U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport

New characters, new locales, new badge. Finished John Sandford’s new Prey novel this evening. One fine yarn. Lucas’ new job takes him (and the reader) to new parts of the country and introduces new characters I suspect we’ll be seeing again. Mobile phones play a key role in this story. So much so the author gives Lucas a page of dialogue on the topic near the end of the book. A fast-paced manhunt with plenty of shoot-outs.

Republicans and Democrats

I do love a Lucas Davenport novel. Nothing heavy, fun read. The latest —Invisible Prey— includes a brief exchange between Lucas and his boss, Rose Marie, on the difference between Republicans and Democrats:

“Wonder why with Republicans, it’s usually fucking somebody that get them in trouble. And with the Democrats, it’s usually stealing?”

“Republicans have money. Most of them don’t need more. But they come from uptight, sexually repressed backgrounds, and sometimes, they just go off. Democrats are looser about sex, but half the time, they used to be teachers or government workers, and they’re desperate for cash. They see all that money up close, around the government, the lobbyists and the corporate guys, they can smell it, they can taste it, they see the rich guys flying to Paris for the weekend, and eating all the good restaurants, and buying three thousand-dollar suits. They just want to reach out and take some.”

— Invisible Prey, John Sandford (page 141)

Radio Randy’s 100 Greatest Rock Songs

Radio Randy insists this list is not ‘his’ top 100 rock songs, just “the most familiar songs of our generations.” He promises to post his list later. Whatever the distinction, it’s a pretty good list. At least as good as Lucas Davneport’s list.

Randy’s daughter, Jessica, comments: I hate to say it, but you’ve got a list full of old white guys in recovery. Oh well…its only rock and roll.

Best Songs of the Rock Era

I was hoping someone had posted this and it makes perfect sense to find it on John Sandford’s “official website.” If you know who John Sandford is, you know who Lucas Davenport is: main character in a very popular series of novels. In Broken Prey, Lucas’ wife has given him an iPod and a certificate for 100 songs from iTunes. Woven throughout the novel are scenes in which Lucas tries to decide whether a particular song should or should not make his “Best Songs of thte Rock Era” list. A fun plot element that concludes with said list at the end of the novel. The thought of trying this myself is somehow exciting and frightening at the same time.

I suggested to Radio Randy that he should invited readers to nominate songs and he post the current 100. As a “better” song comes in, it bumps something else. Eventually, you wind up with his “best” and he heads off to iTunes. I’d love to see Terry McVey’s list as well.

Reading List: 2005

Okay, I’m a little obsessive-compulsive about lists and writing things down. But it bothers me when I can’t remember what movies I’ve seen or books I’ve read. So this is where I write them down. I have a few more to track down, but here’s the 2005 reading list as nearly as I can reconstruct it.

The Fool’s Run – John Sandford (September)
What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer – John Markoff (September)
The Hot Kid – Elmore Leonard (August)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling (August)
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova (July)
The System of the World – Neal Stephenson (June)
The Twelfth Card – Jeffery Deaver (May)
All the Flowers Are Dying – Lawrence Block (February)
The Broker – John Grisham (February)
State of Fear – Michael Crichton (February)

Reading List: 2004

Stab in the Dark, Lawrence Block (December)
Distraction, Bruce Sterling (October)
Florence of Arabia: A Novel, Christopher Buckley (October)
The Rule of Four, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (September)
Rain Fall, Barry Eisler (September)
We the Media, Dan Gillmor (August)
R is for Ricochet, Sue Grafton (August)
Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen (August)
The Stone Monkey, Jeffery Deaver (July)
Live Bait, P. J. Tracy (July)
Hidden Prey, John Sandford (June)

Note: This post has been predated so that it would appear in 2004. 8/16/05

The Hanged Man’s Song

Counting the days till John Sandford‘s next novel (Kidd, not Lucas Davenport), due in November (for which I am thankful). From Amazon:

“In The Hanged Man’s Song, a super-hacker friend of Kidd’s named Bobby suddenly disappears from cyberspace, and Kidd knows that isn’t a good sign. Going over to his house, he finds him dead on the floor, his head bashed in and his laptop missing  and Kidd knows that really isn’t a good sign. The secrets on that laptop are potent enough to hang Kidd and everybody else in Bobby’s circle  just to start with  so there’s no question that Kidd and LuEllen have to try to track it down, not to mention that Kidd would dearly love to get his hands on the man who killed Bobby. “

No way back

“Sally was looking at a map now and said to the red-haired agent, “We’re on Sixty-four, right? Because if we’re on Forty-four, we’ll wind up down in Bumfuck, Missouri, and there’s no way back.”

From John Sandford’s latest novel, Mortal Prey. Most of the story takes place in St. Louis and I mention it here for my friends to live or lived there.

You are what you read

That seems at least as true as “you are what you eat.” I’m not a public library person. If there’s a book I want to read, I want to read it now. I don’t have the patience to put my name on a list. So I buy the books I read. 500+ hardcover and paperback titles fill up my two little book shelves. I know because I recently made a list. If I average ten hours per book, that’s almost seven months of my life. But I can’t think of a better way to spend them. If forced to list my Ten Favorite Authors, they would probably be:

1. William Gibson
2. John D. MacDonald
3. Robert K. Tanenbaum
4. Elmore Leonard
5. Lawrence Block
6. Ross Thomas
7. Robert B. Parker
8. John Sandford
9. Sue Grafton
10. Bill Granger

For some reason I couldn’t find a very good website for John D. MacDonald or William Gibson. Leonard, Block and Grafton have excellent sites. Ross Thomas and John D. are long gone and I’m not sure about Bill Granger.

Isn’t there something about cannibals believing they become stronger by eating their enemies? If we are what we eat, I’m pretty much screwed (Sonic chili dogs, Beenie Weenies and mall Chinese). But if we are what we read, I am enriched by consuming the words of these fine story tellers.