THE WHISPER OF THE AXE by Richard Condon


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If you think of it in terms of sheer dizzying effect, The Manchurian Candidate was only a finger exercise in brainwashing compared to the spectacular mindbending of Condon's latest extravaganza. Or did it only seem easier than to separate the satire from the reality? The chief figure here is Agatha Teel, a brilliant, beautiful, black criminal lawyer who moves from the defense of the country's most publicized underdogs into a vast international scheme for the overthrow of the U.S. government to take place on. . . July 4, 1976. ""Teel's revolution was never a political thing. Like Hitler's and Attila's it was a personal matter."" Her plan takes years and involves indoctrination of her urban guerrillas in a remote Chinese province, the control of the world drug market and the subsequent accumulation of incalculable wealth and power. And needless to say, there could be no intrigue worthy of the name without the imprimatur of the CIA. Will this ruthless woman whose ""plan for the salvation of all means the punishment of everyone"" be stopped in time? And even if she isn't will it make any difference? It's all enormously entertaining though it's clear that the central performer is always Condon, a staggering virtuoso. When he describes a meal it makes Craig Claiborne's American Express orgy seem like a Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1976
Publisher: Dial