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Greenwich cover
  • ISBN: 9780151006205
  • ISBN10: 0151006202

Greenwich

by Fast, Howard

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publish date: 05/01/2000
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Description
At 85, Fast has lost none of his story-telling skills, and one of the pleasures of reading his fast-paced later novels is to note how they are trimmed of excess. This outing, his latest after Redemption, is set in the wealthy Connecticut town of the book's title, where Fast has lived for many years, and as usual shows many traces of Fast's lifelong populist leftism. Richard Castle, a successful Wall Street hustler, was once an assistant secretary of state who gave the orders for a massacre of nuns and priests in El Salvador. Now word of possible American involvement in the murders is beginning to leak out, and higher-ups in Washington are determined to silence him, if necessary with "extreme prejudice". Richard, meanwhile, married to beautiful and sweetly innocent trophy wife Sally, is trying to ascertain, through a local Jesuit monsignor and a nun who was in El Salvador, just how much is known about his role. These two are guests, along with a representative selection of Greenwich citizens, at a dinner party at the Castles' home, through which Fast portrays the social and political currents of the town. Among the people who play roles in his tale are a self-sacrificing doctor, a successful author, an embittered academic, a plumber tortured by memories of Vietnam, an open-eyed nurse and a black chef to the wealthy. Their juxtapositions are a bit schematic, and they have more value as symbols than as breathing characters, but there is no denying the aplomb with which Fast manipulates his large cast and has them face up to the issues that interest him: common guilt for horrors committed in our nation's name, racial and religious intolerance, the elusive comforts of faith, the corruptingeffect of too much money. This novel may not be the last word in sophistication, but it's an exhilaratingly rapid read that deals with some far from negligible ideas.
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