Jubilee

Jubilee

by Robert McCrum
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Sam Gilchrist -former presidential speechwriter, half English, half American -now contemplates the failure of his marriage and his career, washed up on the shore of Reagan's America. On retreat to Cape Cod, he realizes that in order to forestall personal collapse he will have to come to grips with the moment in his life that he would most like to forget. In London in…  See more details below

Overview

Sam Gilchrist -former presidential speechwriter, half English, half American -now contemplates the failure of his marriage and his career, washed up on the shore of Reagan's America. On retreat to Cape Cod, he realizes that in order to forestall personal collapse he will have to come to grips with the moment in his life that he would most like to forget. In London in 1977, at the height of his success, he finds himself drawn into a painful and passionate affair. Ruth, his lover, introduces him to a stranger who relates a mesmerizing story -a shocking "dirty tricks" conspiracy by disenchanted patriots to topple the British administration. At the conclusion of their meeting, stirred and fascinated by these allegations, Gilchrist makes a promise. But almost immediately he discovers that to keep it he may have to betray his own father, a distant but powerful figure at the heart of the British ruling class.
Now, five years later, his father is dead and the stranger's predictions have come true, leaving Gilchrist to untangle an intrigue spanning two countries and two governments, exposing far-reaching, unsuspected machinations of power at every turn. As he uncovers layers of deceit and betrayal, he must also calculate the cost of his allegiances to his lover, his father, and his own confused identity. Jubilee is an emotionally charged thriller that unites the intensely personal with the intensely political to explore the nature treachery. And it is, Finally, Sam Gilchrist's story: part confession and part quest, however compromised, for the truth.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known in the U.S. as the author of The Story of English , McCrum, who is editorial director of Faber & Faber in London, has written several novels that barely made their way here. His new one is accomplished: smoothly written, artfully constructed and infused with a real sense of the hollow posturing at the heart of so much of public life. Narrator Sam Gilchrist, a speechwriter for President Carter, lives an uneasily transatlantic existence: his father, Admiral Lefevre, is a retired British admiral who was a bigwig in the Secret Service; his mother, after their divorce, returned to her home in America. (Angry at his father, Sam has adopted his mother's maiden name.) Sam's life is disintegrating along with the Carter administration; and both the sexy Australian journalist with whom he is deceiving his wife, and a mysterious, rather pathetic Scots army officer, who had known his father in Northern Ireland, seem convinced that Admiral Lefevre had been involved in some sort of attempted Whitehall coup. Gradually the reader is drawn into Sam's dilemma about his father as each new foray into the past brings fresh evidence to light. The territory, and something of the polished manner, are very much in the le Carre vein, but McCrum simply doesn't know that world well enough to make it entirely convincing. Still, Admiral Lefevre is a splendid creation, and anyone in search of a highly intelligent suspense novel with unexpected layers of emotion will find it thoroughly involving and satisfying. (June)
Library Journal
Best known for his nonfiction The Story of the English (LJ 8/86), McCrum here takes the reader on a journey into political conspiracy and cover-up, Anglo style. Set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, his fifth novel details an alleged plot by a group of army officers in Northern Ireland to topple a "weak" Labour government. When one of their number breaks ranks, he is framed for murder. The story is brought to the attention of Sam, the narrator, a speech writer for President Carter, by a young Australian journalist with whom he begins an adulterous and doomed affair. The twist is that the leading conspirator turns out to be the narrator's semi-estranged father, and Sam finds himself torn between familial loyalty and his duty to tell the truth that may keep an innocent man out of jail. With just the right touch of cynicism, McCrum slowly peels back layers of his plot, leading the reader to an appreciation of Sam's dilemma and an understanding of his decision. An intelligent, well-written suspense novel best suited to public libraries.-David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679429876
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/17/1994
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
225
Product dimensions:
5.89(w) x 8.65(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Robert McCrum is the author of four novels, as well as The Story of English, for which he received an Emmy and a Peabody Award. He was educated at Cambridge and the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in London.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
July 7, 1953
Place of Birth:
Cambridge, England
Education:
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England, 1972-75; University of Pennsylvania, 1975-76

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >