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Thrill is Gone Podcast
51 minutes | 2 months ago
Ship of Fools
In this week's episode, we talk about the lasting impact of Zoom on our retinas. Then we make break for it, like Richard Hannay in Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps." Did people really used to sleep in cabinets? And is a helicopter more menacing than a biplane? The truth is, we all need to be nicer to the milkman. And finally we get into "Ship of Fools," Katherine Anne Porter's allegory for the world before World War II. What can we learn from the displaced sugarcane workers in steerage? Maybe we can learn how to be kind around the old captain's table. But remember, the only thing we can count on in this world is ourselves and this podcast, so give it a listen!
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Advise and Consent
In this episode, we discuss the renaissance of New York, which is being led primarily by decadent rats and a return of primates scaling the city's tallest buildings. Then we move onto Allen Drury's 1959 novel Advise and Consent, which focuses on a difficult confirmation hearing for an aspiring Secretary of State. This novel shows how the sausage is made in the Senate and explores the dirty tricks and betrayals that can accompany a confirmation hearing. Is this the greatest Washington novel of all time? Don't disappointment the anti-appeasement crowd and give it a listen!
58 minutes | 3 months ago
The Constant Gardener
In this episode we recap the summer. Who had it best? Was it the microbes struggling for survival on the surface of Venus, or was it the genetic code of the woolly mammoth which might unlock the secrets of hair loss? Then we wade into the murky pools of modern pharmaceuticals. Why do Americans love to get their medical advice during the commercial breaks on morning news? The answer lies in production values. Then we get onto LeCarre's foray into the perils of modern medicine in The Constant Gardener. Does this murky pool run deep? Give it a listen and find out.
60 minutes | 3 months ago
In this episode I discuss what it must've been like to be a youth when the world was new and George Lucas decided to give the world a space opera. Then I move onto this week's choice Monimbo by Robert Moss and Arnaud de Borchgrave. In Monimbo, Castro is up to no good and so is the CIA. Finally, we review the wild life of Arnaud de Borchgrave, who helped shape the conservative media. Is that a paper airplane? No it's an Arnaudgram that says you should listen to the podcast.
54 minutes | 3 months ago
Single and Single
In this episode, I recap my cross-country journey with some reflections on the plains, mask-wearing, and what separates a rest area from a truck stop. Then I talk a bit about Tommy Lee Jones and his propensity to be dismissive of local policing. And finally, I talk about Single and Single, LeCarre's foray into the world of post-Soviet money laundering. What sort of scruples would you be willing to sacrifice in order to gain admission to the Swiss Air Admiral's Club? Clean your money, clean your mind, and give this episode a listen.
58 minutes | 4 months ago
The Icarus Agenda
In this episode, we talk about The Farmer's Market and how what starts on the farm doesn't always make it to the table. Then we discuss the Icarus Agenda, a book that makes you want to throw it all away and move to Colorado's Western Slope. It makes a person wonder: what does the Vice President do and why would anyone be so worried about it? And finally we talk about Robert Ludlum's legacy of conspiracies and blockbusters. Maybe there's more to life than giant condos in Naples, but then again maybe not. Give it a listen. It's what the Inver Brass would want you to do.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
The Tailor of Panama
In this episode, we discuss how the carbonated water business got package size so wrong. Twelve cans? Gone by noon and then I'm off to Giant Eagle to make deals with the wholesaler in the parking lot. Then we get into the nitty gritty of the Panama Canal. How much does a canal cost? What kind of sovereignty can America expect on the shores of the canal? And just how much customer service can I expect from my offshore accounts? Finally, we talk about LeCarre's book about the swinging 1990's. The Tailor of Panama is an homage to Our Man in Havana, with nods and hat tips towards John Buchan and Erskine Childers. Give the podcast a listen, and never settle for a ill-fitting Armani suit or a "Brass Plate Podcast."
50 minutes | 5 months ago
In this episode, we discuss a trip to the shoe store, where I might've told some lies and picked up some speedy slippers. Then we get into the famous Hitchcock classic Rear Window, where Jimmy Stewart spends a whole lot of time behind a pair of binoculars. Did the neighbor do it? Of course he did, but I really want to know if the composer made Hamilton happen. And finally, we talk about Michael Crichton's 1996 hit Airframe, where the plane goes up and down like a porpoise and the pages fly by like an airplane. Did the union do it? Did the journalists get it wrong? No, of course not. It was bring your kids to work day! Give the pod a listen and don't let the union boys run you over with a forklift.
56 minutes | 5 months ago
In this episode, we start off by talking about the 1968 Steve McQueen classic Bullitt, which invented the modern car chase and flaunted the lax airport security policies at the time. Rubbing is car chasing, as they say. Next, we talk about John LeCarre's 1995 novel Our Game, which focuses on the Caucuses and what it means to be a person of action. What will it cost man, what will it cost? Great question, because this book was a cudgel used to break the Net Book Agreement in the United Kingdom. You might've found this book in the produce aisle. Buy a head of broccoli and get the book half off! Give it a listen and find your calling in the mountains.
59 minutes | 5 months ago
The Craft of Intelligence by Allen Dulles
In this episode, we celebrate the official start of summer for all the almanac junkies out there. Then we move on to the reasons why Russian troll farms have, thus far, failed to identify and amplify this podcast. Are they intimidated by the cutting humor, or perhaps they respect it too much to toy with it? Like the rising tides and the actual votes on Survivor, we may never know the truth. Then we kick on, diving into The Craft of Intelligence by spy chieftain and real-life Risk enthusiast Allen Dulles. Have you ever wondered why you can't trust walk-ins? The barber knows, and so does Allen Dulles. Learn why one of Allen's protege's described his era in the following way: "We went all over the world and we did what we wanted." Do what you want, and give it a listen.
