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Super

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ISBN13: 9781400067633
ISBN10: 1400067634
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express, Jim Lehrer brings together a cast of characters as fascinating as the historic train that will carry them from Chicago to Los Angeles. In its heyday, the Santa Fe railroad’s famous Super Chief was so replete with wealth and celebrity that it became known as “The Train of the Stars.” And so we find it in April of 1956, embarking from the Windy City for its trip across the Plains to the West Coast.

Climbing aboard is an amazing spectrum of passengers. There’s Darwin Rinehart, a once great Hollywood producer whose most recent movie was a total flop and who now faces bankruptcy and shame. In a dark recess of a train car hides a mysterious, disheveled, sickly man who has not paid for a ticket, smuggled inside by an unscrupulous porter. Millionaire Otto Wheeler arrives in a wheelchair; deathly ill, he knows that this will be his last trip on the great train. Clark Gable causes a stir when he steps aboard, and though he’s ridden these rails for years, indulging in booze and women with equal fervor, those around him sense that this time, something is different. And finally there’s former President Harry Truman, distinguished, congenial, and constantly accompanied, for his protection, by a railroad detective.

As the Super Chief pulls out of Dearborn Station, the passengers — famous and infamous, anonymous and enigmatic — can’t possibly imagine what lies ahead. For as the train gains speed, a series of deadly events unfolds.

Full of remarkable detail and passion for a lost world of opulence and all its intrigue and delights, Jim Lehrer’sSuper spins a complex web of suspense. The twists and turns will keep readers turning the pages at top speed to finish one of the most captivating stories of Lehrer’s prolific career.

Review:

"Those expecting an Agatha Christie homage from TV journalist Lehrer (Mack to the Rescue) will be disappointed by this subpar crime novel set in 1956 almost entirely aboard the Super Chief, the train that ran for years between Chicago and Los Angeles. Passengers include a mysterious sickly man, Dale Lawrence, who gets on in Chicago after bribing a porter for a sleeping berth, as well as celebrities like Clark Gable and former president Harry Truman. Many pages of superficial character development pass before the first corpse appears. Arch attempts at satire (e.g., a movie producer's plan for a film set on the train is clearly meant to be a nod to Hitchcock's North by Northwest) don't mix well with earnest scenes like the one in which Lawrence confronts Truman about his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan and later authorize nuclear tests in Nevada." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Many of Lehrer’s 19 previous novels showcased his abiding love for simpler times: mid-twentieth-century America, the small-town Midwest, and the intercity bus lines of that time and region. This time out, he focuses his attention on the Super Chief, the luxurious Sante Fe Railroad train that carried the rich and famous from Chicago to Los Angeles in just over 39 hours. Set in 1956, the tale involves three mysterious deaths, former president Harry Truman, actor Clark Gable, a movie producer whose last picture flopped, and a callow, movie-loving Sante Fe passenger agent. It’s Lehrer in typically fine form: wonderful detail about railroad operations and life on the Super; small prairie towns that owed their existence to the Sante Fe; Hollywood’s worries about television; rail’s apparent lack of worry about airlines; gossip about Gable’s prodigious womanizing; and concerns about radiation from nuclear tests in Nevada. Remarkably, however, the book’s central events are true, as Lehrer testifies in an epilogue. Lehrer is a national treasure, and Super is, well... super." Booklist

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express, Jim Lehrer brings together a cast of characters as fascinating as the historic train that will carry them from Chicago to Los Angeles. In its heyday, the Santa Fe railroad’s famous Super Chief was so replete with wealth and celebrity that it became known as “The Train of the Stars.” And so we find it in April of 1956, embarking from the Windy City for its trip across the Plains to the West Coast. 

   

Climbing aboard is an amazing spectrum of passengers. There’s Darwin Rinehart, a once great Hollywood producer whose most recent movie was a total flop and who now faces bankruptcy and shame. In a dark recess of a train car hides a mysterious, disheveled, sickly man who has not paid for a ticket, smuggled inside by an unscrupulous porter. Millionaire Otto Wheeler arrives in a wheelchair; deathly ill, he knows that this will be his last trip on the great train. Clark Gable causes a stir when he steps aboard, and though he’s ridden these rails for years, indulging in booze and women with equal fervor, those around him sense that this time, something is different. And finally there’s former President Harry Truman, distinguished, congenial, and constantly accompanied, for his protection, by a railroad detective.

 

    As the Super Chief pulls out of Dearborn Station, the passengers—famous and infamous, anonymous and enigmatic—can’t possibly imagine what lies ahead. For as the train gains speed, a series of deadly events unfolds.

