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The Fourth K
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About the Author

MARIO PUZO was born in New York and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, The Godfather, was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels, The Dark Arena and The Fortunate Pilgrim. In 1978, he published Fools Die, followed by The Sicilian, The Fourth K, The Last Don, Omerta, and The Family. Mario Puzo has also written several screenplays, including Earthquake, Superman, and all three Godfather movies, for which he received two Academy Awards. He died in July 1999 at his home on Long Island, New York, at the age of seventy-eight.

Reviews

The latest from the author of The Godfather is a surefire success, a political novel that starts with a terrorist assassination of the pope on Easter Sunday, a deed that sends global aftershocks to jolt the power strongholds around the world, from the palace of the sultan of Sherhaben to the White House. The U.S. president is charismatic Francis Xavier Kennedy, scion of the famed and ill-fated clan. Still mourning his dead wife, Kennedy turns his energies to the country's betterment, forging an idealistic ``new social contract.'' But Kennedy is also a target of the terrorists, whose mentalities the novel deftly probes: Romeo, a ``Christ of Violence,'' needs to atone for his pampered upbringing; Yabril, a fierce Arab, privately thirsts to smite--like the angel Azazel--the president's daughter Theresa. After an appalling crime is committed, Kennedy coldly vows to bomb Sherhaben off the map, despite the American fortunes invested there. His cabinet and the wily, aged members of the Socrates Club--who control grain, real estate, oil, the media and Congress--plot to impeach him. Random acts of violence by young Americans (e.g., naive MIT scientists who plant a mini-atom bomb in Manhattan) enliven and multiply the dangers. Within the male power hierarchy, capable women like vice-president Helen Du Pray calculate their moves. Astute characterizations, vivid drama and Puzo's shrewd analyses of the paradoxes of evil detonate a top-notch thriller. (Jan.)

"[A] CLASSIC PAGE-TURNER . . . THE FOURTH K HAS ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU LOOK FOR IN A THRILLER."
-The Washington Post "FAST-PACED, SATISFYING . . . FINE ENTERTAINMENT."
-Los Angeles Times

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