Saturday, November 01, 2008
Muffins, My Friends
Great catch by Paul Constant over at The Stranger:
McCain talked about other books he admires, contradicting his own, oft-recorded preference for Hemingway: "War and Remembrance and Winds of War are my two absolute favorite books... War and Remembrance for me, it's the whole thing." Goldberg asks, "Not a big Philip Roth fan?" And McCain curtly responds, "No, I'm not. Leon Uris I enjoyed."
...There's one particularly relevant Leon Uris book: his twelfth novel, titled A God in Ruins. Published in 1999, just as McCain's presidential ambitions were made public for the first time, Ruins tells the story of a presidential race in 2008. The hero is Quinn Patrick O'Connell, an ex-military man from Colorado who is running for president but has discovered a shameful secret: He is actually Jewish. Like all speculative fiction that's reached the date it imagines, the idea of a candidate's Jewishness being a problem is almost laughable now, but even without the central engine of the plot to concern us, there's still much to learn.
Certainly Uris's writing—"She smiled, and her eyes were big brown muffins"—can't compare to Hemingway's lean introspection....