The second hour was about The Day of the Jackal (novel -- also a film, but they were talking about the novel). It was probably my favorite hour of the show since the year started.
Here's some of McClatchy Newspapers' Nancy Youssef's remarks:
The magic of it is in how he writes the story. This is a story about the attempted assassination of de Gaulle. Of course, de Gaulle wasn't assassinated, he died seven years later after the setting of this book, watching TV at home, and you know that going in within pages of the book. But it's -- the magic is in the writing and in the details. And I think we take it for granted now, but at the time that this book came out, the approach was really quite audacious, this deal of weaving details, not just depending on one's imagination to put together a mystery novel. But what the author does is take his experience as a journalist and tie in all the facts in the underworld that he'd come to learn, and make a novel that is really essentially research, that the -- you know, he wrote this book in 35 days, but he researched it over a career as a journalist, and I think that's what makes it so riveting. For me as a writer and as a journalist, what I found most captivating was the way he wove details together to bring you in so that the outcome was almost an afterthought as a reader, but it was really how you got there that drew you in.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"