In perhaps his most important literary feat, Norman Mailer fashions an unprecedented portrait of one of the great villains—and enigmas—in United States history. Here is Lee Harvey Oswald—his family background, troubled marriage, controversial journey to Russia, and return to an “America [waiting] for him like an angry relative whose eyes glare in the heat.” Based on KGB and FBI transcripts, government reports, letters and diaries, and Mailer’s own international research, this is an epic account of a man whose cunning, duplicity, and self-invention were both at home in and at odds with the country he forever altered.
Praise for Oswald’s Tale
“America’s largest mystery has found its greatest interpreter.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance. . . . From the American master conjurer of dark and swirling purpose, a moving reflection.”—Robert Stone, The New York Review of Books
“A narrative of tremendous energy and panache; the author at the top of his form.”—Christopher Hitchens, Financial Times
“The performance of an author relishing the force and reach of his own acuity.”—Martin Amis, The Sunday Times (London)
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post
Mailer opines that Lee Harvey Oswald was a sincere Marxist, a nihilist and an inveterate liar who was motivated to assassinate John F. Kennedy in order to shake up the world, to create the conditions for a new kind of society superior to American capitalism or Soviet-style communism. Oswald, he suggests, was quite possibly the lone gunman, or at least may have thought he was--in Mailer's scenario, there may have been other assassins present, unbeknownst to Oswald, conspirators working for some other group. His unconvincing analysis emerges from a labyrinthine pastiche of KGB and FBI transcripts, recorded dialogues, speculations, Oswald's letters and diary excerpts, and government memos. Mailer interviewed Oswald's widow, Marina, and also spent months in Minsk interviewing Oswald's Russian acquaintances and co-workers as well as KGB officers. Pretentiously applying the novelistic techniques used to better effect in The Executioner's Song, Mailer ploddingly recreates Oswald's day-to-day existence in the Soviet Union, then in New Orleans and Dallas in the months leading up to Kennedy's assassination. He hypothesizes that Oswald was a provocateur playing a double-edged game with the U.S. and Russian intelligence communities to further his own self-styled mission. Author tour.
Very well done. Found this after reading Stephen King's new book. "11/22/63.