Jesse, Paul Weimer, Cora Buhlert, and David J. West talk about Easy Go by Michael Crichton
Talked about on today’s show:
1968, The Last Tomb, a pretty terrific book, what’s the title mean?, dreams of fame and fortune, is that what the book’s really about though?, pre-Indiana Jones, a heist story, Topkapi (1962), stealing archaeological treasures for private hands, they’re not good people, the girl’s with you, Nicos killing children is find, Lisa, how expensive are you, ten million dollars, you know you’re doing the wrong thing here, the ending, a better title, a funner title, a soft ending, a sudden ending, is something wrong with my copy?, he finishes the book, an okay ending, put em all in prison, getting oput of prison is going to be the sequel, mushy, semi-justified by the text, the clever Egyptian archaeology department, a step ahead, hadn’t left the scarab there, they had their mark from the beginning, stupid foreigners, the Romans, the Greeks, the Assyrians, treasure hunters, remarkably diverse, Mission: Impossible, a hard novel, a noir, surprises, switching main characters, Barnaby, suddenly Pierce, Lord Grover, Lisa’s dad for real?, bio-father, purposely leaving it vague, he couldn’t legally do it, the narrator is really good, Christopher Lane, the cover art, the original paperback, pulpy cover, kissing dancing holding pistols, a reuse cover, Hard Case Crime had a second imprint called Gabriel Hunt, Charles Ardai character, a Mack Bolan, Remo Williams style pulp hero, Hunt For Adventure, Indiana Jones style, reused the same art, Glen Orbik, a revolver, a mummy, use the gun on the snakes, Luxor, a generic that works, down to the last 10 minutes of the book, it fits, it matches the mood, evokes Egypt, Binary, only on the cover to sell the book, his accents are good, his characters are distinct, later Crichton, his formula, Timeline, Pirate Latitudes, a real-life ending, he didn’t want to kill people, shoulda ended in a noir, the best solution, an Oceans Eleven vibe, published 3rd, his first written novel, $1500, a stressed out medical student, L.A. Times, 1974, The Terminal Man, took him a week, he went to egypt, loved it, and was reading paperbacks on the plane, I can do this, a very old youtube video, hired by Munsey’s, starts typing, where’d you learn to right, a real pulp writer, some people just really got it, they read pulp, they can write pulp, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Spear And Fang is ok, Terry Pratchett, an amazing writing career, characterization is very solid, dropping information about Egypt, each location, the price of things, the other locations, Amsterdam, diamond dealer, dull and tomblike, he absolutely captures the atmosphere, he has been there, you have to learn how to watch black and white movies, silent movies are a lot harder than black and white movies, pictures of black and white monkeys, making Casablanca in colour, some things need black and white, Edgar Wallace, we have to learn these things, the goodreads reviews, pulpy fun, new favourite book, its like they don’t know how to read this kind of book, a paperback, for the late 60s and the mid 1970s, racy fun, nice and thin, what an airport novel is today, opposite of horribly long and badly written, not meant to be remembered, give me another John Lange, you’ve been reading all these John Lange books, a professional sale, this is solid, a little bit unpredictable, the treasure, shines in the reflectivity of the characters, thinking about Egypt, doing more than is required, this is the real tomb [holds up skull], the one you can never leave, *yawn implausible romance two stars*, a first, better than some of his later books, later bloated, Binary is taut, not as filmic as it could have been, breezier and easier, how can people read so badly, unfamiliar with the form, he’s seen it before, of course you’ve seen it before!, didn’t you really enjoy reading it?, really enjoyable, Paul plays role playing games, Fate Of Cthulhu, stop Nyarlathotep, Infocom games, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Infidel, find the pyramid, survive it’s traps and treasures, command prompt words, get flashlight batteries, put flashlight batteries in flashlight, turn flashlight on, you see a room, boxes full of goodies, pocket fluff and no tea, the microscopic space fleet, playing a real a-hole, terrible to his crew, a real western imperialistic jerk, the last trap gets you, a Kobayashi Maru, for narrative, pray for forgiveness, terrible takes, disaster pron, Kelly, banaly racist and sexist, enjoyable enough but nothing special, a stock character, a great role, every actor wants to be him, he wears that mask so well, Roger Moore as Lord Grover, a playboyish guy, the handsome Hollywood lead, Barnaby, a great character actor, Steve Buscemi, a