Harlan Coben 'Long Lost'



Long Lost


by Harlan Coben

GLENN: We have Harlan Coben in. He is the author of Long Lost, number one New York Times best selling author. How are you, sir?

COBEN: I'm glad to be here, Glenn.

GLENN: I think you just saw you with Al Roker on MSNBC.

COBEN: Yeah, a lot of sexiness.

GLENN: The two of you.

COBEN: Had to have extra security to keep the babes back.

GLENN: Yeah, women were just licking their chops there. So welcome to the program.

COBEN: Thank you. It's great to be here.

GLENN: I will tell you that I have not read your book yet but Kevin who is part of my publishing division, he's read it. And Kevin, correct me if I'm wrong. He came in this morning and he said, Glenn, this is the fastest I've ever read a book. It was absolutely tremendous.

COBEN: Kevin's a very bright young man, very well read.

GLENN: He's usually my gatekeeper on fiction.

COBEN: Yeah.

GLENN: Because I just have such little time.

COBEN: Yeah.

GLENN: And so I don't, I just don't read fiction as much as I like to and so, you know, he usually is my gatekeeper. Says, this one you want to read, this one you want to read. And he brought this one in and he said, this one you really want to read. So I can't wait.

COBEN: Thanks, man, thanks. And thank you, Kevin.

GLENN: It's my my understanding is and I don't want to get into don't tell me anything because I do want to read the book.

COBEN: Yeah.

GLENN: But it's my understanding that you take a look at torture in a way Kevin says he has never seen before, that it's a mind game that you're like, ooh, wait a minute, I don't know how I feel on this.

COBEN: Yeah. Well, it's a little bit using the old fashioned twilight sleep. You know, I don't know if you my mom told me she doesn't remember my birth, that she felt all this horrible pain, doesn't remember it. And like 50 years ago I'm 47. But those many years ago you could do that, I'm surprised we haven't taken this technology to the next step where you could actually maybe torture somebody, just horrible and make the person forget. Why is that so hard if we could have done it with childbirth 47 to 50 years ago?

GLENN: And he said this to me this morning, do you remember the movie the Manchurian Candidate?

COBEN: Yeah, sure.

GLENN: The reason why that wouldn't work because the Manchurian Candidate, you would have flashbacks. Do you remember I mean, I don't think you could do scars to the psyche without it manifesting itself some way or another later in the road.

COBEN: The answer's maybe. But you do meet a lot of women who have gone through childbirth and will say to you, I don't remember anything about it. They have used a certain combination of drugs. Now again, this was the norm 50 years ago. Are you telling me in 50 years our government, the CIA, all that putting together, it's not feasible or conceivable that they could have come up with a way to actually make you forget it. Maybe you would have flashbacks. Maybe that guy on the street that you see is damaged, maybe he suffered this and he doesn't really know why he's damaged now, his mind. We don't know.

GLENN: So

COBEN: Could be a scar.

GLENN: Hook me into the story.

COBEN: An ex girlfriend says come to Paris and he thinks it's for a romantic weekend. When they get there, there's a murder scene and they find blood at the murder scene. The blood belongs to Terez's daughter. The problem is she died 10 years ago in a car crash.

GLENN: That happens all the time. I hate when that happens. I'm like, didn't your daughter die 10 years ago? Oh, come on, let's just have sex. We're in gay Paris.

COBEN: Well, they were hoping to hook up and here he is involved in this thing. But as they explore this, it actually normally I just like to keep it personal in this tragedy just in one community. But actually has global implications and all of a sudden, you know, Al Qaeda's after him, Massad's after him, Homeland Security's after him and he's got to put together why this is all happening, a major terrorist attack.

GLENN: Does he not find out in the end of chapter 1 that the war on terror's over?

COBEN: No.

GLENN: Really? That's weird. What is it called now? Stu, it's the overseas conting

STU: Contingency something, I don't know.

GLENN: Yeah, I love that. It was declared over here.

COBEN: One of the themes of the book is that these guys are patients. I mean, one of the things that we sometimes forget is how long it took them to set up 9/11 and in this book Long Lost without giving anything away, how long these guys have been working on a particular plot, they are not in this for a short term. You know, they don't have that short term mentality, something that we as Americans have got to remember.

GLENN: That's what works against us in everything, in absolutely everything. People come over from Europe even. I mean, imagine China. They come over from Europe and they see our cities and they're like, these are brand new.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: We don't have anything old here.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: And we don't understand the concept of centuries and centuries and centuries building on top of each other.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: You know, China is the same way. What, you think they're you think they have a short term plan? They have been waiting for 1,000 years. They will be like, yeah, right, we'll get there.

