TONGUE OF FIRE by Ernest Frankel


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This has dynamite- for here is the sort of debunking treatment applied to Huey Long- after his death (in successive books, the most popular being Dos Passos' Number One and Adria Langley's A Lion Is In The Streets)- now applied to a certain not dissimilar, controversial figure still very much alive. Ernest Frankel has shifted the time pattern and changed locale and absolute identification of either events or persons, but the resemblances on all counts seem certainly other than ""coincidental"". For those who will rejoice at any attempt to tear down an idol with feet of clay, Tongue of Fire will be welcomed as a vigorous, courageous novel, unpalatably realistic at many points (sometimes without adding a cubit to its stature), but thoroughly readable. One sees the building of a man into a rotter, without conscience, integrity, humanity -- by cumulative steps which, otherwise interpreted made him a hero, a leader, a dedicated genius to his followers. Ernest Frankel uses a device to eliminate him at the end which does not measure up to the effect of the book as a whole. The publishers are billing this as their Spring fiction leader. Watch it.

Publisher: Putnam