slight role, Niccos, even he doesn’t end up dead, Italian western, did you not notice his backstory, an Egyptian whore a Greek story, how he opens a door, sleeping on the dock, he still has a hubcap, reading Richard Stark, I can do this, interest, each character has just enough characterization, Sylvia, why she’s acting that way, masterful characterization, a natural success, a great way to solve a story, back to square one, experience points is stupid, Conan should start every adventure the way he ends it, deus ex machina, aliens ex machina, the celebrated archaeologist, a very steep diminishing returns, most people who have eyes and ears, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, released with extra materials on DVD, the treasure is the experience, he goes to Europe and hangs out with famous artists doing cubism, intrigue in 1917 Russia, North Africa, the Belgian Congo, 1906 – 1922, a tourist visit, but an amazing one, not good people in a lot of cases, T.E. Lawrence, Baghdad to Berlin trainline, Lawrence of Arabia killed my great grandfather, all the stuff in the background, the Aswan dam, the Russian wives in the marketplace, all that detail, not even Cold War, moving the temples, building giant dams, a post-war thing, Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake, cutting edge at the time, not quite in the zeitgeist, this guy knows Egypt, the United Arab Republic, a book of the late 60s, Sadat, hedging his bets, Nasser, seeing all these negative reviews, didn’y you seen this part?, looking a the hieroglyphics, that exposition, bought it all, he dreamed this up, read it diagonally, apocryphal, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, an acrostic, babble in the middle, the bragging vizier, my king I’ve served you well, when Egypt was at its eye, Egyptologists disagree, what triggered Jesse, the breasts of every female, cigarettes, facts are in quotes, slowmo novel, dude you’re not the target audience, a thing you do, decadent Englishman, smokes pot and has girls around him, the facts are placed not littered, it’s really well done, Amsterdam, terrorist attacks, done many times, I too became lost, torture porn, the beating of the young boy, some had breasts, you’re not actually supposed to remember the hero, Peirce is the least interesting character, he’s the plot, they recognize each other from Korea, they’re equals, they’re both captains, an officer’s club, we never actually get to see the split, in the middle of a Richard Stark novel, Paul disagrees completely, Grover’s in it for the fun, pay the ransom myself, which characters are untrustworthy, Pierce is the most trustworthy character, he doesn’t even know why he’s doing it, Pierce doesn’t know why he exists, he’s the blank canvas, Barnaby is conflicted, don’t touch this, it belongs in a museum, tenure, a better job, they’re all adjuncts, Conway, we trust him implicitly, jokey and fun, great introduction, he saves the girl with the gun, smuggled diamonds out of South Africa, Jim Brown, Steve James, blacksploitation movies, Niccos in the most untrustworthy character, willing to kill, he sells out the group, even Iskander, a meaty role, subtle and sneaky and pretend to be dumb, malapropisms, you are beautiful today, which guy is going to be the problem, take the easy route, get into a fight he doesn’t need to take, a problem with Lord Grover’s girls, blabbing to the wrong person, an outside problem, something we couldn’t have foreseen, a nice hard ending, Infocom’s hints, InvisiClues, not fair for pirates, no forums online, in a magazine, Gore Vidal’s Thieves Fall Out, maybe that’s the issue for me, not mention slaves and cotton plantations, Agatha Christie, Norman Mailer, Conway holding the skull, a lecture or a joke, Egyptologists go look at this scarab, they’re weirdos, not obsessed with death, certain rich people, The Land Of The Pharaohs (1955) with Joan Collins, a memorable scene, The Persuaders, City On The Edge Of Forever, Star Trek, an impregnable tomb, speaking English, if they had done Prey (2022) in the original Comanche, have us read subtitles, inaccessibility, learning to read, learning to watch movies, learning to play computer games, Dead Man Down (2013), get revenge, he’s a barbarian, he’s a robot, my parents are German immigrants that’s why my name is Matrix, the dregs of what we used to have, Steven Seagal, they’re great, the cheap Michael Dudikoff, making the grave goods, the piled up grave goods, gold daisies, creating that culture for this period, updating it, mention the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re not good at coming up with stuff like that, on a European tour, Paris, Greece, Capri, a brief scene set in Greece, the city is coming ever closer, the Colossi of Memnon, a big Robert E. Howard fan, if