Guest of Honor

Irving Wallace, Author
Irving Wallace, Author Delacorte Press $18.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-29742-4
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
The sure touch that produced veteran novelist Wallace's bestsellers ( The Second Lady ) isn't detectable in this faltering political thriller with all the subtlety of a comic strip. Following the assassination of President Prem Sang of Lampang, an island nation in the South China Sea, his Wellesley-educated wife, Noy Sang, assumes power. When she arrives in Washington to ask President Matt Underwood for a huge loan, Underwood is so smitten that he impulsively gives Lampang an even heftier sum. Formerly a TV anchorman, this chief executive has an enchanting manner, a nonchalant management style, ``middle-age syn drome'' and a shrewish wife who was once Miss America. Ignoring his responsibilities, Underwood periodically dashes off to join Noy, even though their inadvisable frolic on a Lampang beach is revealed by an investigative reporter. When a dangerous political foe orders her kidnapped, of course the president valiantly charges in and shoots one of her captors. These buffoonish characters give their sexual urges top priority--Underwood runs for reelection merely to prolong his affair with Noy. Heads of state never looked so pitifully befuddled. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (July)
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