“I like to tell people that Oklahoma City is the most secretly interesting place in America,” Sam Anderson says. His new book, “Boom Town,” has an epic subtitle: “The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis.”
When Mr. Anderson traveled to the city to write about its professional basketball team, the Thunder, for The New York Times Magazine in 2012, he didn’t know that he was embarking on a much longer project.
“I’ve been waiting my whole writing career — so at the point I started this probably 10 years or so — for a subject to grab me and insist that I make it into my first book, and this was the one,” he says. “And it was really reading some of that history on the airplane out to write about a basketball team where my jaw dropped.” Mr. Anderson says the city has a “wonderful, bizarre history” that “started on a single day.”
He talks about that single day and more on this week’s podcast.
Also on this episode, David Enrich and Andrew Ross Sorkin talk about finance in fiction, including in Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, “Lake Success”; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Dwight Garner, Parul Sehgal and Jennifer Szalai talk about the books they’ve recently reviewed. Pamela Paul is the host.
Here are the books discussed by The Times’s critics this week:
We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to email@example.com.
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