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The Ghost

by Robert Harris

The Ghost
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2007, 335 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2008, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein

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Beverly, California (04/22/08)

The Ghost by Robert Harris
I was stunned to see this book's rating. It is one of the best books I have read in months. The writing is deceptively simple and deft....similar to Graham Greene's style.

The "Ghost" is an English ghostwriter of "has-been" celebrity biographies. He takes on (for a very generous sum) this hurried assignment of an unfinished book about a recently retired English Prime Minister, a character closely modeled on Tony Blair. The rewrite and completion is difficult with elements of urgency, mystery and, possibly, danger, for the writer.

The characters of the "ghost", the P.M. his wife and his assistant are adroitly exposed. We are quickly gifted with an insider's glimpse of what would have been, should have been and could have been, actually never was. The outsiders' "truth" was merely clever "spin".

The dreary, wintry, Chappaquidick itself lends a mood of isolation and nothing-as-it-seems disquiet.

For me, the ending was shocking, but had certainly been foreshadowed. I have touted this book to all my friends and cannot understand why it isn't on bestseller lists.
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