THE KINGDOM OF ILLUSION by Edward R. F. heehan


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Kingdom of Illusion is a tragi-comedy about the state of diplomatic affairs in the Middle East during the last half of the '50's. It is thoroughly absorbing and entertaining, substantiated by the author's knowledge of the ways of this particular world. It takes place in an Arabic country of only geographic importance, presided over by a young dullard who flunked out of Harvard but ruled by the brilliant Bedouin Prime Minister, Mustafa, whose fondest fantasy is to give an address in the House of Lords. The main event involves the unofficial efforts of the State Department to oust Mustafa in favor of a more corrupt but less troublesome figurehead. This is to be accomplished through the intrigue of Paul Pullomotor, ostensibly a Boston investment banker, actually a power-mad trouble shooter whose specialty is overthrowing governments. Because Pullmotor's reputation is so notorious, he finds it necessary to enlist the aid of Cornelius MacCutchen, master of disguises and languages, who infiltrates the power elite of Al Khadra as a rock and roll Zen-oriented lute player. Opposed to Pullmotor and U.S. officialdom are two non-U Bostonians, the Ambassador Sean Fitzgibbon and his assistant, Christopher Grundoon, who are linked together by their apostasy from the Roman Church and their compensatory devotion to the geographic source of their religion. Pullmotor's plot to arm the Bedouins against Mustafa fails, but there is some wreckage; the young king is accidentally killed and Mustafa declares himself President of the new republic; for having taken the winning but wrong side, Fitzgibbon is demoted to the ambassadorship of the smallest and most obscure new African nation; and Grundoon is called home when his Arabian adventure novel is serialized in the government newspaper. Pullmotor Pullmotor and Mustafa survive, however, allied by their understanding that the meek don't inherit the earth.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1964
Publisher: Random House