   

Full of remarkable detail and passion for a lost world of opulence and all its intrigue and delights, Jim Lehrer’s Super spins a complex web of suspense. The twists and turns will keep readers turning the pages at top speed to finish one of the most captivating stories of Lehrer’s prolific career.

About the Author

This is Jim Lehrer’s twentieth novel. He is also the author of two memoirs and three plays and is the executive editor and anchor of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He and his novelist wife, Kate, have three daughters.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

chorne, April 29, 2011 (view all comments by chorne)
This is the first book by the well known auther that I have read. It is an interesting look behind the scenes at a variety of things, The Super Chief, Hollywood of the '50s, atomic testing, etc. While the ending was a bit trite and obvious it was still an interesting read. The author captured the feeling of the era well. My major problem was the inclusion of a subplot with a decidedly modern sensibility, it was a bit jarring, it felt as if the whole purpose of the book was to get that particular subplot into the spotlight. As I said, an interesting read, I will be reading more by this author, I will just have to be aware of the potential for certain political leanings to surface.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400067633
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Lehrer, Jim
Author:
Lehrer, James
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Travelers
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100420
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.54x6.12x.86 in. .78 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Super Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Random House - English 9781400067633 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Those expecting an Agatha Christie homage from TV journalist Lehrer (Mack to the Rescue) will be disappointed by this subpar crime novel set in 1956 almost entirely aboard the Super Chief, the train that ran for years between Chicago and Los Angeles. Passengers include a mysterious sickly man, Dale Lawrence, who gets on in Chicago after bribing a porter for a sleeping berth, as well as celebrities like Clark Gable and former president Harry Truman. Many pages of superficial character development pass before the first corpse appears. Arch attempts at satire (e.g., a movie producer's plan for a film set on the train is clearly meant to be a nod to Hitchcock's North by Northwest) don't mix well with earnest scenes like the one in which Lawrence confronts Truman about his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan and later authorize nuclear tests in Nevada." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Many of Lehrer’s 19 previous novels showcased his abiding love for simpler times: mid-twentieth-century America, the small-town Midwest, and the intercity bus lines of that time and region. This time out, he focuses his attention on the Super Chief, the luxurious Sante Fe Railroad train that carried the rich and famous from Chicago to Los Angeles in just over 39 hours. Set in 1956, the tale involves three mysterious deaths, former president Harry Truman, actor Clark Gable, a movie producer whose last picture flopped, and a callow, movie-loving Sante Fe passenger agent. It’s Lehrer in typically fine form: wonderful detail about railroad operations and life on the Super; small prairie towns that owed their existence to the Sante Fe; Hollywood’s worries about television; rail’s apparent lack of worry about airlines; gossip about Gable’s prodigious womanizing; and concerns about radiation from nuclear tests in Nevada. Remarkably, however, the book’s central events are true, as Lehrer testifies in an epilogue. Lehrer is a national treasure, and Super is, well... super."
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express, Jim Lehrer brings together a cast of characters as fascinating as the historic train that will carry them from Chicago to Los Angeles. In its heyday, the Santa Fe railroad’s famous Super Chief was so replete with wealth and celebrity that it became known as “The Train of the Stars.” And so we find it in April of 1956, embarking from the Windy City for its trip across the Plains to the West Coast. 

   

Climbing aboard is an amazing spectrum of passengers. There’s Darwin Rinehart, a once great Hollywood producer whose most recent movie was a total flop and who now faces bankruptcy and shame. In a dark recess of a train car hides a mysterious, disheveled, sickly man who has not paid for a ticket, smuggled inside by an unscrupulous porter. Millionaire Otto Wheeler arrives in a wheelchair; deathly ill, he knows that this will be his last trip on the great train. Clark Gable causes a stir when he steps aboard, and though he’s ridden these rails for years, indulging in booze and women with equal fervor, those around him sense that this time, something is different. And finally there’s former President Harry Truman, distinguished, congenial, and constantly accompanied, for his protection, by a railroad detective.

 

    As the Super Chief pulls out of Dearborn Station, the passengers—famous and infamous, anonymous and enigmatic—can’t possibly imagine what lies ahead. For as the train gains speed, a series of deadly events unfolds.

   

Full of remarkable detail and passion for a lost world of opulence and all its intrigue and delights, Jim Lehrer’s Super spins a complex web of suspense. The twists and turns will keep readers turning the pages at top speed to finish one of the most captivating stories of Lehrer’s prolific career.

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