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About the Author
A lot of what a writer does at the desk is the result of research being plugged into what happened every day of his life up to that point. Where he's born doesn't mean a lot except that's part of what he brings to the work. So let's say I was born in a small town in Western Pennsylvania where the coal mines closed thirty years before, then let's say that I found my way to New York and Ohio and New England and Florida and Istanbul with lot of stops along the way. I don't remember much about most of those places except that I was there in all of them and I was thinking. One of the things I was thinking about, because I'm always thinking about it, is the way people and governments lie to themselves and others. Those two thing--the inside and the outside of the truth--might be the same thing, really. That place of seeming contradictions is where I live. And that's where every last bit of The Satan Machine comes from. The lies piled up around the attempted assassination of the pope like few events in the history of man. Most of it had to do with geopolitics, especially those strange days when the world was divided into two competing blocs that were both sure they were right in trying to dominate. So an event that was put through the gigantic meat grinder was one that would be mangled nearly forever. That's what I've been thinking about--the hamburger, so to speak. The results will be told in several blog entries from my website, so you might want to mosey over to www.davidchacko.com. I can guarantee you a good time.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THE SATAN MACHINE is a very surprising book. A lot of that is due to the fact that David Chacko takes an event we think we know everything about and shows us we hardly know it at all. When the event is one of the most famous of the last fifty years—the attack on Pope John Paul II--that's a real and amazing accomplishment. That would be hard to accept from a writer who doesn't have everything in hand, but Chacko does it with skill. He goes down on the ground in the place where it all started—Istanbul in the late Seventies—where he tells the story of Mehmet Ali Agca's first assassination of a public figure. The people and the places are all well drawn, and the killing is a deliberate but harrowing account of the death of an important man in Turkey who tried to hold the middle against chaos. By the time the first part of the book ends, we know what will happen in the last. We also know it's the truth as it emerges from the murderous politics that we never knew about at all. So forget what you heard about this tragic story. THE SATAN MACHINE is a lot more real and a lot more gripping.
STRONG MEDICINE If you like reality in strong doses and a layer of detective work, too, then you should like The Satan Machine. It starts out like a high end mystery featuring the head of the Catholic church and ends in a botched assassination attempt that probably would have been successful if not for the intervention of an even greater force. The Satan Machine is good entertainment, good thinking and very good writing. Highly recommended.