H2: 04/23/10 C.J. Box

04231002 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 2 – Hugh continues discussing the real life tensions about living in the West, and dealing with the government, with novelist C.J. Box, author of the Joe Pickett series of books.


  1. Robert Klutz says

    Thanks for turning me on to Mr. Box. I’ve read them all in the space of 10 days. Having been born in a small rural town, and raised by Depression era parents, I can identify with the characters in Mr. Box’s books. His take on bureaucrats and arrogant police officers is most revealing, but not cynical. Of those two groups, I would say that the bureaucrats are the most insidious. Thanks, again, Hugh for the tip and the interview. Rob in Palmdale

    • Duane Patterson says

      he’s coming back in studio on march 24, i believe, to unveil his latest, which has two new characters, i might add – small, dark and twitchy judge hewitt, and public defender duane patterson.

  2. Carl Catlin says

    Mr Box understands average Joe’s (as it were) better than any writer I have read. We will see if he captures the twitchiness of Judge Hewitt and the rugged manliness and off the charts intellect of PD Patterson

  3. mustang6 says

    I just started my first C.J Box book and when I realized the setting I found that I know it very well. We go backpacking almost every other year in the Bighorn Mountains! Our favorite spot to stay in the Bighorns is Sitting Bull Campground. I’ve made up names to some of the places I’ve stayed at due to the fact you can camp anywhere in a national forest. I have been to many places there and still haven’t really seen all there is to see there. We have been going to the Bighorns since 1997 and our base of operations is Sitting Bull. I’ve backpacked to Bomber Mountain, Mistymoon Lake, Lake Helen, Lake Solitude, Grace Lake, Lilly lake, elk mountain and ridge. Walked along Baldy ridge and also drove north and went on the “Highway of Death” (I think it’s U.S. 16A) to get to the Medicine Wheel which is the Stonehenge of North America (small monument, larger than life location). After we go backpacking we always drive down from Sitting Bull down to Ten Sleep and get a shower and do laundry at Ten Broek RV Park and Cabins. We then go get a burger at the Ten Sleep Saloon and Steakhouse. I absolutely would love to live in Buffalo, but I can’t get my wife to leave Minnesota. It’s a beautiful place. The Bighorns are my favorite place in the World. I will have to read the rest of the novels.

  4. Michael Todd says

    Let me preface that I am not in general a popular/modern fiction reader.

    On Hugh’s recommendation, I tried Silva. Blah. Tried Vince Flynn. Blah. Too block buster screenplay predictability for my tastes. I’ll probably try C. J. Box since his interviews sound very interesting & I lived in Colorado for 6 years & did a lot of back country stuff.

    • Jeffery Stutsman says

      I think a real love and curiosty for and about the Western States helps. What was it about Silva that turned you off?

      • Michael Todd says

        The characters lacked any depth & the plot is too fantastical for my tastes. It has the same formulaic feel of forgettable airport bookstore fiction. Vince Flynn is a little better in this respect, but still way over the top stuff.

        The Steven Pressfield books are much better wrt character & the Master & Commander series is a much better adventure read.

        • Jeffery Stutsman says

          I have been wanting to return to reading fiction. I read so much news, biography, history, that i feel my head will explode from overload. Id like to return to the relaxing aspect of reading. To escape, and enjoy, as i used to. I enjoyed reading fiction when I was a kid. ” The Great Brain” was my first completely read book. I recall running into the kitchen to where my mother was cooking, and proudly proclaiming my triumph, to a less than spectacular reception. Cooking time wasn’t the best of times to interior my mother… The “Great Brain” series gave way to Kenneth Roberts numerous books set in the colonial period of North American history, up to and including the American Revolution. “Rabble In Arms,” and the great ” Oliver Wiswell, ” among them. I’ve enjoyed Hughs interviews, but havnt yet picked up a book of fiction to test the waters…

          Can you suggest anything?

          • Michael Todd says

            If you like that whole Oxford intellectual Christian thing, like C.S. Lewis & Tolkein, try reading some of Charles Williams’ novels — some are free at manybooks.net. I’ve been going back & re-reading the classics with my high school age boys — Moby Dick, 1984, Huxley, Jane Austen, …

          • Walt says

            If you like historical fiction, try THE SAND PEBBLES, Jeffery. It’s the author’s one-off masterpiece, like GONE WITH THE WIND. The movie’s great, but the book’s just awesome.

        • Jeffery Stutsman says

          Its been a long time, but I think that i prefer first person narrative in fiction. Not that it’s required.

          • Jeffery Stutsman says

            While were on the subject of books, I’ll make a suggestion for anyone out there in the Hughniverse who is thinking of jumping in to some non-fiction…

            For some reason.. Ive always had an insatiable appetite for history, military and otherwise. I was in Barnes and Noble last night wondering around the fiction for the reasons I stated earlier, and of course, as usual… I ended back at the same ole place… flipping through numerous books that Ive already read…many times in some cases. In the end, I bought a book Ive read a dozen times, and keep throwing out, in the vain attempt to force myself to try some new material.

