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None But My Foe

None But My Foe

Până la David Duncan

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Lungime: 287 pagini4 ore

Descriere

None But My Foe, first published in 1950, is a novel set in California about a possible threat to a small town’s water supply.

Stephen Smith, a novelist living in a small coastal town, values independence above all personal qualities. When his loving wife dies after a brief bout of pneumonia, he responds with anger rather than grief. He illogically places blame on the town’s leaders, especially the mayor. In a plan to demonstrate their dishonestly and incompetence, he fakes poisoning the local reservoir, then waits for them to manipulate the threat for their own purposes. The town’s residents, however, prove more susceptible to fear than he had imagined. His plan works too well, and the situation quickly gets out of his control.

On one level what the author offers here is a parable about terrorism. Facing what they believe to be an attack, Duncan tells us, many people will become panicky and suggestible. This is true even if the danger is vague and unsubstantiated and the attacker is anonymous or perhaps non-existent. Their leaders, though they may not know the nature, extent or authenticity of the threat, will nevertheless take action in order to justify their positions of authority. Depending on what they decide to do, they may palliate, channel or exacerbate the fear. Lurking behind the terrorism tale is an examination of the protagonist’s motives, which seem increasingly irrational as the story unwinds. Duncan delivers all this in his usual vigorous prose. The beginning of the narrative may actually move faster than necessary. Some episodes would be more plausible with additional time between the death of the wife and the hatching of the plot. All in all, though, this is a remarkable and surprisingly timely novel.
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None But My Foe

Acțiuni carte

Începeți să citiți

Informații despre carte

None But My Foe

Până la David Duncan

Lungime: 287 pagini4 ore

Descriere

None But My Foe, first published in 1950, is a novel set in California about a possible threat to a small town’s water supply.

Stephen Smith, a novelist living in a small coastal town, values independence above all personal qualities. When his loving wife dies after a brief bout of pneumonia, he responds with anger rather than grief. He illogically places blame on the town’s leaders, especially the mayor. In a plan to demonstrate their dishonestly and incompetence, he fakes poisoning the local reservoir, then waits for them to manipulate the threat for their own purposes. The town’s residents, however, prove more susceptible to fear than he had imagined. His plan works too well, and the situation quickly gets out of his control.

On one level what the author offers here is a parable about terrorism. Facing what they believe to be an attack, Duncan tells us, many people will become panicky and suggestible. This is true even if the danger is vague and unsubstantiated and the attacker is anonymous or perhaps non-existent. Their leaders, though they may not know the nature, extent or authenticity of the threat, will nevertheless take action in order to justify their positions of authority. Depending on what they decide to do, they may palliate, channel or exacerbate the fear. Lurking behind the terrorism tale is an examination of the protagonist’s motives, which seem increasingly irrational as the story unwinds. Duncan delivers all this in his usual vigorous prose. The beginning of the narrative may actually move faster than necessary. Some episodes would be more plausible with additional time between the death of the wife and the hatching of the plot. All in all, though, this is a remarkable and surprisingly timely novel.
Citiți mai multe