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Harlot's Ghost By Norman Mailer,

  • Title: Harlot's Ghost
  • Author: Norman Mailer
  • ISBN: 9780345379658
  • Page: 356
  • Format: Paperback
  • With unprecedented scope and consummate skill, Norman Mailer unfolds a rich and riveting epic of an American spy Harry Hubbard is the son and godson of CIA legends His journey to learn the secrets of his society and his own past takes him through the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the momentous catastrophe of the Kennedy assassination All the while, HubbarWith unprecedented scope and consummate skill, Norman Mailer unfolds a rich and riveting epic of an American spy Harry Hubbard is the son and godson of CIA legends His journey to learn the secrets of his society and his own past takes him through the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the momentous catastrophe of the Kennedy assassination All the while, Hubbard is haunted by women who were loved by both his godfather and President Kennedy Featuring a tapestry of unforgettable characters both real and imagined, Harlot s Ghost is a panoramic achievement in the tradition of Tolstoy, Melville, and Balzac, a triumph of Mailer s literary prowess Praise for Harlot s Ghost Norman Mailer is the right man to exalt the history of the CIA into something better than history Anthony Burgess, The Washington Post Book World Elegantly written and filled with almost electric tension When I returned from the world of Harlot s Ghost to the present I wished to be enveloped again by Mailer s imagination Robert Wilson, USA Today Immense, fascinating, and in large part brilliant Salman Rushdie, The Independent on Sunday A towering creation a fiction as real and as possible as actual history The New York Times 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
    Harlot s Ghost With unprecedented scope and consummate skill Norman Mailer unfolds a rich and riveting epic of an American spy Harry Hubbard is the son and godson of CIA legends His journey to learn the secrets of

    One thought on “Harlot's Ghost”

    1. Mailer, check.Too long, check.Creaky structure, check.Weird pseudo psycho theorizing, check.Obsession with buggery, check.Tin ear for female characters, checkILLIANT, check.Yes, brilliant Mailer s CIA novel, through to the Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, and Kennedy assassination 1200 pages, give or take who s counting at this length No minimalism here This man knew how to breathe deep, to write expansively, to be outrageous, to give the finger to the so called distinctions between fiction an [...]

    2. This post modern novel by Mailer is inarguably the most informed novel of the CIA This is not callow, veneered, cinema informed CIA, or any of the tell all non fiction embellishments of CIA activity This is a psychological study of the necessary duality of agents, teased from the central soul of the duality of humankind Mailer has a comprehensive insider s knowledge of the structure and workings of the CIA Paradox lives on every layer the characters in this fiction, other than the main character [...]

    3. There s probably five or six hundred pages of brilliance in this 1300 page monster, but then there s the interminable recounting of daily intelligence minutia, the stinking heaps of bullshit psycho theory, and the seemingly endless series of repetitive letters between two neurotics who can t get their heads out of their asses All of which might be worth slogging through for the sake of the good parts, except when I ran out of pages to turn, the story wasn t even remotely resolved When I read som [...]

    4. Yes, I read this whole book I remember expecting to bail out from it due to its length, but as I recall I was never bored by the novel That said, I don t remember much of it except for the mundane details of a spy s life, a life affair and talk of buggering The buggering portion seemed reminiscent of Ancient Evenings, which was a book I read back in the 80 s I liked Ancient Evenings also I don t know if either book is something I would recommend to anyone now Maybe I would recommend something by [...]

    5. Oh, I could be angry right now, terribly angry, having just finished an almost 1300 page fictional tome that ends with the words To Be Continued , but I choose not to be since I chose to hang in there with this book long after I had concluded that it would not reward in ways commensurate with its length In that I was not mistaken There is much about this novel of the CIA in the 50s and early 60s to like, and there is no question of Mailer s devotion to his craft and the level of research that we [...]

    6. Hated by many and for good reason There are great yawning sections of psycho babble that convince no one letters about stuff no one gives a damn about and the To Be Continued at the end of the novel made many readers throw their hands up in disgust.But ignore all the flaws especially that last, which I d argue isn t genuinely meant as a To Be Continued it is that Mailer recognizes that the story of the CIA cannot be finished, that this is an ongoing story that still affects the lives of everyon [...]

