Liberty Campaign

Jonathan Dee, Author Doubleday Books $22 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-42595-7
Dee ( The Lover of History ) has achieved something startling and utterly original with his subtle new novel. He has created a character with whom countless readers can readily identify and has placed him in a situation they could barely imagine, yet cannot help but believe; and he has resolved his story without melodrama but with convincing inevitablity. Gene Trowbridge is an elderly advertising man on the brink of retirement--a thoughtful, equable soul whose life seems pleasantly banal. Into his unchallenging existence in a placid Long Island suburb comes a man, a new neighbor, he instinctively likes and respects, only to discover that Albert Ferdinand is an illegal refugee from Brazil where once, as an army officer, he brutally tortured dozens of suspected leftists. Compelled to come to terms with the possibilities of real evil, innocent-American Trowbridge begins to alienate his wife and neighbors by his bizarre relationship with Ferdinand until one day he must make the kind of decision he is utterly unequipped for. That so quietly written a book could create such a degree of tension is a tribute to Dee's extraordinary skill; in fact, the closing chapters, counterpointing Gene's reminiscences of his life in advertising, his farewell speech at a retirement dinner and the approach of nemesis are a compelling tour de force. Add some penetrating observations on the role and current status of advertising in our lives, and some poignant and deeply pondered passages on aging, and the result is a book that is at once compulsively readable and obstinately memorable. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Hardcover - 341 pages - 978-0-7927-1946-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-671-89085-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7475-1810-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7862-9978-2
Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4721-0688-9
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