Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Lucky Bastard"

This was the ordered book that was referenced in the June 23 post here about the newest book by Charles McCarry.  This one was written in 1998 and, having just been read, it is understandable why it had not been highlighted  widely.  It is clearly unlike the many "Paul Christopher books" espionage books written by McCarry that were often excellent historical fiction as well as engaging reads.

"Lucky Bastard" is pure fiction, hopefully.  The basic story is about a man born in the mid-1940's who may or may not have been an illegitimate child of JFK.  He believes that he is, and he has an engaging personality that works with almost everyone, and opinions that shift constantly to maintain his good relationships with all.  He is chosen by the KGB while in his early college years to be someone that they could manipulate into becoming a powerful politician.  Without him being aware of that, they succeed in their efforts.

This character, Jack Adams, is himself a skillful manipulator of others, reasonably smart and is more than a bit of a perverse sex maniac.  This aspect of the novel seems overdone, weirdly so relative to McCarry's previous work.  Overlooking that strange excess, the book is entertaining, at times humorous, and at other times, unfortunately, seems to be somewhat relevant to the current election season.  While not historical fiction, could it possibly be prescient fiction?




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