Night of Camp David

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

“What would happen if the president of the USA went stark-raving mad?” Back by popular demand, The New York Times calls the 1965 best-selling political thriller by the author of Seven Days in May “A little too plausible for comfort”.

How can one man convince the highest powers in Washington that the president of the US is dangerously unstable - before it’s too late?

Senator Jim MacVeagh is proud to serve his country - and his president, Mark Hollenbach, who has a near-spotless reputation as the vibrant, charismatic leader of MacVeagh’s party and the nation. When Hollenbach begins taking MacVeagh into his confidence, the young senator knows his star is on the rise.

But then Hollenbach starts summoning MacVeagh in the middle of the night to Camp David. There, the president sits in the dark and rants about his enemies, unfurling insane theories about all the people he says are conspiring against him. They would do anything, President Hollenbach tells the stunned senator, to stop him from setting in motion the grand, unprecedented plans he has to make America a great world power once again. 

MacVeagh comes away from these meetings increasingly convinced that the man he once admired has lost his mind. But what can he do? Who can he tell? 

©2018 Fletcher Knebel (P)2018 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Night of Camp David

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Out of date but timely

I really enjoyed this book — partly because, set in relief to the current presidency, It shows what a different world we live in as of 2016. The office of the president has declined fundamentally, alas, as has the expectation of privacy, ironically, considering one of the points of the book is the importance of privacy.
The characters are nicely drawn, the pace is perfect, and the ending unexpected. The gender dynamics leave much to be desired, but that’s no surprise considering when it was written. A thriller with no car chases or violence, but thrilling nonetheless!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ultimately Unsatisfying

Given our current political reality, I don't think anything could have kept me from picking this up. A 50 year old story about a paranoid, mentally incompetent president? Was Fletcher Knebel a modern(ish) day Nostradamus?

Sadly no. Night of Camp David satisfies neither as a road map for dealing with crisis or as a fun political thriller. The president we meet (straight as an arrow, war hero, hyper-moral and hyper-competent but experiencing a decline) bears no resemblance to the current White House occupant. And the political thrills are pretty tame. Chekhov mentioned a gun but I think if you introduce missing mental health medical records in the first act, you should use them by the third.

And even the most forgiving reader is going to find "the way things were" in 1965 rather jarring when read in 2018. There are literally no women in power in this novel and while that is accurate enough for the '60s, I could do without Martha's apology to her husband for driving him into the arms of another woman with all of the committee work that kept her from home. I think the Feminine Mystique was out in paperback by the time of this novel. Martha--do yourself a favor and pick up a copy! Interestingly, Knebel seems to want to semi-acknowledge racism, but the late-breaking introduction of "the negro senator" from Chicago, engaging in friendly banter with the segregationist from Louisiana, didn't do much for me.

Still, the premise is just too juicy to ignore and I am glad it was republished, if only to save me from hunting it down in used bookstores. But it's neither instructive nor particularly entertaining.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Freakily prophetic

A President raging about a conspiracy out to get him. Breaking old alliances to meet with the Russian president. Attempts to wiretap all Americans. Back in 1965 this best-seller was an examination of what the 25th Amendment could mean. Today itdelves into the what-ifs of the current POTUS.
With just enough sex scenes to keep the politics from getting too boring.
A light read that can be listened to without paying too much attention.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The reader was terrific.

I loved this book. I couldn’t stop listening. It has great characters and makes you think.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting time capsule

I was a teenager in ‘65 but it’s interesting to see how much we forget and how much things have changed since then. There are also interesting parallels with current day politics.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worthy Premise

Brings forward a worthwhile conversation about mental illness or mental decline in our country’s decision makers. Considering what is happening in Oval Office these days.....

Women’s roles are really dated. You can tell there wasn’t the language of mental illness in our society when this was written. Good Book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT

Wow! This book is indeed an Audible page turner 😊. Suspenseful to the very end.
Sandy Patterson

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Timely look at Presidential transfer of power

So glad I picked up this book — though the references to pay phones and government programs costs $250,000 were quaint, the questions I was left with about the limits the powers of other branches of government to really question Presidential sanity will haunt e for a while.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

this is a story of its time

keeping in mind that this was written in the 1960s and it's tropes on women the story is pretty gripping and as of 2020 quite convincing. the only problem that I have with the entire story is the ending. through the first 20 chapters you feel the tension of an insane president versus a junior young senator trying to convince other officials the president is nuts when no one else is around. then you get to the last chapter and the resolution is a huge let down. he takes an action you never get the feeling he would take. it's an action so far out in left field it brings the story down.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Well performed but outdated and anti climatic

The performance here is very good, but the material is spotty at best. The female characters are paper thin and exist only in their relationship to men and sexuality. The most damning broader issue is that a compelling story falters at the very end limps to an anticlimactic finish.

The era from which this book was written is unavoidable and ages the narrative.