Murder in Mount Holly

( 1 )

Overview

Paul Theroux, one of the world’s most popular authors, both for his travel books and his fiction, has produced an off-beat story of 1960s weirdos unlike anything he has ever written.

During the time of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job. His income from the Kant-Brake toy factory, which manufactures military toys for children, keeps his chocolate-loving mother from starvation. Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, also ...

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Murder in Mount Holly

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Overview

Paul Theroux, one of the world’s most popular authors, both for his travel books and his fiction, has produced an off-beat story of 1960s weirdos unlike anything he has ever written.

During the time of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job. His income from the Kant-Brake toy factory, which manufactures military toys for children, keeps his chocolate-loving mother from starvation. Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, also works at Kant-Brake. When Herbie is drafted, Mr. Gibbon falls in love with Herbie’s mother and they move in together at Miss Ball’s rooming house. Since Herbie is fighting for his country, Mr. Gibbon feels that he, too, should do something for his country and convinces Miss Ball and Mrs. Gneiss to join him in the venture. They decide to rob the Mount Holly Trust Company because it is managed by a small dark man who is probably a communist. There are some complications. Combine Donald E. Westlake with Abby Hoffman, add a bit of Gore Vidal at his most vitriolic, and you will have Murder in Mount Holly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First published in the U.K. in 1969, Theroux’s slight caper novel, set in the small American town of Mount Holly, uneasily mixes dark comedy and violence. Herbie Gneiss, who’s quit college at the urging of his hypochondriac, overweight widowed mother, is looking into work at Kant-Brake Toys, a local factory. After landing a job there, Herbie moves to a rooming house run by Nettie Ball, who has another Kant-Brake employee as a lodger, Charlie Gibbon, “a fuddy-duddy, not a geezer,” who later falls for Herbie’s mom. After Herbie is drafted, Nettie, Charlie, and Mrs. Gneiss decide to rob “a communist bank,” to “prove to the world that old folks still had a lot of spunk left.” Bodies soon start to drop. It’s a subpar effort for the prolific Theroux, best known for his travel books (Ghost Train to the Eastern Star). (Dec.)
Library Journal
Nope, no trains and no travel, though one can anticipate Theroux's amusingly acid prose. It's the Sixties, and Herbie Gneiss works at the Kant-Brake factory. When he's drafted, his mother and his colleague, Mr. Gibbon, fall in love and scheme with their landlady to strike a patriotic blow by robbing the Mount Holly Trust Company, whose manager is, they believe, a Communist. Clearly, there's more going on here than your average whodunit has to offer; for mystery fans who like a sophisticated or satiric bent to their work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802155108
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,165,138
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Damon

    "Cant you find normal friends? Human friends?"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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