Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mini Book Review – “The Tears Of Autumn” by Charles McCarry

I love it when friends recommend a new restaurant and my palate is stunned by new flavors, textures, exotic dishes and decadent desserts! I have the same sense of wonder and pleasure when I sink my teeth into the work of an author whose unique blend of literary spices and sauces I have not tasted before. Such was my delight when I devoured the pages of “The Tears of Autumn,” written by Charles McCarry and first published in 1975.

The plot is a very plausible solving of the Kennedy Assassination that takes the reader on a breakneck tour of Saigon, the Congo, Dallas, Paris and Washington, D.C. But it is not the plot that made this book such a delightful read; it is the author’s use of image and language that evokes imagery and feel. The author’s arch wit also added to my appreciation of the writing. Let me share just a few morsels:

“Miller thought he was the world’s champion burglar, but he couldn’t think of a way to crack the GRU. However, I had Dieter. I recruited him by giving him . . . .a cyanide pill to carry in a hollow ring – Krauts don’t think you’re serious unless you give them a cyanide pill.” (p. 47)

“Christopher pressed the electric window control. The stench and noise of the canal and the heat of noon thrust through the open window like a beggar’s hand.” (p. 149)

“The day went by slowly, fried by the morning sun, flogged by the afternoon rain.”

That is good writing!

I would love to hear from readers who have experienced some of McCarry’s other novels – Citizen Nader, The Miernik Dossier, Old Boys, The Last Supper.



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