this was Stygia, a place Robert E. Howard never went to, a girl swimming naked in a pond, I hope this novel is about…, communist propaganda, I’ve never been to Iowa, he reads stuff from history, sets in real experiences, everything is based on Texas, Mexico and New Mexico, setting a story in a real place I’ve never been to, Howard stories set in the crusader states, the pre-middle ages, a crusader castle, 1950s in a place you’ve never been is harder than ancient Egypt, new world parrots in Europe, you don’t have anacondas in Egypt, 1870s Cairo, one guy who called me out, a ton of research, a tonne of research, what would Christmas decorations look like?, what would it smell like?, a picture from the 1930s, google street view, real estate signs, we’ve got the directions wrong, it’s in this cleft, wasted a couple of chapters digging, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest wasn’t in the the Teutoburg Forest, Roman fortresses, modern cities, forgiving young people, they haven’t had life experience, airplanes had cigarette ashtrays on their handles, you could still smell it, make the seats smaller, KLM city hoppers, L.A. Noire, you’re an L.A. homicide detective, reconstructed huge swaths of 1950  Los Angeles, it sounds like that car does, rare cars, you can stop anywhere in the city and look at a street-corner, a research team of 5,000 programmers, makes Wiltshire Boulevard accurate, we don’t have that for most things, we’re disabled, Des Moines, Alan Moore’s Providence, New York, as a coherent whole it doesn’t make a lot of sense, a weak thesis, Robert Black is Lovecraft’s psychology, the drawings, 1919 New York, owls with glowing eyes, that nearby park, a picture of what reality was like, the architecture is correct, Cool Air, Jacen Burrows, a photograph as a drawing, accurate to the image being described, come to the thing with the right expectations, how to appreciate what your seeing, an apology for modern art, appreciating 1960s paperback novels, a really good book, greatness to come in this guy, eight total, thank Cora, Michael Crichton movies, the Binary TV movie, Hard Case Crime, almost always entertaining, the Stephen King ones, reprints, modern stuff is hit or miss, extra fun reading an old book, almost 5 decades, still reading it and giving it low ratings, skew young and female, check the copyright date, why are they not mentioning bombs?, reading older books, good YA books, problem books, Karl May, read it in a day, a short novel, Odds On, Scratch One, A Case Of Need, The Venom Business, Zero Cool, Dealing, Drug Of Choice, Grave Descend, Binary, to prevent an arms shipment, targeted assassination, sounds like a Donald Westlake novel, rob the Reina, a technothriller, it will have lots of breasts, read about breasts, artifact smuggling, an expert handler in venomous snakes, is he the killer’s real target, meh 4 stars, a Bondesque romp with off-puttingly sexist undertones, diver, the strange thing is the breasts, cigarette stains, pick a regular goodreads reviewer from the modern era, sending them back to 1971s, review of 1971: it’s gross they’re were cigarettes everywhere, when IMDB was a new thing, writing reviews is fun, semi-professionally can be hurtful, a review challenge, another thing to check off, let’s read more John Lange, star ratings are hurtful, Nerds Of A Feather, weird blinking gifs, November 27, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, Richard Bachman is not a shitlib but Steven King is, what would John Lange’s nickname be?, John Norman’s real name is John Lange, two of my favourite writers, a different feel, excited about a 1975 book, dinosaur hunters in the old west, Dragon Teeth, bone hunters, helping a student write an essay about Weird Tales, Hugh Rankin, some of the covers, Doak is Hugh Rankin’s middle name, the art style is quite different, interior Conans are Hugh Rankin, Frank Belknap Long, the style is different, pastiche, comic strips, spent time gazing, The Dunwich Horror, Virgil Finlay did a ton of covers for Weird Tales, painted covers, vignettes?, snake woman, The Were-snake, a thing for hangings, Margaret Brundage, naked woman, only 3 of her 67 covers don’t have women, Farnsworth Wright, The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick, does Iowa have ditches?, a nice slim volume, the beauty of a rural setting, a Korean War vet?, maybe it is 1947, the sheriff doesn’t want to get involved (secretly a communist), lean into it, The Cannonball Run, Dean Martin is a commie, his middle name is Kill A Commie, a little bit of a throwback, A Matter Of Life And Death (1946), David Niven, how to watch it, make it an amazing experience, the cultural nuance, an expectation, movie watching ability, The Mark Of Zorro (1920), when its not an action sequence, Nosferatu (1922), Buster