ISBN is

978-0-609-00031-1 / 9780609000311

Lucky Bastard

by

Publisher:Random House Value Publishing

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Task: Concoct a plot for a novel about a draft-dodging president with a ready smile and a readier libido; a staunchly feminist, Ivy League-educated First Lady; and a political campaign funded by the suspiciously manipulable accounts of a Midwestern bank.

Result: Primary Colors? Perhaps. Or you might barely have scratched the surface of Charles McCarry's darkly byzantine and wildly perceptive new novel, Lucky Bastard. McCarry rips the skeletons from Clinton's wide-open closet and clothes them with the slightly tattered grandeur of Camelot: his hero is John Fitzgerald Adams ("Jack"), who possesses an instinctual political genius and an unerring knack for charming voters while advancing his own interests. Jack also happens to believe that he is JFK's illegitimate son, and his march to the White House carries the aura of "divine right."

Or is that Left? McCarry spins a labyrinthine tale of political influence driven by two maverick Russians who believe that the Communist Revolution "happened in the wrong country at the wrong time." They recognize Jack's talent and charisma and sponsor his rise to power in the hope of achieving tradecraft's coup de grāce: a Soviet pawn in the Oval Office.

Perhaps the novel's greatest strength is its narrator, Dmitri, a cynical Russian whose dry wit and world-weary observations anchor the unabashedly excessive (and usually lubricious) machinations of agents, handlers, recruits, and just plain folks. Thanks mostly to Dmitri, you may never again watch the evening news without a raised eyebrow and a "What if...?" on your lips. --Kelly Flynn

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