HEMINGWAY'S NOTEBOOK by Bill Granger

HEMINGWAY'S NOTEBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The sixth of Granger's ""November Man"" international spy series and--as unconscious Hemingway parody--probably the worst. Devereaux, the cold-souled superspy known as The November Man, has ""retired"" and been hiding out in Lausanne with old girlfriend-journalist Rita Macklin when he is tracked down by Colonel Ready, who is now chief of the army on a Caribbean island called St. Michel. Ready has put 200,000 Swiss francs into Credit Suisse for Devereaux and wants him to do a little job for him in St. Michel: recover the notebook of Harry Francis, a rummy and ""comic spy, out of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera,"" whose code name as a spy is ""Hemingway."" (As it happens, Harry Francis is a Hemingway look-alike and is described by Hemingway in A Moveable Feast. He is also the author of the CIA guerrilla manual that so embarrassed President Reagan during his second election campaign.) When Ready forces Devereaux into the job, bitter Rita implores Devereaux (in a dead voice), ""Kill him now. . .It doesn't matter. We can get away. We did it before. We can get away from him. If you won't kill him, give me the gun. I'll kill him. I know you brought a gun. I'll kill him and I'll run and it'll give you time."" Which is unforgivable amateurism but cannot be called a lapse, since the whole novel is in this inflated tone of Hemingwayesque stoicism and solemn expertise. As it turns out, Ready was working for the CIA when he ""flipped"" St. Michel and took it over himself, double-crossing the Langley Firm. But Harry's notebook will expose the R Section set up by Kennedy to check on the CIA, which had betrayed him after the Bay of Pigs. And will Harry's notebook show how Hemingway acted as middleman between Eisenhower and Castro in trying to work out an accommodation and how the CIA poisoned the talks? Everywhichway dumb. Flee to the hills.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1985
Publisher: Crown