THE KILLING OF THE KING by David R. Slavitt

THE KILLING OF THE KING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Slavitt, one of those storytellers of considerable resilience, presumption and facility has told an Arabian night's extravaganza about the killing of Farouk, that not so lovable old roue who was exiled to a sybaritic old age of gross embonpoint. Concerned with his demise here are a broke and broken down Barrymoreish film star Who has hopes of getting some money out of Farouk for a film; Horthy, an also has-been director who knew Farouk earlier; an ex-Nazi assailant; an untouched sixteen year old nymph, Kate, who is traveling in Europe with her very wealthy father, Streeter, and his new wife who can read palms, cards-and minds and sees trouble ahead in all of them. Kate, approached by Horthy, has a rendezvous with Farouk whose puissance is less than it once was but he rewards her anyway with a huge ruby (a fake); her father sees it and goes to confront Farouk -- only to be put away in the river; and finally Mona and Kate think of poisoning him before he is eliminated otherwise. . . Slavitt, in the guise of a nameless commentator, makes the point that the aura of royalty dies hard and that the fat and failing decadent retained it if only as the last of his kind. But when all is said, done and undone, the Emperor still has no new clothes -- he's just a passe figure of ridicule in his fez and his bathrobe.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday