"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, February 19, 2010

How cool is this?
Posted by Jill | 7:57 PM
People who know me well know that there is an unfinished sweeping family epic of eternal feminine torment sitting around here waiting for me to have time to finish it. I've found when I write fiction that I tend to think cinematically and "cast the movie" in order to get a character's "voice". But while I've had the cheeky idea of throwing in a one-shot bit extra character named "Declan McManus" just because it's Elvis Costello's real name, I've never even considered doing this:
readers of this space will know that we are fans of the mystery/thriller genre of popular literature (our email correspondence w/sara paretsky, author of the v.i. washawski novels, is one of the high-lites of our blogging career). so it was nothing untoward for us to pick up a book by a previously-unread author, which promised to be "an exciting, believable and well-writtern thriller" (sez ridley pearson, author of killer view).

fault line, by barry eisler, showed good, pulpy spy-vs.-spy promise in the early pages: a lawyer who specialized in computer software patents has a client, who is murdered on the first page (hell, in the first sentence! always a good sign when a book starts out fast and violent). the lawyer is subsequently attacked himself, so he contacts his estranged brother, who is a black ops/military spy, for help.

so far, so good. but why we mention it to you, our dear readers, is that we began to notice some not-so-subtle hints that the author, barry eisler, must be a big fan of blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase. so much so, that he actually used names of bloggers as character names in his tome.

the afore-mentioned first sentence should have been a dead (pun intended) give away:
the last thing richard hilzoy thought before the bullet entered his brain was, things are really looking up.
now, we admit, no alarms went off @ the mention of the name hilzoy. after all, it's not that impossible that someone else besides the blogger who used to work @ obsidian wings & washmonthly could be called that. and the first name 'richard' also disguised its use. we would have been more on alert had the sentence talked about 'richard fafnir' or 'richard t. bogg,' but no.

however, a bit later in the early chapters, one of the characters muses about blogs:
the one thing that really intersted her was politics. she read everything, across the political spectrum - newspapers, magazines, books. blogs especially. there were some great ones out there, and with their diversity and spontaneity she trusted them much more than she did the mainstream media, which was controlled by corporations or driven only by a hunger for access to whoever was in power, or both.
this statement about the media sounds like it could have come from any number of writers in blogtopia (y!wctp!), so we simply assumed that mr. eisler, the author, was a fan of blogs.

we weren't even totally convinced that these mentions were something more than coincidence when we came across this familiar name on the very next page:
that kernel of resentment led to her first real act of rebellion - an american-as-apple-pie boyfriend named josh marshall...to whom she lost her virginity.
wow! josh marshall? and he's a playah? (that dog!!) who knew??

still, we said, the names "josh" and "marshall" aren't all that uncommon...and mr. eisler didn't call that minor character josh michah marshall, after all.

but then, the girl who lost her virginity to josh, dumped him on the very next page, and you'll never guess the name of her next boyfriend:
she'd been at the law school less than a month when she got involved with a second-year, another anglo-american, this one named john cole.
john cole??? not the ex-goper, now sane proprietor of balloon juice! couldn't be! hilzoy, josh marshall, john cole, mainstream corporate media rants...this all just has to be coincidence!

More excitement over at Casa la Skippy.

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Anonymous mandt said...
What ever happened to the White Russian ex-Countess, who was part of the Resistance and fell in love with the German SS Officer and sold her jewels to buy the chateau and start an orphanage?