THE BLUE MAN by Thomas Atkins


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Trying to kill that Commie-lover Truman is one thing. But Ike is different. I mean, who would want to hurt a genuine war hero like the general?"" Well, the idea here is that a crazed Virginia mountain man wants to kill Ike, who's coming to the Roanoke, Virginia, area during his 1952 whistle-stop campaign. This past-obsessed mountain man, who suffers from methemoglobinemia (an extremely rare genetic blood disease that turns him blue whenever he's angry), believes that ""God's using me, just like he used my great-grandpap to kill them Yankees."" So he has already shot two interlopers with his antique rifle, just to warm up for Ike. Naturally, the local sheriffs are resolved to stop him. Since we all know that Ike survived, there's not much suspense here. And since first-novelist Atkins hasn't a spark of originality, there's not much of anything else either. Nor does it help that Atkins pads out his non-book into a thin book with an entirely extraneous rape-murder case and cutesy, cheap-shot vignettes of dumb Ike (""bring me my putter and a scotch highball"") and Nixon's ""Checkers"" speech. Truly negligible.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday