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Fellow Travelers

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Fellow Travelers Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s: a world of bare-knuckled ideology, hard drinking, and secret dossiers, dominated by such outsized characters as Richard Nixon, Drew Pearson, Perle Mesta, and Joe McCarthy. Into this fevered city steps Timothy Laughlin, a recent Fordham graduate and devout Catholic eager to join the crusade against Communism. A chance encounter with a handsome, profligate State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to Tim's first job in D.C. and — after Fuller's advances — his first love affair. Now, as McCarthy mounts an increasingly desperate bid for power and internal investigations focus on "sexual subversives" in the government, Tim and Fuller find it ever more dangerous to navigate their double lives. Drawn into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, and clinging to the friendship of a beautiful young woman named Mary Johnson, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his love for God, and his love for Fuller — an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal.

Moving between the Senate Office Building and the Washington Evening Star, the diplomatic world of Foggy Bottom and NATO's front line in Europe, Fellow Travelers is energized by high political drama, unexpected humor, and genuine heartbreak. It is Thomas Mallon's most accomplished and daring novel to date.

Review:

"McCarthy-era Washington, D.C., is as twisted and morally compromised as a noir Los Angeles in Mallon's latest, a wide-ranging examination of betrayal and clashing ideologies. The young ladies in the secretary pool are agog over dapper bureaucrat Hawkins Fuller, though his attentions covertly focus on newly minted Fordham graduate and good Catholic Tim Laughlin. Hawkins helps Tim land a job and, after feeling out the impressionable young man, makes a place in his bed for him. Mary Johnson, a friend to both closeted men, watches with rising alarm as Tim and Hawkins carry on their affair and Washington seethes in paranoia over Communists and 'sexual deviation.' Mary, meanwhile, succumbs to her own lustful yearnings and has an affair with a married businessman, leading to a predictable, though deftly played, quandary. The District's social milieu is solidly realized, with such period icons as Mary McGrory and Drew Pearson in evidence alongside political heavyweights — McCarthy, Kennedy, Nixon and the like. Less convincing, however, is the on-again-off-again and largely one-sided relationship between Washington greenhorn Tim and cold, calculating careerist Hawkins. Mallon (Bandbox; Dewey Defeats Truman) offers an intricate, fluent and divergent perspective on a D.C. rife with backstabbing and power grabbing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'The personal is political' — one of the catchphrases of the gay liberation movement — might serve as an epigraph to Thomas Mallon's exuberant new novel, 'Fellow Travelers.' Reduced to its beams and studs (in both senses of the word), the novel is a love story. Hawkins Fuller is a handsome, Park Avenue WASP, and Tim Laughlin is a skittishly devout working-class Irish Catholic. They both work for... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The weakness of many historical novels is that the history is reduced to a theme park in which the characters cavort but represents little more. The historical import of McCarthyism helps Mallon avoid that pitfall to a significant degree: The personalities of his characters are securely tied to the environment in which they exist and represent varied potential responses to it." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"[A]n enthrallingly detailed and disturbingly relevant look at a bottom-barrel-scraping time in American history." Miami Herald

Review:

"This is Mallon's best historical novel, period, and better than most contemporary novels of any stripe." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"[A] compelling tale and a convincing picture of an era in which the most important wardrobe item for many in Washington was a mask." St. Petersburg Times

Review:

"The political drama, colorful characters, betrayals, and backstabbing of Washington politicians come alive in this recommended historical novel." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From the highly acclaimed author of Bandbox and Dewey Defeats Truman comes a searing historical novel about the competing claims of faith, love, and politics during the McCarthy era.

About the Author

Thomas Mallon is the author of two previous novels, Aurora 7 and Arts and Sciences, as well as four works of nonfiction, among them Stolen Words and A Books of One's Own. He is currently literary editor of Gentlemen's Quarterly. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375423482
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Mallon, Thomas
Publisher:
Pantheon
Subject:
Political
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Washington, d. c.
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070424
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.30x6.46x1.26 in. 1.40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Fellow Travelers Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375423482 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "McCarthy-era Washington, D.C., is as twisted and morally compromised as a noir Los Angeles in Mallon's latest, a wide-ranging examination of betrayal and clashing ideologies. The young ladies in the secretary pool are agog over dapper bureaucrat Hawkins Fuller, though his attentions covertly focus on newly minted Fordham graduate and good Catholic Tim Laughlin. Hawkins helps Tim land a job and, after feeling out the impressionable young man, makes a place in his bed for him. Mary Johnson, a friend to both closeted men, watches with rising alarm as Tim and Hawkins carry on their affair and Washington seethes in paranoia over Communists and 'sexual deviation.' Mary, meanwhile, succumbs to her own lustful yearnings and has an affair with a married businessman, leading to a predictable, though deftly played, quandary. The District's social milieu is solidly realized, with such period icons as Mary McGrory and Drew Pearson in evidence alongside political heavyweights — McCarthy, Kennedy, Nixon and the like. Less convincing, however, is the on-again-off-again and largely one-sided relationship between Washington greenhorn Tim and cold, calculating careerist Hawkins. Mallon (Bandbox; Dewey Defeats Truman) offers an intricate, fluent and divergent perspective on a D.C. rife with backstabbing and power grabbing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The weakness of many historical novels is that the history is reduced to a theme park in which the characters cavort but represents little more. The historical import of McCarthyism helps Mallon avoid that pitfall to a significant degree: The personalities of his characters are securely tied to the environment in which they exist and represent varied potential responses to it."
"Review" by , "[A]n enthrallingly detailed and disturbingly relevant look at a bottom-barrel-scraping time in American history."
"Review" by , "This is Mallon's best historical novel, period, and better than most contemporary novels of any stripe."
"Review" by , "[A] compelling tale and a convincing picture of an era in which the most important wardrobe item for many in Washington was a mask."
"Review" by , "The political drama, colorful characters, betrayals, and backstabbing of Washington politicians come alive in this recommended historical novel."
"Synopsis" by , From the highly acclaimed author of Bandbox and Dewey Defeats Truman comes a searing historical novel about the competing claims of faith, love, and politics during the McCarthy era.
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