by Harlan Coben
GLENN: A year ago Harlan Coben was on. He is the number one New York Times best selling author. How many number one New York Times?
COBEN: Two, three, something like that. I'm not nearly
COBEN: A rookie.
GLENN: A new book called Caught. Great book. It is about I mean, it's one of these where you kind of correct me if I'm wrong where you kind of see yourself going, "Well, I don't know. I mean, that kind of makes a good point. And you just get crapped into this web and you're like, oh, dear God, look what's coming my way.
COBEN: That's exactly. That's the kind of feeling I want to give you as a writer.
COBEN: I want you to pick up that book at 9:00 and say I'm going to read like 30 minutes. Next thing you know, it's 4:00 in the morning, you are bleary eyed.
GLENN: I want to thank you for that.
COBEN: I love that, love keeping you awake at night.
GLENN: No, I appreciate that, like nothing else keeps me awake at night. But I want to get into this here in a second because there are some interesting things that I think you can bring light on, we've been talking about how we're in a situation here where I think the American people are being set up. They are just being set up. And the opening few lines of the book express that with, you know, the character going, "But no, it's not me. It's not me."
COBEN: Yeah, the very first sentence was, I knew opening that red door would destroy my life. That's how it works.
GLENN: So we'll talk about that in a second. But first, a year ago you came into studio and you said, hey, Glenn, I've got to tell you about a friend of mine. I mean, you know, he's running for governor in New Jersey and he's great.
GLENN: And I'm like, who? Chris what? And I'm thinking, good luck with that. You got the Corzine thing coming at you. That ain't ever going to be able to be derailed. And remember you said to us that you've known him for a long time and he's a good guy, et cetera, et cetera. I have to tell you I've been watching him and I think I mean, if you are going to be honest, you know, because I'm in the media and I'm, you know, quote/unquote pressed now, I think I'd have to say how did he get so fat?
PAT: I can help you with that. I can help you with that.
GLENN: Really? Because I think I'm doing the same thing. Here's what I do want to say. This guy appears to be and I don't take anybody at their word anymore, you know? Blah, blah blah. Everybody says they're going to do it. He's actually doing the right things. I mean, he's really taking it on.
COBEN: Well, you may agree or disagree with him. When he says he's going to do it. You know, I remember during the campaign I was talking to him at one point. I'm like, you know, Corzine's going so negative on you personally, why aren't you saying X or Y. He said, I'm not. I made a commitment I'm not going to go negative personally and but he really wanted to keep these promises. He won't break the promises. You know, he will have other weaknesses, but whatever he says he's going to do.
GLENN: Hang on, I think we're on a scoop here. What are his other weaknesses?
COBEN: Oh, no, there are none. I'm sorry. There's none. He's absolutely
GLENN: So I mean, how is he going to be able I mean, you are taking on New Jersey.
GLENN: That's not like taking on Texas where you've got a lot of people. He's got the unions and the the mob doesn't exist but let's say the mob existed in New Jersey.
GLENN: I mean, how is he going to survive this? Does he worry about that? Does he think, I mean, I'm up against a machine.
COBEN: I think he figures the only way is to be strong and just go after it. I think he thinks the system is broken and it really needs to be smashed. You know, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette is what he would probably tell you. It's painful and all these choices and things like that. But he thinks New Jersey you have no consolidation. You only have two towns that share will that will have two separate fire stations that should have one or something like that. And he's I think his hope is that these people will start consolidating in a way that both left and right will kind of get on board but right now, of course, it's all
GLENN: Yeah. And that is both left and right. The average American will do the hard work but unfortunately you've got such corruption and such power and money involved that I mean, he's a meat grinder, man, he's a meat grinder.
COBEN: Yeah, there's a lot of bureaucrats, a lot of people that are overpaid by these weird pension schemes that are going on for years in New Jersey and everybody I know, I mean rightwing or leftwing, everybody I know agrees that those are abuses and have to be thanked changed.
GLENN: Stu, have we ever tried to get him on? Oh, he doesn't come on with us for some reason?
STU: I don't know that he's made that call as a policy but when we tried to get him on, he wasn't available.
GLENN: Wow. Let's take Harlan hostage. You ever want to see your friend again, you call in.
COBEN: May be one friend less when I leave here.
GLENN: All right. I just can't believe that it's been a year and we were dismissing, you know, your friend.
GLENN: A year ago and here he is, and he looks like one of the guys who is, I mean, there are so few and far between.
GLENN: That he's one of the guys.
COBEN: Cool, thank you.
GLENN: Let me get into one of the premises in the book Caught which, if you're like you know, if you like to be thrilled and kept awake at 4:00, Harlan is the guy to do it to you.
COBEN: Thank you.
GLENN: One of the concepts is, and I think it relates to kind of what we've been talking about on the show today is these, you know, opening the red door, you are a guy who's walking into, you know, what is that predator?
COBEN: You know, I was watching one of those catch the predator type shows on TV and I thought what would I knew if I saw somebody I knew being caught, somebody I loved, trusted, who insisted they were innocent wouldn't have a chance on that show to prove they were innocent, that was one of the ideas that started for this book. I mean, what would you do?
GLENN: So answer that a little bit because I think the American people are being set up to be radical terrorists, you know, angry mobs, racists, everything else. And the media is just, I mean, they are hammering that.
GLENN: I really think that we're being set up. How do you fight that?
COBEN: Try having showing a little bit of respect for discourse. It's old school, isn't it, that we just should listen to each other once in a while, not just scream at one another?
GLENN: Yeah, but they are not.
COBEN: Neither one of you, that's the media but we're the media, aren't we right now? It's all sides. It's just, let's take a step back a little bit, let's stop the demonization on all levels, I hope.
GLENN: When you were exploring this in your own head and you thought, okay, a friend. Let's use the governor. The friend is on TV and you know him. You've known him since high school.
GLENN: So you've known him forever and you know he wouldn't do that.
GLENN: Would you play it out in your head?
COBEN: I hope I would. But the doubt that creeps in is part of the problem. Once you make an accusation, once something is said and out there, it stays out there. It's really hard, especially in the viral community. I mean, you know. I'm sure you've been an example. People say something, it's put on the Internet and that's fact.
GLENN: Yeah. The latest is I hate Jesus. I love that one, I hate Jesus. And it's everywhere.
COBEN: Yeah, even on a small level. Another show I said this morning, I made fun of being a political science major. It's a euphemism because I was a political science major for having no idea what I want to do in my life, which it was. And somebody started twittering hysterical, how could you possibly say that things. Who cares? I mean, get over yourself a little bit. Everybody just take a step back.
GLENN: What do you think a year ago when we met, what do you think the road that we've traveled in the last twelve months?
COBEN: I'm not as pessimistic as everybody else. I have a theory man plans, God laughs, you know. I think whatever we think is going to be going on in the next couple of months is not going to play out the way people think and that's why
GLENN: I would agree with you on that.
COBEN: That's what's made this last year interesting. No one could have predicted where we would be a year from today and no one's going to predict hopefully when I come and see you next year, no one's going to be able to predict what's going on then, either.
GLENN: Unless you open that red door.
COBEN: That's right.
GLENN: Unless we'll be saying here, I mean, I know him but I don't know, I think he I think he did it. Let's leave it at that.
Harlan Coben, the name of the book is Caught. It is available in bookstores everywhere. A great, great read.
COBEN: Thank you. Thanks very much.
GLENN: Talk to you again. Back in a minute.