THE EYE OF THE KITE by Fleming MacLiesh


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A savage bit of portraiture etched in ice, and set in a tightly-drawn, fast paced story. When Harper, former pilot under the aegis of millionaire Koenig, swallows his burning grudge against his boss to co-pilot Koenig's party from New York to the coast, he finds himself compressed into a group of abnormal oddities. There is Marion, a blend of all lovely, easily forgotten women; Joe, her pilot husband who is losing her; an egocentric male film star; a timid physicist who has sold his soul to Koenig; a brilliantly beautiful, deadly asp of a socialite; and in charge of the menagerie the Big Man -- Koenig, demonic American Mammon, secure in the tribute and power paid to money. Through the orgiastic night in New York where the party tours the night clubs and a reefer den, the nightmare plane trip through storm and fog, and on to the final smash up, Koenig manipulates his satellites, eats rare beef with cannibalistic relish, enjoys the hates, jealousies and frustrated anger his project brings forth. Although the device of isolating for study a group of social caricatures has a well-worn post-Huxlian precedent, the author has created a memorable gallery, and the narration of the plane trip vibrates with tension and suspense. In fact the diatribe against Koenig-ism and the rage that such gods are tolerated and worshipped are subordinate in effect to the skilled narration and character invention. A compelling indictment.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1952
Publisher: Random House