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Thomas Mallon

Författare till A Book of One's Own: People and Their Diaries

20+ verk 2,699 medlemmar 76 recensioner 4 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Thomas Mallon, author of "In Fact", is a frequent contributor to many magazines & journals. His column, "Doubting Thomas" ran for six years in GQ. His novels Dewey Defeats Truman & Henry & Clara were New York Times Notable Books. A recipient of Guggenheim & Rockefeller fellowships, he lives in visa mer Westport, Connecticut. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

Inkluderar namnet: Thomas Mallon

Foto taget av: Thomas Mallon at the 2012 National Book Festival By Slowking4 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21582370

Verk av Thomas Mallon

A Book of One's Own: People and Their Diaries (1984) — Författare — 461 exemplar
Watergate (2012) 338 exemplar
Henry and Clara (1995) 336 exemplar
Fellow Travelers: A Novel (2007) 284 exemplar
Bandbox (2004) 184 exemplar
Dewey Defeats Truman (1997) 169 exemplar
Two Moons (2000) 148 exemplar
Finale (2015) 125 exemplar
Landfall: A Novel (2019) 66 exemplar
Up With the Sun: A novel (2023) 59 exemplar
Aurora 7 (1991) 39 exemplar

Associerade verk

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The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (1995) — Förord, vissa utgåvor946 exemplar
The Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy, Volume I: American Tabloid; The Cold Six Thousand (2019) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor49 exemplar
Pal Joey: The Novel and The Libretto and Lyrics (2016) — Förord, vissa utgåvor34 exemplar
Second Read: Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar

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I wanted to read this book before I watched the TV mini series.
 
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Moshepit20 | 8 andra recensioner | Feb 16, 2024 |
Having enjoyed Thomas Mallon’s WATERGATE, a piece of historical fiction centering on the 37th President of the United States, I eagerly picked up his FINALE: A HISTORY OF THE REAGAN YEARS to see how he treated the 40th occupant of that office. Again, Mallon mixes fictional characters with real life participants in history, some obscure and some surprising, and centers most of his action around the second half of 1986, a patch of time that included the Reykjavik Summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a hard fought mid-term election with the control of Senate on the line, and the revelation that the Reagan Administration was trading arms for hostages with the Ayatollah in Iran, while secretly funding the Contras, who were waging a guerilla war against the leftist Castro backed government in Nicaragua. Mallon’s book weaves a story that involves many different individuals, some of whom work in the White House, while others vigorously oppose it, and some who just enjoy drifting along in close proximity to power and glamour. Then there are those who observe and see through the facades the mighty and wealthy work so hard to put up.

