The Seven Minutes: A case against censorship

The Seven Minutes is a novel about a novel. An Oakland, CA, bookstore owner sells a pre-release copy of The Seven Minutes to undercover cops who arrest him for selling pornography. Shortly thereafter, a college boy from a good family confesses to rape and murder. He claims reading the French-printed copy of the novel, which […]

The Plot: A novel great in its day

The Plot is a novel about a handful of characters trying to recreate their picture of themselves at their best. It’s set against the background of a Paris conference aimed at keeping China from acquiring a nuclear bomb. The Plot: A Novel by Irving Wallace Simon and Schuster, 1967. 828 p. 1967 bestseller #8. My […]

Politics Makes Slim Reading

    Since today is election day in the United States, I thought I’d roundup some bestsellers that deal with the political election process. Like so any of my good ideas, it underestimated the problems it entailed. Coming up with a list of good political novels from the bestselling lists of the first six decades […]

Psychology and politics underlie my 1964 picks

Psychology and politics, or more accurately the psychology of people in political conflicts, are the topics of three of my favorites of the 1964 bestsellers:  Armageddon by Leon Uris, The Man by Irving Wallace, and The Martyred by Richard E. Kim. Oddly enough, the central characters of each of these novels are not themselves memorable. […]

Wallace’s The Man Is as Trenchant as Today’s News

The title character of The Man is a U.S. Senator horrified along with the rest of the nation to realize he has become American’s first black president. Douglass Dilman has never made waves politically; he’s never felt secure enough to attempt to do so. He’s not even been able to get up courage to propose […]

The Prize is a dynamite thriller

In The Prize, Irving Wallace knits threads about Cold War political intrigue, Nazi atrocities, gutter press journalism, and the Nobel Prize awards into a complex yarn that ends with no loose ends. The main character is the year’s literature recipient, Andrew Craig, an American novelist who traded his pencil for a bottle after his wife […]