Keatons and Charlie Chaplins, unleash Metropolis (1927), in the theater with live music, dragging a friend along, taught to watch Shakespeare and opera, we teach it wrong, a guided experience, get used to the style, think about it like food, you don’t give the baby kimchi, french fries, children’s menus, some kids wont eat certain colours, film aficionado, missing a whole experience of art, a current film, no steadycams, a forgettable Fassbender movie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Grey Man (2022), a Russo bros movie, a spy version of a Marvel movie, feel better, forgettably watchable, a new up and comer, Knives Out (2019), was Marilyn Monroe tiny?, how tall is Ryan Gosling?, the propaganda, platform shoes, height shame, Linda Hunt, Silverado (1985) is a really good movie, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum is the badguy, she’s amazing, NCIS Los Angeles, Gargoyles (1972) TV movie, Silence Of The Lambs, Man On Fire (1987), go in with no expectations, form CIA agent hired to bodyguard a girl in Italy, a movie that has heart, charismatic in his own weird way, why is this happening?, local Comicon, Keith Coogan, Adventures In Babysitting (1987), holding on to the rights, explaining Marvel and DC comics, The Unknown Soldier, its the trademarks, Obama giving Spiderman or Punisher a congressional medal of honor, Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, we never got to see it, not that bad, that was a really good movie, it holds up, Chris Columbus, a sitcom?, Weird Science is so well put together, Robert Downey, Jr., they nailed the ending, a gym full of girls, the final scene, cut back to the gym, Lisa standing, pan up, you little monsters, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, Einstein’s brain, they do it again, a totally stupid and really good, mid or low budgets, a renaissance period, they hold up, 1975-1987 is the period, Predator but not The Last Action Hero (1993), Collateral Damage is a massive decline, The Sixth Day (2000), True Lies is up, quality of films, Raw Deal (1986), Terminator 2 (1991) is technically better but The Terminator (1984) is a better movie, James Cameron, Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Titanic is a good movie for other people, too long, Raise The Titanic (1980), Avatar is a good movie, The Abyss (1989), oddly forgotten, Ridley Scott, Black Rain (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Wesley Snipes’ best movie, Blade (1998), Major League (1989), Drop Zone (1994), Point Break (1991), Muder At 1600 (1997) Elizabeth Hurley as a terrorist, Clint Eastwood, Absolute Power (1997), lacking depth of back catalogue, we’re going to watch Predator (1987), children, key moments in Jesse’s life, the novelization of Predator, the novelization of Gremlins (1984), Carl Weathers, bro greeting, Dakota Beavers, Shane Black, The Predator (2018) is a really terrible film, the Golan-Globus Theater podcast, Dino De Laurentiis, Rollerball (1975), evil coprorations have taken over the planet, James Cann killing people and throwing balls in holes, no individual achievement, Norman Jewison, Fiddler On The Roof (1971), based on Billy Budd?, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), In The Heat Of The Night (1967), 2015, ipods, audiobooks, The Iliad, a late adopter, 2013, podcasts are the thing now, youtubes podcasts, audio with science fiction and fantasy, the books we had gone through, the back catalogue, 9 hours long, an Arthur Machen semi-autobiographical novel, trying to make money, when it comes time you want to read The Dispossessed, guaranteed, make me take it down, not mentioned in the show, get to get some really narrow topics, run as long as people are willing to go without peeing, three hours is a good length, some good books, insights, Our Opinions Are Correct, makes Jesse read books, The Bus-Conductor by E.F. Benson, two Souvenir by Philip K. Dick episodes, there’s a door there’s a cat, felt honoured, Tippy Taps, a Murder She Wrote episode, Simon & Simon, and Magnum, PI, Nudist Camp by Orrie Hitt, The Black Stranger by Robert E. Howard, a non-fiction about traveling around Europe, A Night In Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, cassettes, a hefty book, Twain is so good, Scott Danielson is hard to get, excited about The Heads Of Cerberus by Francis Stevens, 1904, super-science, half Japanese and half German, she invented the superhero, Man-God, Gladiator by Philip Wylie, newspaper woman in the future, an old sailoress tells a tall tale at the teashop, Friend Island, one of those inferior creatures, she and the island got along really well, just elect a woman, The Elf-Trap, a gyspy village in the forest, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, so pioneering, The Thrill Book, a