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The Ghost Writer: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
At another level you feel drawn to the author-protagonist because of his self-deprecating humor and the acceptance of his fate, which is to be a ghost writer rather than a "real" writer. The politics of being a ghost writer, always humbly in the background, while nevertheless creating stunning works for celebrity non-authors gives insight into the mind of actual ghost-writers, whom Harris liberally quotes in each chapter.
Then of course there is a level of political analysis thinly veiled from the real world of a discredited (in Harris' mind) Tony Blair. Harris hits upon a deep sense of regret felt by many of us because of Blair's foolish entanglement with the arrogant American president in the Iraq war. As one who admired Blair's entertaining performances in Parliament (seen at home on C-Span)I can heartily share the sense of tragedy of a great man who, like Chamberlain, falls from grace by commiting a remarkable stupidity of judgment. While the Prime Minister in this story is fictional, the parallels with Blair are inescapable.
Finally, there is the plot itself, which starts off with a suspicious death, weaves its way into the private life of the fallen PM, maintains a sense of urgency and tension until the climax is revealed, in the best tradition of mystery thrillers. The value of this book is that it is much more than a thriller, without eroding the central plot.
A wholly entertaining, engrossing, and instructive book. This one immediately sent me looking for other books by this exceptional writer. None have been disappointing.
The primary setting for Ghost is Martha's Vineyard in the winter. Having lived there year-round in the early 1970's for 5 years I can say that it must certainly seem bleak to someone coming from a large city. Harris picked up a lot of good flavor in the few days he spent there, and in Rose Styron (the widow of Bill) he had a good guide. The twisted scrub oaks, the uncertainty of access in the winter gales, the sense of isolation and beauty are well-described. There is a regular scheduled air service (present but cut back in the winter) so I was surprised to find the narrator landing at the airport in Boston, taking a taxi to the bus station, a bus to the ferry, the ferry, and another taxi ride to the hotel when a 30-minute flight would have done the job. There are scenes of near-violent protests where the dirt road to the PM's compound leaves the main road. This seemed unlikely to me. Outside the UK embassy or in Lafayette Park in Washington, fine. But the locals are not ones to protest (nor would the summer residents)--privacy is valued very highly. Clinton as President, whose home was close to and very similar to where Lang is, was given plenty of privacy--he could eat at restaurants and nibble an ice cream cone at Mad Martha's without causing a big fuss.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't realize the story reading the title. But really enjoyed the plot and the characters.Published 5 days ago by thecat
Having read Fatherland, my first book by Robert Harris, followed by Archangel, I was expecting a novel of equal prowess but alas, I was disappointed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sharad Sakorkar
Written from an interesting angle, the plot has some 'big' twists and some interesting characters. Not much was predictable and it was well written - it was a good read for me,Published 4 months ago by Smiley888
I liked it but not as much as "An officer and a Spy" But all in all it was very well written.Published 4 months ago by Marc A. Vaida
This is a thriller with a difference. The main character is a ghost writer, he has access to former UK prime minister by virtue of becoming his ghost writer. Read morePublished 4 months ago by DJ Arboretum
I did not think I would enjoy reading about a ghost writer nor reading a Robert Harris book not set in the Roman Empire. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Flat Lander