John Fitzgerald Adams, known by the voters who love him as Jack, has good reason to believe he is the illegitimate son of John F. Kennedy. His goal is the same as that of any Kennedy: to reclaim the presidency and enjoy as many women as possible along the way.
Jack possesses an unerring political genius for charming voters and advancing his own interests, but he can't make it to the Oval Office without financial support. Luckily, his talents have been recognized by some radical Russians who are happy to invest heavily in his rise to power. As Jack marches toward the presidency, those who realize the truth about his sinister connections try to stop him. But will anyone believe them?
©2007 Charles McCarry; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Darkly entertaining...a corrosively penetrating view of the contemporary cultural ethos." (New York Times)
"[W]onderfully realistic and compelling - [McCarry's] exploration of base human compulsions never flags as he carefully lays out an absolutely seamless plot....a political novel done with great expertise and creativity." (Booklist) "[McCarry has] put not only his sprightly writing style to good use but also his nuanced feel for the worlds of espionage and electoral politics. The final product is a marvelous mix of elements of the Drudge Report, The Manchurian Candidate and Primary Colors on steroids." (Wall Street Journal)
McCarry can always be counted on for an entertaining but historically rich tale. The plot on this one will make you shake your head but capture you. I am surprised this one didn't get more critical attention ten years ago when it was written. Fast paced, sexy with some interesting insights on American culture, the radical scene in the 60s and 70s and the atmosphere in the Soviet era.
Interesting twist on the “Manchurian Candidate” concept. I actually picked this up on the recommendation of a blogger on the WSJ. I think he was implying that Barrack Obama had similar qualities to the character in the book and had been handpicked in a similar manner. I’m not sure about all that, but it did peak my interest while reading. Overall I enjoyed the book; I found it entertaining though the ending was extremely rushed. The author took it this far, it could have used another 200 pages or more to give it a well thought out ending. The sex scenes were graphic, but no big deal for me. The narration was just okay.
Another good example of a book with a great premise written by an author who just doesn't have the chops to pull it off. This could have been a great tale - KGB attempts to put an operative in the White House in the persona of a small-town American kid who's convinced he is the bastard son of JFK, complete with all the machinations that go along with such intrigue. The problem with this book is the author. He makes the characters one-sided and has to tell the reader what the characters think/feel instead of allowing the story to do that for us. It slows down so egregiously in places that the Fast-forward button becomes your best friend. Somebody fell asleep in Writing 101 class, and it's unlucky for us, because this one really could have/should have been a "contenda".
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