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A Key To The Suite (Fawcett Gold Medal T2481) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Gold Medal; 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,884,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Shurin 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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2 of 2 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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Victoria on November 16, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
John D. MacDonald is best known for the Travis Mcgee series. This often leads people to overlook the great Hard boiled mysteries of his that were not from the McGee oeuvre. The copy I'm reviewing is not the 1962 First edition but a reprint, that has a slightly different cover. The story is short, novella length, and taut; reflecting business changes that came about in the late fifties as corporations became more competitive, and less willing to accept sloppy practices that were more human.
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