    7. really magnificent there were indeed some swaths probably best cut, but awfully few of them for 1300 pages spanning five continents at its best it read like the saner parts ofGravity s Rainbow, but with a Mailer touch it moves incredibly quickly for the quality of the prose people complaining about mailer s psychobabble as if it s a serious theory he s advancing are really missing the point behind Kittredge and her whole development definitely recommended for anyone who liked Ellroy sAmerican Ta [...]

    8. I am a fan of Mailer s writing, and I consider this to be his masterpiece There is a lot of psychological complexity to the characters without ever seeming contrived or unrealistic

    9. I have a love hate relationship with Mailer s books and this one so than any other I tried it years ago and couldn t make it through the first 100 pages This time I committed to the book and am happy that I persevered It took a while as I frequently tired of his literary method of often telling the story through the exchange of letters between the two main characters But it s a tremendous commentary on the early days of the Cold War and how the foibles of politicians and the CIA really made a m [...]

    10. This book forever changed my mind on who killed Kennedy, along with Mark Lanes book Plausible Denial This is a novel but It is too close to the hard facts, not only on Kennedy but the Bay of Pigs and the wiretapping in East Berlin, by the CIA, who got caught in tunnels maintaining the equipment It ends at midnight November 21 1963

    11. Harlot s Ghost is a deeply flawed masterpiece Its prodigious and incomplete nature signify all that is great and trivial about the work.For all the post net generations, it is difficult to comprehend the dark underbelly of US 1950 70 politics That was the pre market, pre consumer era when important events that captured the US citizens imagination and guided every smart person s ambitions were not in the financial, economic or corporate world The Pentacle, if you will, of the US domestic politici [...]

    12. So what can you say from an erudite and complex 1300 page novel It better finish everything it can in those 1300 pages, now doesn t it But no, it does not It is possibly the quintessential novel of the last 55 years by an American author It is probably one of the best memoirs of a complex organization that is mired in secrecy It is probably one of my favorite novels that I have read.Norman Mailer definitely surprised me I came upon him after reading The Gang who couldn t write straight and was d [...]

    13. This is a generational saga than anything else, the story of Harry Hubbard and his relationship with his CIA mentor, the titular Harlot It is, I think, a brilliant mess of a novel, not unlike the projects the Central Intelligence Agency has taken on covertly, unheard of and unspoken, in order to preserve the good graces and virtue of the United States The main message, I think, is that one cannot fight evil unless they understand exactly what evil is and are willing to be evil , unprincipled, l [...]

    14. Wow, finally finished 8 weeks in the making but it was worth every page Although this book is utterly boring in the action sense of the word, Mailer has a strange sense of making anything interesting and difficult to stop reading The man could retype the phone book and it would be a hit I do find several things curious The most prevalent being that I m not quite sure why it was titled Harlot s Ghost, as it is that Harlot s character is not only fairly secondary despite his character s under gird [...]

    15. L uomo senza speCIAlit Non un esplosione E un ammortizzatore, un materasso, talvolta un silenziatore Il libro la descrizione romanzata ovviamente incompleta ed episodica della CIAificazione della societ e o di come soggetti gi CIAfilizzati trovino naturale impiegarsi presso l Agenzia Cio CIAffiliarsi archiviostoricorriere 19 Alfa e Omega in lotta nella mente blurry dei protagonisti tutti col loro bravo criptonimo finch Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad Un Bourne Revenge s [...]

    16. The first 2 3 of this book were magnificent The multiple, intertwined fluid levels of treachery realised with emotional subtlety, menace and unsettling prose left me agog with admiration and joy Sprinkled over this magical mix was some juicy foreshadowing about the coming showdown with Castro, where Hubbard s various and engrossingly diverse mentors would surely come together in a breathless, blitzkrieg denouement.Alas, they did not If they had, this book could have approached what Hugh Montague [...]

    17. The beginning of this book was a five star spy mystery.The end of this book was a three star, overly detailed, kinda fictionalized portrait of the relations between Cuba and the US in the early 1960s.It s like Norman Mailer started out writing a great, suspenseful story about some interesting characters, wrote a thousand pages, suddenly realized that he had no idea how to end that story, discovered that chronologically the story would include the Bay of Pigs Cuban Missile Crisis et al, decided t [...]

