A Perfect Spy is an excerpt from Francis Hamit's much longer book Out of Step: A Memoir of the Vietnam War Years. Set fifty years ago at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, it is the story of how Hamit arrived there in his junior year of college as a drama major, worked as a professional photographer, met Nicholas Meyer, played poker with Nelson Algren, enlisted in the Sexual Revolution, and learned how to write plays while also working undercover for law enforcement against the drug trade. It was dangerous work; so much so that he volunteered for military intelligence and went to Vietnam because it was safer than staying in Iowa City.
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Francis Hamit is the author of two Civil War espionage novels, The Shenandoah Spy and The Queen of Washington, a thriller, Meltdown, and several plays, including Marlowe: An Elizabethan Tragedy.Review:
Clarity, humor, polished writing,and an engaging narrator make for an enjoyable read.- Kirkus
This book is the runner-up in the Biography / Autobiography category at the San Francisco Book Fair.
KIRKUS REVIEW An Iowa college student discovers anew life filled with sex and adventure in this debut memoir by Hamit (Meltdown,2012, etc.).
Excerpted from a much longer,forthcoming memoir, this book focuses solely on Hamit's experiences while attending the University of Iowa in the 1960s, just as the Vietnam War gathered steam from the U.S. perspective. Fleeing a rough two years at an unidentified Bible college, Hamit blossomed at his new school and found himself enthralled with theater work, photography, playwriting, poker, and women. But Hamit's time was taken up by more than just the distaff side of the college population. In a strange twist, he started working as an off-the-books undercover informant,looking for leads to help stem the tide of LSD and other drugs that Hamit viewed as harmful ("Knowing the risks, I stepped up and made a deal with the cops. Leave my friends alone, and I will give you the dealers"). Several of thewomen he was involved with were drug abuse survivors. He acquired a Waltherpistol that he planned to carry only at night ("I might well have to kill someone if things got sticky and they came at me"). As one might expect, these different pursuits collided in unexpected and sometimes-dangerous ways, andHamit ended up with an unusual, multifaceted education. Given that Hamit has made a living as a writer since his college years, readers should be unsurprised to find his prose smooth and confident, nailing the tenor of the times with verve while exploring the exultation and heartbreak of a young man discovering the dimensions of his character. While his days weren't all filled with peace and love--besides his undercover activities, Vietnam War service layin his future--Hamit's voice remains cleareyed and optimistic. There's no melancholy or darkness in his outlook, even when recalling grim events. There is, however, a lot of sex in these pages, so those uncomfortable with adultsituations, including frank, though nonpornographic, descriptions of various acts, may wish to look elsewhere for their memoir reading.
Clarity, humor, polished writing,and an engaging narrator make for an enjoyable read.
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Book Description Brass Cannon Books, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1595959904
Book Description Brass Cannon Books, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 119 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.31 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1595959904
Book Description Brass Cannon Books, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111595959904