COBEN: The dynasty's lasted five times, six times longer than our country's been in existence.

GLENN: Right.

COBEN: So this is hardly new stuff to them.

GLENN: Do you watch 24 by chance?

COBEN: I've seen it. I haven't seen the season too much, though.

GLENN: I'd love to hear from the listeners. I'm a little out on this season because I think that we're getting indoctrination now. I think that they have did you see it last night, Kevin? I think they have un one of us has moved. Either I have moved away from 24, or 24 has moved away from me. First of all, we get the global warming lecture from one of the stars every single episode, but also last night they were going after, you know, basically Blackwater.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: And the president was saying "We have a private army and this is wrong to have a private army." And for a conservative show, what used to be a conservative show is now starting to look at all of the things from, you know, the Bush administration and say that was bad, yeah.

COBEN: But is it still gripping? Is it still moving, is it exciting? It's entertainment.

GLENN: Do you like I mean, see, what I really like is one of my favorite novels was State of Fear. I love State of Fear because I learned something in it, too. You know what I mean?

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: I like novels that aren't just complete fiction.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: There's

COBEN: An issue you can discuss.

GLENN: Yeah, and that's what intrigued me about the idea of your book with a little bit of the torture in it and what we're doing. If you don't remember it, is it still torture.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: Do you have an opinion on that or is that revealed in the book?

COBEN: Well, I don't actually. You know, all the torture stuff, of course, is a horrible and confusing issue and I'm suspicious of anybody who's too far on one side or the other. I mean, the people who are gung ho for Gitmo and those who are can't understand under any circumstance doing anything that may be stressful, I don't get either side. And I'm suspicious of anybody on either side of that claim. It's a hard question for a reason.

GLENN: Yeah.

COBEN: If it was an easy answer

GLENN: But it doesn't mean you don't answer it.

COBEN: That's true.

GLENN: No, seriously.

COBEN: I agree. It's great. And if you come with a strong if you are telling me, yes, we should definitely do it or definitely not do it, I'm just a little bit suspicious. It should trouble you. And it should trouble you. If you can actually say to me, all right, if I say to you this man, if you punch him really hard in the face, you're going to save the lives of 10,000 children. Anybody would say to me, no, you can't touch him under any circumstances, that's our law. I'm just, that makes me obviously uncomfortable.

GLENN: And anybody who also steps up and goes, "Punch him in the face!" You're kind of like, you are a little too eager.

COBEN: It should be hard. That's why it's exciting to write about because it will be fun.

GLENN: We're releasing today the guy who was the anthrax doctor, you know, in Gitmo and the I'm sorry, the ten Chinese Muslim extremist terrorists that were held at Gitmo we're now we can't send them back to China because they'll be killed or tortured or whatever over there because and the rest of the world does not want these guys because they're terrorists. We're going to release them on the streets and give them welfare and set them up. How do you solve this problem? Me personally, I put them in a little bamboo boat and I send them back to China. You are Chinese citizens; God bless you. How do we solve this?

COBEN: I think you probably have the right answer on that one. You know, let them go back and, you know, go with Allah, go with Allah and see how it all works out over there. I mean, I don't know. These are that's why I have you, Glenn.

GLENN: (Laughing).

COBEN: I'm fiction. Long Lost is fiction. People ask me what I do for a living, I make stuff up. You know what I mean? I don't have to worry

GLENN: We have so much in common. We have so much in common.

COBEN: Like most of your politicians you have on this show.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Let me take a quick break. I want to ask you a little bit about AIG and Barney Frank's idea of going ahead and saying, yeah, you know what, let's have the government decide what everybody should make in salaries. Back in a second.

(OUT 10:43)

GLENN: Harlan Coben, the name of the book is Long Lost, high, high, high marks from my crew here. I have not read it yet but, you know, number one on the Times.

COBEN: Tonight you better start crying.

GLENN: Holy cow. I want to talk to you real quick about, you know, there's been a lot of there's a lot of people that say, oh, if you think we're marching to socialism, you're crazy. You're just I think socialism may we may be quickly passing socialism. I mean, it is amazing what's going on with now Barney Frank saying you take a dime of government money; we're also going to control all of your salaries and everything else, we're going to control it all.

COBEN: Yeah, it's another strange issue because the demonizing of the AIG guys was just really wrong. I mean, there's certainly problems in the system but, you know, this sort of personally demonizing I think to gain a lot of political capital was fairly horrible. There's no you know, these guys are not evil. That's what makes it so interesting. It's a very gray area in terms of what these guys are all about and to start that stuff

GLENN: Well, I think some of them, Bernie Madoff, he clearly is.

