Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Ghost: Robert Harris

This is a novel about a British Prime Minister who- in various ways- including participation in an illegal Middle-Eastern war- sold his country- its reputation and its advantage- downriver for the benefit of the USA. So it's about Tony Blair, right? Well, sort of: the central character is recognisably Blair (Robert Harris was a member of the 1997 cool Britannia gang and well-placed to observe the dear leader) but the portrait is little more than an assembly of mannerisms- and the mystery of his character and its arc through history- how did a goofy, apolitical longhair wind up as leader of the people's party and a warlord of the western world?- is flashily "solved" in a flight of unverifiable fantasy. Someday someone will write a great book about this fascinating man; but this isn't it; this is just a thriller- albeit an intelligent one- with such depth as it has provided by the cunningly contrived wasteland setting of Martha's Vinyard in winter- a deserted playground of the super rich given over to the wind and the rain.

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