    18. I was proud of myself for completing this massive tome I want to say I am not opposed to reading large novels The Company, Fist of God, Without Remorse However this book just drags on several hundred pages too long Some of the real events and people in this book such as Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs, JFK were very readable However the hundreds of pages of letters exchanged between the protagonist and his love interest grinds the pace of this novel down It took real effort to get through this [...]

    19. This book is over 1200 pages long and weighs over eleven pounds Readers making it to the book s finale will, on page 1,242, find themselves greeted with the phrase t o be continued Though twenty years have elapsed since the book s publication, no additional installment has to my knowledge ever been released It also bears noting that Norman Mailer is, according to several reputable sources close to me, very likely deceased Given the foregoing, I have no alternative but to conclude that this book [...]

    20. I had to DNF this one page 322 I hate to do it I love Norman Mailer His writing is on point, his characters are well rounded, the story is meticulously researched I just can t finish this one I do not care anything about the CIA or government agencies or spy rings or intrigue I thought Mailer s writing could carry me through but it doesn t If you love Bond type stories or have always been interested in the inner workings of the CIA you will likely love this novel If you are ambivalent about thos [...]

    21. A massive book Highpoints include postwar Berlin and the events leading up to the Bay of Pigs A major problem though, is that there are too many low points too many points when I wondered why I was reading this The entire period spent on Montevidio, as well as the psychological theory of Alpha and Omega were carried out far too long Part of the difficulty, I suppose, is that nothing ever really happens to Hubbard He is merely a device for recording events and does not partake in any of them In t [...]

    22. A fascinating take on the people who spend their lives in deception and intrigue the whole CIA Cold War spy story with great characters Montague alias Harlot , his wife Kittredge and Harry Hubbard her lover and narrator of this tale This novel is peppered with real names and events and historical facts including Sam Giancana, President Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Herbert Hoover to name some.Having grownup in this period of time and remembering some of the headlines I was just mesmerized and pulled [...]

    23. Po vala som rozhlasov adapt ciu, dojmy rozpa it Asi by to chcelo cel dvoj knihu, ale na t moment lne nem m chu a m vy e 1000 str n T mu m m rada studen vojna z poh adu CIA a CIA z poh adu Mailera.

    24. In the winter of 2000 my senior English class was given a book list I don t recall why On the list was The Executioner s Song which caught my attention, as It was the title of a pretty big X Men story line years before I found it at the bookstore More than 1,000 pages It was intimidating, but I felt like I had to read it, especially when I learned what it was about.It was one of the first times I read something for pretentious purposes I loved English I loved reading Reading a 1,000 page book th [...]

    25. I am not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to begin this monster of a book 1200 pages right before tech week, but for some reason I did just that Instead of taking the expected 10 12 days, I ve been slogging through for 16 I hesitate to blame the novel because it is good , but I also cannot claim to have quite the attention span that I would normally devote to this sleep deprivation will do that On the other hand, our show has turned out better than I expected and for all of you in Madi [...]

    26. If I had bothered to do any research, I would not have read this book It s 1300 pages not something you notice in an e book purchase and it is part one of a two part epic that Norman Mailer never finished But if I had done the research, and not read the book, that would have been a mistake It s a fascinating look into the CIA in the critical post WWII period His research is astounding, and the interplay of the fictional characters with meticulous details of real world events is captivating If yo [...]

    27. A well crafted plot with rich language and prodigious research.The verbiage and references were complex and engaging This book was a worthwhile expenditure of time I had not dissected the Cuban experience or the invasion there or the life of Cuban exiles in Miami in any depth before reading this book Also got perspective about spy craft.

    28. He did not know he wouldn t finish it After a 1300 page marathon that took him seven years I m sure he wanted a decade or two break In old age many do not have the energy to produce a sequel of this stature We know what happens though He finds Harlot, they make up, and Harry goes off into a form of exile Haha.

    29. Wildly intricate look at Washington and the cold war CIA, with convincing descriptions of the spy game in Berlin, Havana, Montevideo and Washington Didn t buy the plot twist at the end, and the over the top machismo was a bit hard to swallow at times, but I tore through this and enjoyed almost every page.

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