Superspy Blackford Oakes is sent to Cuba on a mission to assassinate Castro, but he stumbles instead upon a plot to kill President Kennedy. A literate thriller that masterfully weaves together fact and fiction. "A high-flying thriller".--Publishers Weekly.Superspy Blackford Oakes is sent to Cuba on a mission to assassinate Castro, but he stumbles instead upon a plot to kill President Kennedy. A literate thriller that masterfully weaves together fact and fiction. "A high-flying thriller".--Publishers Weekly.Read Less
This may be the best of the Buckley "Blacky" books, the adventures of the impossibly handsome, prodigiously talented and of course, politically (but not amourously) conservative American spy. Although Blackford Oakes is a literary creation and sometime just a little over the top, the reader comes to appreciate him as a freind and patriot. Notable in this book, is the quite accurate portrayal of Fidel Castro, who comes to life in a vivid way not possible in a straight historical biography. indeed, I would venture that this novel is a good place to start concering Castros' life and political aims. However that does nothing to obscure the fun of reading the whole series, which will engage you from the beginning. Buckley is obviously a skilled writer of prose, and it shows when he turns his hand to the more popular style.
Publishers Weekly, 1987-12-11 Arguably, this is the best of the Blackford Oakes series. Since we first met him at a callow 26, in Saving the Queen, Oakes has maturedhe's become more worn around the edges, less abrasive and, as a result, more likable. It is now 1963; Castro and Khrushchev are bickering. With the help of the CIA (Operation Mongoose), President Kennedy is involved in three separate plots to assassinate Castro. The first twopresenting Castro with a toxic wetsuit and supplying his mistress with poison pills (both were actually attempted)fail. The third, providing a disillusioned Castro protege with a rifle (also a real CIA plan) looks the most promising. Oakes is sent to Cuba to help coordinate the uprising that will inevitably follow. Suddenly the CIA discovers that Castro is about to launch a medium-range missile (left from the Cuban missile crisis) at Dallas, Tex., and the president. It's up to Oakes to prevent an escalation of the Cold War. Buckley has abandoned straightforward narration for a series of rapid-fire, cinematic scenes that are sometimes confusing as they jump from Washington, D.C., to Moscow to Havana. On the plus side, this high-flying thriller is grounded in reality, thanks to Dorothy McCartney, research editor of the National Review, whose help Buckley acknowledges. Readers will enjoy the sheer exuberance of this all too plausible caper. Major ad/promo; Troll Book Club Main selection. (January 6)
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