Feature Book of the Week #11
The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.
He's strapped to a chair. He's covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.
The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things--working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?
And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive? (Publisher's summary from Goodreads)


What Is A Tough Guy?  
by Andrew Klavan

I am what is sometimes known as a “tough guy writer.”  This, I’m sorry to say, does not mean that I’m a tough guy who is also a writer.  It means I’m a writer who writes stories about tough guys. 

Well, okay, you may say, but what does that mean?  What is a “tough guy” exactly?  And that’s a good question, because a tough guy is not what you might think.  For instance, a tough guy is not someone who is so big or so strong that he wins every fight.  In fact, sometimes, it’s only when someone loses a fight that you find out how tough he really is!  Also, a tough guy is not someone who is never afraid.  After all, who is tougher than a guy who does what has to be done even when he is very much afraid?

So what is a tough guy?  To give an example from my books, I think Charlie West, the hero of the Homelanders series, is a tough guy. In the first book in the series, The Last Thing I Remember, Charlie goes to sleep in his own bed one night—and wakes up strapped to a chair being tortured by terrorists.  Bad news!  Charlie isn’t stronger than the terrorists—obviously, or he wouldn’t be strapped to the chair.  And Charlie isn’t fearless—he’s scared out of his mind!

But Charlie is honest and he’s determined.  He’s honest because he doesn’t kid himself about the situation.  He doesn’t say, “Oh, maybe if I’m nice to the terrorists, they’ll be nice to me.”  He knows the terrorists won’t be nice to him no matter what he does.  After all—duh!—they’re terrorists!  And he doesn’t say, “Oh, maybe if I just wait patiently someone will come and rescue me.”  Someone might rescue him—it’s possible.  But it doesn’t make much sense to wait around and find out.

So what does Charlie do?  He acts.  He tries to rescue himself.  He thinks about what he can do, what skills he has, what powers he can muster.  He thinks about the fact that he has a black belt in karate.  He thinks about the words of a famous man who once said, “Never surrender.”  He looks for any chance—no matter how small—that he can escape from this horrible situation.

And that’s what makes Charlie “tough.”  He doesn’t lie to himself; he uses whatever tools he has to do what he needs to do; and, no matter what happens, no matter how bad things look, he never, ever, ever surrenders.

People like Charlie are the kinds of heroes I like to read about, so they’re the kind of heroes I like to write about too.

And that’s why they call me a “tough guy writer.”


Award winning author, screenwriter and media commentator Andrew Klavan is the author of such internationally bestselling novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas. Andrew has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award five times and has won twice. His books have been translated around the world. His latest novel for adults, The Identity Man, has been praised by Nelson Demille as “fast paced, intelligent and thought-provoking; a great read!” Television and radio host Glenn Beck says “Andrew Klavan never disappoints…one of the best illustrations of the power of redemption that I’ve ever read.” His last novel Empire of Lies was about media bias in the age of terror, and topped Amazon.coms thriller list. 

Andrew has also published a series of thrillers for young adults, The Homelanders, which follows a patriotic teenager’s battle against jihadists. The books have been optioned to be made into movies by Summit Entertainment, the team behind the mega-successful Twilight film series.

Andrew is a contributing editor to City Journal, the magazine of the Manhattan Institute. His essays and op-eds on politics, religion, movies and literature have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, and elsewhere. His video feature, “Klavan on the Culture,” can be found at PJTV.com. Andrew is a frequent media guest on television and radio stations from coast to coast, where he is known for his quick wit, humor and commentary on politics and entertainment. 

As a screenwriter, Andrew wrote the screenplay to 1990’s A Shock to the System, which starred Michael Caine, and to 2008’s One Missed Call, which stars Ed Burns and Shannyn Sossamon. He lives in Southern California.(Author's bio from http://www.andrewklavan.com/about/)

I want to thank Andrew for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to write such a fantastic post for the 2011/2012 Book Battle. I also hope that those of you who have read the book will read the rest of the book in the series.

Special Announcement

This will be the last Feature Book of the Week until the New Year. Also make sure that you continue to leave comments on the posts. Finally, be sure to watch in January for the beginning of the Question of the Week.  

from the 
Area Wide Book Battle Committee

8 Delicious Comments:

Anonymous said...

Alyza- This is a really good book (Maplewood Richmond Hieghts) Can't wait till The book Battle

Anonymous said...

A run for his life. That is all I will tell.


Rockwood South Middle School said...

We love your book! We like the part where he breaks out of the terrorist camp and crashes the truck! We think it is an amazing thriller for teens,and it deserves to be on the 2011/2012 Area Wide Book Battle list, as well as the Truman nominees list.

ssoutheast middle school said...

The Last Thing I Remember was a very awesome and exilirating book. We loved this book and it was cool and we couldnt stop reading this book

cross keys middle school said...

this book was my favorite of them all. nice plot and overall good book

Anonymous said...

I LOve THis Book!

Anonymous said...

I really admired the main character's attitude, he just kept goin g no matter what.

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