Okay, so today I venture halfheartedly to Starbucks, because it’s the only coffee shop within walking distance (though there must be 8 billion within driving distance in Northern Virginia), and at the table across from me, there is some guy going on and on about how there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and what a bad baddie Saddam Hussein was and how great we took him out. Through some not so difficult eavesdropping (made fairly easy by the booming, energetic voice) I determined that this man was a novelist of some renown and that he had in fact some of his books right there on the table with him.
Through some inspired cloak and dagger misdirection involving a wink, a stubbed toe, and a penguin, I was able to see, upon leaving Starbucks, exactly what novel was on the table, thus determining what novelist was at the table.
I felt I needed to do this, because I am a professor of contemporary American literature, and I had no idea who this guy was talking so animatedly about Hussein’s secret plans to blow up the west with his nuclear arsenal. Here was a contemporary American novelist, and it was my professional duty to find out which one.
Turns out it was okay I hadn’t heard of him.
Because I don’t usually read evangelical Christian conspiracy thrillers.
The man was Joel C. Rosenberg, most famous for his NY Times bestseller, The Last Jihad. As the Publishers Weekly review of The Last Jihad on Amazon says:
In the wake of September 11, popular American president James MacPherson has spearheaded an international effort to destroy terrorist training camps in the Middle East and North Africa. Osama bin Laden has been killed, but Saddam Hussein continues to plot against the West.
I’ve since discovered that Rosenberg’s follow-up novel, The Ezekiel Option, is, despite its Ludlumesque title, essentially a kind of Left Behind novel about the Last Days. You know, the rise of Babylon, the Antichrist, and a lot of shit blowing apart
A real neo-con ex-Orthodox Jew Christian evangelical hawkish apocalyptic novelist, right here, in my very own Starbucks!!
I should buy him a double skinny no fun triple latte frappo mocha.