LUCKY BASTARD

MCCARRY, CHARLES

Published by DUTTON 1975
ISBN 10: 067944761X / ISBN 13: 9780679447610
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Synopsis: Lucky Bastard is the suspenseful and hilarious story of a gifted politician with dangerous friends and a zipper problem. The author is Charles McCarry, a writer widely acclaimed for his richly perceptive novels of political intrigue.
          
John Fitzgerald Adams, known by the voters who love him as Jack, has good reason to believe he is the illegitimate son of JFK.
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 instinctual political genius, an unerring knack for charming voters and advancing his own interests.
          
But Jack, up from poverty, cannot make it to the Oval Office without money and support. Luckily, he becomes the beneficiary of the largesse of two maverick Russians who recognize Jack's talent and invest considerable resources in his rise to power. Jack also relies on a strong-willed wife, an ardent radical who masterminds his political moves while guarding against the threat that his wild libido will destroy his career. As Jack marches toward the presidency, others who realize the truth about his sinister connections try to stop him. But will anyone believe them?
          
Charles McCarry has long been recognized as the dean of Washington's novelists, "a magical writer, the very best in this field" (Martha Gellhorn,
Sunday Telegraph). With Lucky Bastard, McCarry has written the novel of his career, a thrilling and imaginative vision of power and conspiracy in the age of Clinton.

Review: 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 grâce: 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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Bibliographic Details

Title: LUCKY BASTARD
Publisher: DUTTON 1975
Book Condition: Fine

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McCarry, Charles
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