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  • Il multimedia del New York Times con le registrazioni delle conversazioni tra i membri della Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.), la North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) l’American Airlines.

Andre Dubus III’s “The Garden of Last Days” might be the weirdest of the bunch. Published in 2008, the novel tries to get inside the head of a terrorist-in-training named Bassam. In the name of hiding in plain sight in the decadent United States, he spends a lot of time getting drunk at strip clubs. “This dancing woman upon the stage,” Bassam notes, “wears nothing but the hat of cowboys.” Dubus meant to channel the thoughts of an al Qaeda operative but he ended up with a character who sounds like Borat.

But what distinguishes this book is Bassam’s complex relationship with none other than the one-time frontman of Van Halen. Or as he puts it, “the singer David Lee Roth, an American Jew, (who) wore a cowboy hat like this” stripper. He’s troubled by his fondness for American hard rock. “This David Lee Roth,” Dubus writes, “if there was time Bassam would find him and kill him.”

Roth hasn’t gotten this kind of ink in 20 years — but Bassam isn’t done just yet. Late in the book he hears a song that reminds him of the days when he and his brother Khalid used to blast Van Halen: “It is the music of Khalid, David Lee Roth, this music for racing on the Road of Death, his loud screaming, his hat for cowboys… the electric guitar of David Lee Roth pierces him like a sword…” This last bit must’ve been a slip of the tongue, for as a superfan like Bassam surely knows, Roth wasn’t the band’s guitarist.


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