened, they'll do it again."
"Yes. They will."
"You don't think that's worth preventing?"
"I don't think it's possible to prevent it, Paul. You have a flaw—you think the truth will make men free. But it only makes them angry. They believe what suits them, they do what they want to do, just like the slobs we're going to find lined up at the bar in there. Human beings are a defective species, my friend. Accept it."
"But don't you want to know?"
Or as Silence of the Lambs puts it, "Problem-solving is hunting. It is savage pleasure, and we are born to it."
—Jonathan SchwarzPosted at February 11, 2009 09:21 AM