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Idlewild Paperback – 12 Jul 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (12 July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330344501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330344500
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.8 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It has been said that everyone of a certain age remembers where they were when they heard about the assassination of President Kennedy. (I don’t, but then I was only seven months old.) Like the World Trade Centre attacks on 9/11, Kennedy’s murder has become one of the great landmark moments in history: the slaying of an iconic President that spawned thousands of different conspiracy theories, and possibly marked the passing of an age of American innocence. Many of those conspiracy theories also feature the equally iconic actress Marilyn Monroe who was believed to have had a long running affair with the President, and whose suicide in 1962, when at the peak of her fame, rocked the world.

Mark Lawson’s novel conjures an alternative history in which both of them survived. Marilyn Monroe recovers from her drug overdose and goes on to resume her career, though perhaps with some ill-chosen film ventures, while President Kennedy’s life is saved following almost miraculous medical treatment at Parkland Memorial Hospital, and he recovers to resume his Presidency and secure re-election the following year on a wave of sympathy. In November 1993, as the thirtieth year of the attempted assassination nears, the former President prepares for a thanksgiving ceremony in Boston to celebrate his escape.

The speculative nature of the novel is deftly handled, Lawson has obviously done huge amounts of research, not just into the events in Dallas in November 1963 but also into the political careers of his successors. Lyndon B Johnson suffers more than most in this alternative history, having to watch Kennedy secure a landslide re-election, and then seeing Nixon elected in 1968.
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Format: Paperback
This is the basic premise of this novel. It is 1993, Kennedy survived Dallas and Monroe her "overdose". However, the world that Mark Lawson creates is a very familiar place, with some wonderful twists and turns given to the extended lives of both Marilyn Monroe and JFK. Rather than being a "what if" book, it is about regret, fate and the control you have over your own destiny. Very funny, very thought provoking and highly addictive. Fantastic fun for the conspiracy theorists of you out there!
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Format: Paperback
Mark Lawson's novel is based on the concept that Marilyn Monroe and John Kennedy didn't die and indeed are still with us, and each other. A brilliant and creative novel with a delicious humour woven into it. It's a book to charm and intrigue you. A great read.
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