I thought FINALE didn’t have as strong of narrative as WATERGATE, and maybe that is because the historical events of the latter were so dramatic, and the cast of characters involved so fascinating. But the strong point in FINALE is the way Mallon builds his characters here, both real and fictional, giving them distinctive voices and personalities that may not exactly jibe with the record, but who nevertheless leap off the page for me. Mallon has a great talent for portraying these historical personages not only as they would have liked for us to see them, but then showing us their faults, and allowing the more real person to be seen. The standout in this book for me is his portrayal of Nancy Reagan, the First Lady utterly and obsessively devoted to her “Ronnie,” an insecure woman who uses astrology to try and control a world filled with dangers, seen and unseen, who always believes that the men surrounding her husband in the White House are falling short of doing their best for him, and never forgetting those who hindered her husband’s ambitions, or failed in their efforts on his behalf. Her dependence on astrologer Joan Quigley was kept from the public during the Reagan’s years in the White House, not in the least for how fanatically she believed in it, but also because astrology was anathema to Ronald Reagan’s devoted supporters in the Christian evangelical community, many million strong. Mallon does bring back Richard Nixon in this book, now a disgraced ex-President determined to still wield influence in the waning days of the Cold War, going so far as to have a mole planted in the American delegation to Reykjavik. Pamela Harriman comes off as a sort of anti-Nancy, a woman who knew how to marry well and advance herself, now the widow of Averell Harriman and determined to step out and make herself a power in her own right as a Democratic Party fundraiser. I must admit that I liked the fictional Christopher Hitchens (a friend of Mallon’s) in this book much better than the real life one who went off the deep end after 9/11 and supported the invasion of Iraq, while becoming a militant atheist. Among the other real life personages making appearances in the book are Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, Jeanne Kirkpatrick (a darling of neo-cons back in the day), Merv Griffin, Bette Davis, Donald Regan (the tough as nails White House chief of staff who clashed with Nancy); a napping Lillian Gish, George Schultz, Michael Deaver, John Hinckley (who attempted to assassinate Reagan); Bob Dole, Walter and Lee Annenberg, along with a lot of politicians and names from the ‘80s that many readers will have to wiki. I’m surprised there wasn’t an appearance by Sam Donaldson, the abrasive ABC News White House correspondent during the Reagan years, and a frequent foil for the amiable President. Among the fictional characters Mallon invents for his novel is Anne MacMurray, the former wife of a Republican Party power broker (and a money funneler to the Contras) who has become an anti-nuclear activist, an issue that was red hot back in those days, and Anders Little, a lower level member of the National Security Counsel who manages to hitch a ride to Reykivik, and nearly witnesses what might have been the end of the Cold War on one October afternoon but for Reagan’s refusal to abandon his Strategic Defense Initiative. Little is a closeted homosexual in the middle of the AIDS epidemic, working for an administration doing nothing to stem the disease while being supported by a Republican Party not shy about its hostility to anything and anyone suspected of sexual deviancy. Mallon doesn’t hammer the point, but I think he lets his portrayal of the sad fate of Terry Dolan in the book speak for itself. Ronald Reagan is the one character Mallon does not try to get inside, letting the man remain the enigma so many found him to be, a genial front masking a detachment that mystified even those who worked closely with him. The author strongly hints that the Alzheimer’s, which wouldn’t be diagnosed for some years to come, was already lurking in the shadows and peaking out in the last years in the White House.

Mallon is an exceptionally good writer of prose, and gives his story a flow that is easy for the reader to get into, even if one is not too familiar with the politics and personalities of the 1980s. He deftly opens the book on the last day of the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, setting the stage for what would come later, and then doing a time jump to the middle of Reagan’s second term. One thing Mallon does well that is almost impossible for other authors is to switch the character POV multiple times during a scene. This is called “head hopping,” something all beginning authors are warned against doing, but Mallon pulls it off, though I suspect some readers might be thrown by it.

FINALE was published in 2015 just before the Trump era of American politics commenced, and one thing that struck while reading it was just how stark raving sane everyone sounds in this novel compared to the conversations being had in the White House in real life some three decades and change later. So, if you find the political scene of the present day too depressing and you yearn to party like it’s 1986 again, then pick up this book by all means.
… (mer)
 
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wb4ever1 | 4 andra recensioner | Jan 29, 2024 |
Up With the Sun written by Thomas Mallon is filled with insider jokes that are fun up to a point. If you are unfamilar with Dolores Gray and Carole Cook, this book won't work for you. The mystery fails to engage and with so many unlikeable characters, it is hard to enjoy with the reading experience
 
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GordonPrescottWiener | 1 annan recension | Aug 24, 2023 |
An excellent read but perhaps not quite at the same level as the preceding books "Watergate" and "Finale". I do enjoy the combination of historical characters and fictional dialogue. In a similar way to Curtis Sittenfeld's "American Wife", one ends in feeling more sympathy for George W. Bush as he is portrayed in a more complex manner than the caricatures of the time.
 
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JamieStarr | 2 andra recensioner | Jul 15, 2023 |

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Statistik

Verk
20
Även av
7
Medlemmar
2,699
Popularitet
#9,516
Betyg
½ 3.7
Recensioner
76
ISBN
75
Språk
2
Favoritmärkt
4

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