POTHOLE OF THE GODS
On Holy War, Fake News
& Other Ill-Advised Ideas
“I have two brothers who’ve run multiple marathons and a daughter who has run a half race. The hell if I know why, but it seemed important to them, and they’ve generally kept their comments on my hands-on fascination with other people’s civil wars to a minimum.”
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Pothole of the Gods is an ill-advised, but hilarious ramble through the histories and modern streets of Iraq, Istanbul, and Benghazi. Attached to a marauding medical mission, Murff unravels a dismal record of global adventurism from Cyrus the Great, the epic clash of Persia and Greece, the glory that was Rome, the Crusades, America's New World Order, to Iran's attempts to trigger the apocalypse next sometime next week.
And all while evading arrest and sandstorms, watching surgery and trying not to buy a carpet for the wife.
A worm's eye view of humanity's most enduring bad ideas, from holy war, fake news and the old "God wills it!" wheeze. Pothole of the Gods is 30% travelogue, 30% headline news, 30% history and 30% comedy of errors. Yes, that's 120% but is really is a lot of book for the money.
Richard Murff, Journalist & Comic Novelist
Richard Murff has covered humanitarian issues across Latin America, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya and Clarksdale, MS, to name a few places.
He spent his early career in working in advertising and marketing for a handful of global corporations. His less impressive jobs include writing sermons for a preacher who is very likely certifiably insane. After several years in the financial sector specializing in capital markets for government debt and collateralized securities, the economy blew-up.
At that point, he took up the pen and asked "what's funny about this?"
Murff's books include the upcoming Drunk as Lords, Pothole of the Gods, Yellowcake, One Last Hour and Memphians. He has ghostwritten memoirs, business books and regional histories.
His work has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Delta Magazine, Front Street, The American Spectator, Sail, and others. The Mint Julep cookie was created in his honor.
From Pothole of the Gods...
On US Foreign Policy:
"US Foreign Policy has always been treated like a New Year’s Resolution: We know what’s good for us, we know it’s the right thing to do, but sometimes you just have to tidy up the sides of that chocolate pie. Or invade Iraq."
“A Political Big Man in action is something to see: Strike his poses correctly, and he might go years without the indignity of having to explain himself.”
On the Abayas:
“So the abaya, the world symbol of Muslim oppression of women, is really just a big comfy mu- mu. And it’s the ladies’ idea. If that’s the case then the West really needs to recalibrate it’s indignation.”
On Muammar Gaddafi:
“Gaddafi was still wearing his body armor and armed with a golden revolver and a silver back-up pistol proving that, for all his other sins, he remained a top-notch Bond villain until the very end.”
On Arab Manners:
“I’m from the south, where even the most sneering insult is buried in polite euphemism, and I thought these people overdid it.”
On Why Even Bother:
In some spasm of spousal selective hearing she’d thought I’d told her that I was heading to Katmandu. “Why would I go to Katmandu?”
“WHY would you go to Benghazi?” she asked, sensibly.
“Why NOT go to Benghazi!” I most definitely did not say and heroically opened a bottle of wine. The truth is that she had me there.