Rumor Has It

Charles Dickinson, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-688-10225-8
Along with his colleagues, associate metro editor Danny Fain of the Chicago Bugle learns at a hurriedly called staff meeting that the mismanaged, mediocre tabloid will be shut down in two weeks, the victim of a circulation battle with its competitor, the Quill . During the day traversed in Dickinson's ( The Widow's Adventures ) fourth novel, office morale plummets while Danny tries to keep his department functioning despite the burden of defections and betrayals. At first it appears that Danny may retain some measure of dignity--even an improved resume. Toward late afternoon, however, as various interested parties maneuver, a promising story he's following backfires. Danny finds himself becoming the fall guy for the paper's failure, and sees his reputation and integrity destroyed (to say nothing of his severance bonus). Dickinson's contiguous ``morn to midnight'' treatment is without chapter divisions (as befits an account of a newsroom melee) and has all the strenuous unity of a stage play. There is nothing broad or overwrought in either satirical vision or characterization, as the author meditates on how currents of morality and convenience may move within any organization. More topical, comical and widely accessible than Dickinson's earlier work, the novel may also be less subtle--but is immediately engaging nonetheless. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-380-71346-2
Ebook - 978-0-06-238783-7
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