THE HARD WINNERS by John Quirk

THE HARD WINNERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This somewhat topheavy BIG big business novel is something of a triumph of matter over mind since readability is not sacrificed. It deals with the succession to the presidency of National Motors when the heir elect dies within minutes of the Kennedy assassination. Will it be Tony Campbell, known as the ""golden robot"" (although there is nothing mechanical about his other activities-- he's a great stud)? or a man called Volk with a suspect war record? or David Battle? Probably the structural weakness of the book is that David Battle, and his father, and his sin/sex obsessed mother from whom he inherits the same streak, take over the novel so that Volk and Campbell are not even in contention-- they get lost. David is followed all the way from his Polish-Jewish coal-mining beginnings, through college and the war and after which finds him at 28 with the same slow burn. But then he manages to give in to a gal, Kelly Brand, loses her in an unethical business deal, and tries to get her back even though he marries more beneficially. The final chapters resume the scrimmage for the presidency- a dirty one indeed... Mr. Quirk's book runs to some length even though the characterization is fairly monosyllabic. Its best features are its energy and stamina and a kind of locker room prose for the big boys. They were the market for his first novel, No Red Ribbons.

Publisher: Random House