Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE SOONER SPY by Jim Lehrer

The Book: Jim Lehrer, THE SOONER SPY. Putnam, 1990 (second printing). Inscribed by the author. Fine book in very good dust jacket.
First read: 1990
Owned since: 1994

Newscaster and Renaissance man Jim Lehrer writes mysteries and spy novels, too. This book was an indirect gift from Mr. Lehrer himself, who sent it to me when my friend Lesley, who worked for the NewsHour, told him I was a fan. It's still one of my coolest celebrity semi-encounters. THE SOONER SPY is the third in his series featuring the One-Eyed Mack, a would-be bus driver who somehow winds up being the Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma.

The plot of THE SOONER SPY -- a search for a Soviet spy rumored to be operating in Oklahoma, for obscure reasons -- is much less important than the book's characters, and the dead-on skewering of small-state politics. I appreciate it even more now, living on the edge of Maine's state capital; in Lehrer's Oklahoma as here, everyone knows everybody else, and the strangest connections wind up being the key to the mystery.

Today's travels will take me around a good bit of northern New England, and I won't be home until very late tonight. And that reminds me, I forgot to charge my iPod. Dang it.

Five Random Songs

"Cumberland Blues," the Grateful Dead. I originally bought this CD only to get "Uncle John's Band," but it's held up very well over time.

"Wooden Ships," Crosby, Stills & Nash. Another theme morning on the shuffle...

"Abie Baby," from the Hair soundtrack. Weirdly, I have had the Hair soundtrack running through my head all week. No idea why.

"We Belong," Lowen & Navarro. The original version of the song Pat Benatar made famous...

"Him Them It Her," from the Lucky Stiff soundtrack, last summer's musical. Did I mention that Bye Bye Birdie opens a week from tomorrow? Make your reservations now.

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