            Military history can be dry, and methodical, I grant you that, however, any interest in WWII, which has been saturated by numerous works from various sources, has to include a book titled “Panzer Leader,” Authored by Heinz Guderian. Heinz Guderian was exactly what the average part time history buff would expect a German general. Aristocratic, of Prussian decent, a military genius, with great conviction to personal religious faith, and loyalty and love for Germany.

            Widely considered the father of armored warfare. Ultimately he was sacked from command of his Panzer Army during the final offensive against Moscow in October 1941, following a confrontation with Adolf Hitler. Guderian refused to resume the offensive, stating that the German soldier had fulfilled his obligation and his duty to Germany, and no further loss of life could be morally justified in the attack on Moscow, without prospect for victory.

            Guderian wrote his memoirs while in British custody following the war. Granted, the work is from his perspective, however, I think his account of the resistance of many in the general staff to the directives of Hitler, especially in the final months of the war, leaves the reader with a unique understanding of who these men were, why they fought, and I think most readers will walk away with an understanding that most of these men who were at the head of the German Armies were deeply honorable men, who loved Germany very much. I think its a vital part of any study of WWII. Every major offensive is covered in great detail too, as well as the long defensive war beginning in late 1942…and its an entertaining read.

            Carp Press
            Panzer Leader
            Heinz Guderian

        • Jeffery Stutsman says

          I know your boys will be eternally grateful for that later in life. A solid foundation is difficult to pick up at 35 or 40. I will check out the web link you sited. Perhaps thats a great place to start. Thanks.

  5. mustang6 says

    I prefer to read history myself and non-fiction. However, my favorite author is Frederick Forsythe. To me, he was the first of the “Cold-War thriller” writers with Day of the Jackal and Odessa File. I just picked up 3 books which kind of demonstrates where I’m at with reading now. I picked up Bing West’s The Wrong War, with the Marines in Afghanistan. Then I picked up Steven Pressfield’s Kill Rommel because I like Pressfield and his take on historical fiction (Gates of Fire is my favorite book). Finally, I picked up C.J. Box’s Free Fire because I will be backpacking the Gallatine skyline in Yellowstone this summer and I thought it would peak my interest before I head there.

  6. ted trepanier says

    After Silva, Flynn, Thor and Berenson, I started reading my first C.J. Box novel. I’m glad it was about his fifth book because it was so much more rich than the first.

    Action right away and it entranced me throughout the book. Gave it to the wife and she immediately liked it. We are both on our second and third books and we have gone back to the beginning novel.

    Being employed at a regulatory agency right out of college and having to work with the Game Department, et al. I can relate immediately to the enviros, developers (a little to dramatic, but ok we need a villain) and the staters and feds.

    • Duane Patterson says

      fair enough. for what they are, they’re fun reads, and they do, in their own way, paint a contrast to the battle between the ecos and the land owners.

      • ted trepanier says

        That they do, too. I’ve got Mama Bear reading them now.

        Very exciting.

        I like fantasy fiction and like Silva and Flynn. Very good distractions and each book lasts longer than an episode of 24.

  7. ted trepanier says

    Oh, oh. CJ has the 8th grader (okay, I’m jumping the gun by a couple of days but she is pushing for a 4.0) reading Blue Heaven after that outstanding duanefm.

    • ted trepanier says

      Now, she is on In Plain Sight. Good thing these books are major clean, though they have adult situations.

      • Duane Patterson says

        she’s what, 13 now? she can handle it. some of them are graphic in how they depict crime scenes, but she can go see a pg-13 movie behind your back and see and hear far, far worse than anything c.j. writes. and compared to vampire books? no question.

        • ted trepanier says

          Outstanding student award at the school for Reading; probably works. I’ve been looking for a couple years to get her off the Potter and Twilight book types. BTW, those are great books to get kids interested in reading, but at some point.

  8. ted trepanier says

    In Plain Sight or Blood Trail, Joe asks, “what is worse than an 8th grade girl?” Answer: nothing in this world.

    Yikes, I thought 7th grade was awful. Now what?

    • Duane Patterson says

      now what? fear not, ted. i am here to help with the troubled one. the last couple of weeks of august will be musical remedial summer school for the now-11th grader. and yes, she should be very afraid.

      • ted trepanier says

        For someone who doesn’t like the Spice Girls, are you even qualified to teach musical remedial summer school? Just saying.

  9. ted trepanier says

    Wife and I just love Back of Beyond. I’m not sure I would call it plausible except as 24 is plausible. Good reads.

    While on trip to Yellowstone (before reading the books) we stopped at Livingston. Ruby remembered Alden was from there before settling in Saddlespring.

    We found the air there very interesting. No arthritis and no lung problems. Seems a no-brainer to both of us.

    Cold Wind got to us, too. Another good Joe Pickett book. Love the interactions with the young ladies. Boy, can I ever relate, except multiply by two or three. Livingston was like driving into a land time forgot. Loved the IN-OUT. Real burgers.