60 minutes | 5 months ago
The Night Manager TV (2016)
In this episode, I talk about the big move to Phase Two in New York City. It's never been more thrilling to get a haircut than right now. Then I talk a bit about the joys and the concerns about personalized service in the online book buying game. And then finally, I get into The Night Manager mini-series from the BBC and AMC. We got Dr. House, whose prescription for what ails the modern world is dynamite, we got Tom Hiddleston, who wears a suit as well as anyone, and we got Tom Hollander, who steals the show as Corkoran. Make the right decision, sport, and give it a listen.
63 minutes | 5 months ago
The Night Manager (Book)
In this episode, we start off by talking about all the untapped listeners who haven't listened to the podcast yet. A world of ears remains. Then we talk about Vertigo, which upended a streak of Hitchcock successes. Jimmy Stewart is scared of heights but in love with a stranger. Did the nun push poor Kim Novak off the belltower? We'll never know. And finally, we talk about LeCarre's first true post-Cold War novel. The Night Manager has action, adventure, and a theory about how the world might look now that the Soviets aren't around to keep the West busy. Open a new business in Curacao, wait for the profits to roll in, and give it a listen.
64 minutes | 6 months ago
Conspiracy theories? We got 'em this episode folks. We start out with the 4G conspiracy, which is that if you have Sprint, you never got 4G! Then we move on to our Hitchcock retrospective where we talk about The Man Who Knew Too Much, when in fact it seemed that Jimmy Stewart didn't know much at all. That's a conspiracy! And finally, we look at The Spike, the neo-con movement's most fevered dream of 1980. Imagine if hippy leftist journalists trick the American people into electing some leftist dupes into The White House. As Robert Moss might tell you, if you dream it, you can do it. And as Arnaud de Borchgrave might tell you, cut taxes and buy more yachts! Give it a listen!
59 minutes | 6 months ago
The Secret Pilgrim
In this episode, I take a little time to talk about the protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Then I discuss what books, and thrillers in particular, have to do with what we expect of the police, the military, and our leaders. And finally, I get into The Secret Pilgrim, where LeCarre says goodbye to the Cold War, to old Ned, and to sweet Bella who was always going to betray him. Give it a listen and try not to blow the Estonian network. It's the least you could do.
64 minutes | 6 months ago
Agent in Place by Helen MacInnes
Tune in for this wide ranging episode. I start off by exploring the potent power of cold brew coffee. Then I head North by Northwest to Hitchcockland where we wind up in Roosevelt's nostril. And finally we meet the Queen of the Spy Thriller, Helen MacInnes, who has a NATO-centric thriller that takes us to a forgotten corner of the French Riviera. Cannes you give it a listen? Yes, yes you Cannes. It's Menton.
60 minutes | 6 months ago
The Russia Hosue
Episode 53 has arrived. I talk about Marlon Brando in The Ugly American, where the stunts were real and so were the leg injuries. The crowds didn't like it and I'm not sure I did either, but there's plenty to say about it. Then I move on to the subject at hand: The Russia House. A publisher gets in over his head in a perestroikin' Soviet Union. It was a role so perfect, they had to give it to Sean Connery, who used it to coin his most famous line: "Pages Galore." Let yourself think freely like a Moscovite in the late-1980s and give it a listen.
53 minutes | 7 months ago
In this episode, I talk about Blu Rays. What are they for? Why are they blue? Then I talk about the Tailor of Panama, a film in which Geoffrey Rush is nervous, Jamie Lee Curtis is confused, and Pierce Brosnan is mean. My big takeaway is that this was Daniel Radcliffe's major breakthrough! Finally, we talk about the prolific Leon Uris, who penned himself a sweeping, panoramic portrait of struggling writer Gideon Zadok in Mitla Pass. Jump out of an old Dakota over the Sinai and have a listen.
58 minutes | 7 months ago
A Perfect Spy
In this episode, I talk about a very long movie called Out of Africa that won Best Picture in 1985. It stars Robert Redford as some cool guy with a plane and Meryl Streep as a Danish lady who has a lot of cash and not enough coffee. Then I shift gears and talk about A Perfect Spy, which in the opinion of this fan is LeCarre's absolute best. Like seeing the Grateful Dead at the Pyramids back in '78, it's not for the faint of heart. Give it a listen and see if you have what it takes.
60 minutes | 7 months ago
Paul Hogarth and Graham Greene Country
In this episode, I have a long chat about why I miss the dear old library. Then I dig into the life and work of the great Paul Hogarth, best known for illustrating the covers for an 80's Penguin reissue of Graham Greene's work. He did quite a lot, including driving a lorries around Spain when things were going bad. I even try my hand at drawing in the style of the great Paul Hogarth, with mixed results.
59 minutes | 7 months ago
The Ugly American and Counterinsurgency
This episode focuses on Eugene Burdick and William Lederer's 1958 classic The Ugly American, which was meant to be a wake-up call for the American foreign policy establishment. It played a role in cultivating Kennedy's emphasis on counterinsurgency and its legacy continues to influence policy decisions to this day. Let the Swami from Savannah read your palm and give this episode a listen. Follow Keenan Duffey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/keenanwords Buy Paris Circle: https://www.amazon.com/Paris-Circle-Keenan-Duffey/dp/1970100001
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