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Comment: Gold Medal #d1745. Creasing on spine and cover at spine. Some yellowing on white part of cover. Pages tight and medium tanned
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A Key To The Suite Mass Market Paperback – 1962


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett Publications, Inc.; 1st edition (1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449011984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449011980
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,805,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Enzi on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is my very favorite John D. MacDonald book so far. It is a slim book, filled with terse descriptions of unfortunate characters behaving as they are programmed to behave while justifying their greed, ambition, moral blindness and vengeful stupidity. As each character sets his own traps, s/he is pulled closer to a pre-destined demise. Can the corporation force an honorable worker to become a Judas, a hatchet man? Can popularity save an aging henchman from being sucked into his own whirlwind intrigues? Can S_E_X atone for the loss of dignity? Can a call girl regain her loveabilty through dignity and fair play or atone for her rashness through mortality? What do you THINK? Of course not! EVERYBODY PAYS! Nobody wins!

A KEY TO THE SUITE is juicy, glossy entertainment stripped of pulp and held under a moral microscope. It isn't Harold Robbins, folks. If you read the narrative too fast, you'll miss the beauty of the writing. If you read it more than once, you'll find that there's still more meat on those bones. This book is a KNOCKOUT!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A Key to the Suite takes John D. MacDonald away from his traditional stomping ground - primarily because it features (and empathizes with) the sort of suited corporate figures that his protagonists tend to loathe.

A Key to the Suite takes place during a business convention for a fairly nondescript bits & bobs sort of conglomerate corporation thingy. Like many of JDM's best, it employs a host of narrators - from the young up-and-comers on the local team to the out of town 'fixer' to the local manager with his job in danger to the over-educated prostitute with a heart of gold...

This cast comes together tightly in one short, tense weekend - careers, marriages, and all the trappings of life are on the line for these men and women. To these men, their livelihoods are their lives, and the absurdities of corporate life are vitally important rituals to them.

A Key to the Suite is overall quite dark - this is not a triumph of the human spirit, more a steady degradation. Everyone in the book is weak and flawed - redemption is difficult to find and impossible to grasp. The characters are more real - and more empathetic - for it.

Disclaimer: This contains all the normal trappings of the time - it is easy to find painful issues with the gender and sexual politics. Unlike many of JDM's weaker novels, I don't think these prevent the book from being an effective and emotive piece of literature. This really is JDM at his finest - making 'everyday' life into a strangely philosophical piece of drama.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. VINE VOICE on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This short John D. MacDonald paperback from 1962 is very well written even if the plotting is overly contrived.
A Key to the Suite is about a trade convention with all the behind the scenes ugliness brought to the forefront. Perhaps the most appealing feature of this novel is the fact that all the characters are quite human. No one, not even the protagonist, is without serious flaws. Conversely many of the "evildoers" have their own sympathetic side.
Bottom line: A solidly written tale of human fraility featuring a cast of characters created with great insight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By neilmac on May 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Good, intense writing that draws you in with typical MacDonald style - quite an accomplishment when you consider the book was published in 1962. Terrific tale of a sales convention and a sexual liaison and attempted blackmail. MacDonald has managed to make the story almost timeless by careful avoidance of too much detail of cars, locations etc.

The book is something of a cop out though - it is too short. MacDonald kills off one of the central characters and brings the story to an end too quickly. I would like to have seen the illicit relationship extended until after the main character returns home and the further complications that would certainly have added. Would have made a more realistic and satisfying story and extended what was a good read...
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Format: Paperback
The two other five star reviews get it right, this is a wonderful book. I've been a MacDonald fan for years and loved the McGee series when they came out. Recently, however, I went back to read them and sad to say they don't stand the test of time.

This one does.

The technology we have is different and the public relations business is a little slicker but the human frailties, ambitions, treachery and deceit -- Timeless.

All of which got me thinking:
This was written 52 years ago and nothing has changed except the technology.
52 years before that we were on the brink of WW1 and if you look at the world today, Ukraine especially, nothing has changed.
52 years before that we were on the eve of the American Civil War and our political divide still wrangles about the same issues that divided us then.
52 years before that Thomas Jefferson was President and
52 years before that there was no USA, but I'll be willing to bet that people at any of these points could read this book and nod in agreement about one thing -- nothing ever changes.

I do know one thing --- JDM would certainly be pleased to know that readers are still reading his work and taking the time to talk about it.
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