The Big Stick

Lawrence Alexander, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (348p) ISBN 978-0-385-23131-2
This over-blown, circuitous, unconvincing novel introduces a series on the putative exploits of Theodore Roosevelt. Alexander sets his story in the mid-1890s, when the future President was New York City Police Commissioner. In a series of baffling thefts, a gang steals valuables (Old Masters, a priceless musical score, etc.), and later returns them, but without the containers in which they arrived in the U.S. Exceptions are Buffalo Bill's saddle and little Anna Eleanor Hall's doll, recovered but ripped open. Teddy rampages all over the five boroughs after the crooks, whom he surmises are seeking diagrams for an invention by a protege of Thomas Edison. There are murders, fist fights, wild chases and nonstop close calls clamoring for the reader's attention before TR triumphs and yells ""Bully!'' for the last time. The author also drags in side plots involving numerous public figures: Henry Clay Frick, Antonin Dvorak; Isadore Baline (Irving Berlin); Elliot Roosevelt, his mistress Mrs. Evans and their ``illegitimate bastard,'' in addition to the child who would become Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. And, to complete the picture of the bombastic Teddy, Alexander presents him as a foe of anti-Semitism and a champion of women's rights. February 17
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-56129-031-4
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