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Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime: A Novel

Dunning, John

592 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0743201957 / ISBN 13: 9780743201957
Published by Scribner, 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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First edition, signed by author on title page. Dust jacket and book in fine condition. Bookseller Inventory # 1210040013

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime: A Novel

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


As bombs fall on England during the summer of 1942, a brave group of American actors and theater people entertains the nation via radio and scriptwriter Jack Dulaney becomes involved in an investigation into an ulsolved murder and the disappearance of singer Holly Carnahan's father. 150,000 first printing.


John Dunning's previous novels featuring a sleuth who's an expert in rare and collectible books won this former bookstore owner a devoted following; first editions of Booked to Die and The Bookman's Wake routinely fetch high sums in stores like the one Dunning himself owned for many years. With the verisimilitude that's a hallmark of his writing, Dunning delves into a new topic, the golden days of radio, igniting the reader's excitement about the enormous potential of the medium. Sadly, he can't assuage the inevitable disappointment over how that potential was wasted:

"Radio is the greatest invention of the past four centuries. It ranks right up there with Gutenberg's movable type as an earthshaking force.... One of the first things Gutenberg did with his movable type was print a magnificent Bible. The first thing radio did was argue how much selling would be permitted and how ridiculous it would be allowed to get. If it keeps on the way it's going there won't be anything worth listening to.... I have this almost morbid fear of the future--not that radio's greatest days will fade away but that its greatest day will never come. Fifty years from now it could just be a medium of hucksters and fools, a whorehouse in the sky."
The speaker is Jack Dulaney, a novelist who follows a dead man's trail to the Jersey shore in the early days of World War II, where a radio station owned by a recluse has fallen on hard times. The mysterious Harford, who built the station as a showcase for his late wife's ambition, has all but abandoned WHAR, but the actors, writers, producers, and technicians who once shared the dead woman's dream are galvanized by the appearance of Dulaney, who finds his true métier in the creation of original, politically provocative broadcast dramas. He also discovers true love in a talented young singer, Holly Carnahan, whose affections he once sacrificed out of loyalty to his best friend.

Carnahan's search for her missing father involves Dulaney in a mystery rooted in the long-ago Boer War that has grown into a conspiracy peopled by German saboteurs, Irish nationalists, and African freedom fighters. The plotting is dense and the cast of minor characters merely sketched, but Dulaney's creative process is artfully drawn and the ambience of America in wartime is skillfully portrayed. --Jane Adams

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