COBEN: That's a criminal. That's the problem. You shouldn't link Bernie Madoff with the egg guys.

GLENN: Exactly. There are good guys in congress that don't have any clue as to what they are doing and others do exactly.

COBEN: Others who have the AIG faces, for years they sort of made fun of welfare moms. They are on welfare. They may not like it but, you know, the Wall Street's on welfare enough and you have to face up to that, also.

GLENN: Where are the people that were against corporate welfare? Where are they?

COBEN: They're no one's around anymore. All of a sudden everybody is a little bit socialist. It's not just

GLENN: I saw on the back of the book here, is this in Europe?

COBEN: That's in Europe.

GLENN: You were spending a lot of time over in Europe when you are doing research on this?

COBEN: I had a French movie made of one of my books called "Tell No One" and I pride myself on being the Jerry Lewis of crime fiction. I'm big in Paris, France. So I was over there on book tour.

GLENN: Okay. So then you are a perfect guy to talk about it. G 20 is happening this week.

COBEN: Yeah.

GLENN: Obama last time was greeted as the savior of all mankind over in Europe. Not so much this time.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: Because they are saying we're spending Europe is saying we're spending too much program too much on programs and we are out of control. What do you think the response to him over in Europe is going to be?

COBEN: I still think he's still in the honeymoon phase over there but that's what's sort of interesting. You know, the G 20 also points out one of the problems we Americans ignored, it's not an American problem, the economy. You want to blame Bush, this is worldwide. It's just as bad in the U.K. and all over Europe. But it's funny because they used to be able to point to us, you Americans, you don't have any of these programs and you are not spending enough. Now wait a minute, you know, we want to be the ones spending more than you guys. So calm down over there.

GLENN: Yeah, they are really, they are quite concerned. And you know what I find also interesting is who was it I read about today, you know, Brazil last week said that it was blonde hair, blue eyes, the president of Brazil, blonde haired, blue eyed problem and was it Sarkozy? Who was it that came out yesterday and said that it was the Anglo Saxons? Basically England and America that has caused this problem. The world is really starting to demonize.

COBEN: Right.

GLENN: Us.

COBEN: I think it's the same way that we are demonizing AIG or Wall Street that, you know, people are always looking for the person to blame and a person to demonize. That's so one of the most convenient target. It's our fault, we were greedy and all of that.

GLENN: It's interesting to me that while everybody wants to demonize and take it out on, you know, the wealthiest 1% or 5% or 2%, whatever it is, I've been making this case for a long time, when these politicians say I'm going to go up and I'm going to buy these drugs from Canada because it's not right that, you know, Canada pays less than we do, yada, yada, and I keep pointing out, no, no, no, that's just your theory that we're the wealthiest 1% that, you know, the wealthiest 1% should pay more. We are the wealthiest 1%, or 5% in the entire world.

COBEN: That's an interesting point, yeah.

GLENN: So everybody is doing what we're doing now to ourselves. We're demonizing the wealthiest 1%; the rest of the world is saying, "Yeah, it's the wealthiest 1% that did that to us." Even our poorest in America are still part of the wealthiest 1%.

COBEN: Right, right.

GLENN: You know the difference in France. Tell me about the houses in France compared to the houses here.

COBEN: Well, in Paris they are actually awfully beautiful. What can I tell you. But, you know, you are absolutely right that it's always a problem when you are trying to demonize because one day you may be on the wrong side of that demonization.

GLENN: Yeah.

COBEN: You know, I mean, Barney Frank is, you know, going too far and I really think he is. And I back a lot of the stuff they were doing but you've got to be careful when you're making, you know, political hay, you pointed out, I guess it was last night you had the attorney general from

GLENN: Yeah, it was a little, a little ugly.

COBEN: Well, you know, there are laws. This country is based on laws and things like that. Someone breaks the law; Bernie Madoff, you go after them, you go after them hard. Here's the other thing. I don't get why Bernie Madoff's kids get to keep anything. If I steal your TV and I give it to my kid, it's not his TV.

GLENN: Yeah.

COBEN: So even if they didn't do it, even if they didn't know.

GLENN: They did know.

COBEN: But even if they did I'm giving them that. Even if they didn't know, if I steal your TV and I give it to my kid and never tell them, does my kid get to keep that TV or does he have to give it back to you?

GLENN: More on Long Lost in today's e mail newsletter. That is the name of the book. Comes out today?

COBEN: Comes out today.

GLENN: Long Lost, Harlan Coben, rave, rave, rave reviews from the Mercury staff here at the Glenn Beck program. Thank you so much and we'll see you again.

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