A MEMBER OF THE CLUB by Peter Niesewand


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South African adventure novels have been proliferating lately--but this one is a bit more ironic than most, with the focus on an ad man's change of character when he is inducted for a year's ruthless service. The Bantu natives are helping the Cuban-drilled terrorists in South Africa, and interrogator Jan Rousseau uses water and electricity to torture captives for information about the terrorists. And when 32-year-old John Courtney is called up for service, tearing him from his big new account huckstering Nu-Kreem (a powdered milk substitute for breast milk which has fabulous sales opportunities among the burgeoning Bantu), he is thrust into psychological warfare. But Courtney is an ad-man at heart, and after a horrifying indoctrination into Rousseau's methods, he dreams up a way of neutralizing (without brutality) a whole Bantu village, which has gone over to the terrorists--by seducing them into appearing loyal to South Africa. But this ruse backfires--the entire tribe is murdered by the terrorists--and Courtney then decides to capitalize on failure by letting it be known among other native villages that his own team did the slaughter. And so it goes. But eventually Courtney's ad-man devices are really no less bloodthirsty than those of Rousseau; by the time that the terrorism escalates into an international incident, the ad-man is clearly a killer--""a member of the club."" Short on subtlety, but reasonably terse and engrossing--a cut above the usual white-man-in-the-bush adventures.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1979
Publisher: Dutton