precursor to Weird Tales, Sunfire, precedes the Weird Tales crew, a vivid imagination, standard racist tropes, some people can’t handle breasts, occasional racism, a funny meme on Tolkien and smoking, promoting smoking, eating mushrooms, a little kid thing, unable to adapt to the horrible mushrooms, we’re willing to live with it, the texture, they’re made of fungus, William Hope Hodgson, that creepy factor, really well told, good at creeping, punched Houdini, volunteered for WWI and got killed, so eager to get killed in the war, trench warfare, superiors don’t care, why go into Iraq or Afghanistan, Germany’s got to be repressed, ran away at 14 to be a doughboy, child soldiers, restrained themselves, unable to be restrained now, WWIII with Russia, American volunteers being paid by NATO, wagging the dog, 60 Minutes, talking over him, the emperor has no clothes, defending having mental faculties, Reagan goes away, so beyond the pale, horrifying to think about, the buck stops here thing, it stops in some vague place that you don’t have access to, Obama is busy making his money, Biden with a blindman on his elbow, it’s shocking, setting aside all past sins, humiliating, juice him up, his notes, George Bush, not a defensible guy, semi-competent, this guy used to know stuff, can’t finish a sentence, can’t remember the name of an actor, not the best and the brightest, when Rand Paul sounds like the sanest man, coming across like a genius, the lamest dystopia, the UK, Boris Johnson, okay he memorized a poem in Greek, Governor of California, the quality of the politicians has gone down so much, people don’t like Putin, he has his shit together, Justin Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland, Jacinda Ardern, you odnt need the They Live glasses anymore, The Shadow Kingdom, clearly evidence of serpent people, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, compared to what?, there is no recession, all the homeless people everywhere, a lot of people on twitter, the arts community, the more liberal minded people, overly conservative, lean liberal, what’s true?, what’s for real?, you have to pick your team and stick with it no matter what, a way to line your own pockets, money laundering, the model in books is broken, indy stuff, a Baen anthology, trad pub, a book with Tantor Audio, 9 hours, a 30 hour Brandon Sanderson book, bundle, a western series, Tantor used to have their own store, Downpour.com, Blackstone publisher, audiobook empire, 40 different markets, Audible has been squeezing, any extra is gravy, the step down, traditional publishing, quick reads, Louis Lamour length, market distortion based on the subscription model, inflation on an infinitely replicable post scarcity object, Audible accounts without Audible subscriptions, the stumbling block, Lois McMaster Bujold, The Reader’s Chair, The Curse Of Chalion, eyes get worse, audiobooks were a fringe, the dominant form of book consumption, FanX, is it on audio, a tangible shift, its better, a nice fire, a dog at my feet, coffee in hand, beautiful woods outside, coding or photoshopping, on the ferry, most of Jesse’s students don’t know where they are, most kids have no sense of geography, where are we?, if they lose google maps, when we have autodrive cars, people wont know where they live, we’re offloading a lot of our processing to objects in our hands or our backpacks, its a himars, we’re doing that to ourselves, can’t identify Europe on a map, total fuckin weirdo, Dungeons & Dragons, Stranger Things, are the parents cursing them out?, are they allowed to play Dungeons & Dragons?, Commodore 64, Vic 20, we exhausted ourselves on this books, keep most of everything, Nudist Camp, mid-century erotica, a book every two weeks, fueled by ice coffee and cigarettes, paperback originals, somebody scanned, three strange women, Hot Cargo, The Peeper, Abnormal Norma, Man’s Nurse, The Sex Pros, Campus Tramp, depraved practices, normal love?, Evan Lampe’s narration of Mr. Adam by Pat Frank, 1947, 9 months later, all the men on planet earth have been sterilized, lead mine, a hot commodity, a comedy a premise, a light comedy, he loves his wife, a war footing, can black women get pregnant from this white man?, two Mongolians, a mine shaft gap, a delightful book, a great premise, sell you individual, The Brethren by H. Rider Haggard, a personal crusade, a bunch of nights, The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, her uncle is Saladin, they both marry her, they’re not polyandrists, very Robert E. Howard, the thews and the colours, inspired by a visit, a terrific book, Eric Brighteyes, the character is so dumb, a lurid cover, the greater bulk is from the 1970s, jazzed enough, standing on concrete for three days, Rider, British Columbia, Sir Walter Scott’s house, a railway point.