1968 bestselling novels not gone, but largely forgotten

The bestsellers of 1968 are notable for being forgettable. In some cases, the title elicits an “Oh, yeah, I think I read that,” but the stories behind the titles shriveled into the ether within weeks after I finished reading them. The few that rise above placebo level are Preserve and Protect by Allen Drury, The […]

Vanished resurrects Cold War era anxieties

Vanished is a Cold War era political thriller that will sound familiar to readers who grew up in that era. White House Press Secretary Eugene Culligan relates the events. One election year, a good, personal friend of President Roudebush vanishes from Burning Tree Golf Club. Investigators learn Steve Greer left the country by a circuitous […]

Myra Breckenridge repels and fascinates

Eponymous Myra Breckrenridge is as repellent a character as you’d ever not want to meet. And she’s absolutely fascinating. Gore Vidal presents Myra’s story as her confidences in her diary, written as therapy on the urging of her dentist and analyst, Randolph. Myra is in Hollywood to attempt to get money she believes owed to […]

Preserve and Protect taut political thriller

Preserve and Protect is a logical development  of the political landscapes Allen Drury envisioned in Advise and Consent (1959),  A Shade of Difference (1962),  and Capable of Honor (1966). Allen Drury plunges readers into American politics as it might be played if violence becomes a political tool. Sometime in the post-LBJ era, Air Force One […]

Testimony of Two Men, one his own worst enemy

Taylor Caldwell begins Testimony of Two Men where more usual novels would have ended: Dr. Jonathan Ferrier has been acquitted of the murder-by-botched-abortion of his young wife, Mavis. Unable to live among people who doubted his innocence, Jon has sold his practice to young Robert Morgan, who, of candidates Jon interviewed, seemed least likely to […]