Jake Tapper's new novel taps in 1970s Washington
In Jake Tapper’s new novel, “All The Demons Are Here,” characters pick up strangers in Northern Virginia and work at a fictitious newsroom that’s a little bit Washington Post and a little bit Washington City Paper.
Driving the news: The CNN anchor this month released his third fiction book, a thriller partially set in 1970s Washington. It comes two years after his previous novel, “The Devil May Dance.”
Between the lines: Beyond scenes that take place in the Senate dining room and the waterfront, D.C. readers may recognize a specific cultural touchstone in this novel: Slugging.
Context: “Slugging” is a Beltway tradition dating back to the 1970s where commuters in Northern Virginia flock to designated areas to be picked up by drivers who can then use the HOV lanes.
- In recent years, the practice has been imperiled by post-COVID commutes.
What they’re saying: “It’s a very bizarre D.C. phenomenon,” Tapper tells Axios — and a huge part of his book. “I think it’s the first time anyone has written about HOV lanes and slugs. It’s a very important subculture in Washington, D.C., and Virginia.”
The book also contains somewhat of a callback to Tapper’s experience as a former Washington City Paper writer: A newsroom in the novel is based a bit on the alt-weekly, as well as his time in the Roll Call newsroom and his visits to the Washington Post.
- The difference? “The newsroom I describe is the nicest newsroom in the history of newsrooms,” he tells Axios, set on the Georgetown waterfront and owned by a wealthy family. Very unlike most newsrooms.
Where to buy: Anywhere books are sold, but you can order a personalized autographed copy at East City Bookstore or Politics and Prose.
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