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Publisher's Summary

Buried deep within the consciousness of Sergeant Raymond Shaw is the mechanism of an assassin, a time bomb ticking toward explosion, controlled by the delicate skill of its Communist masters. Shaw returns from the Korean War to an idolizing and unsuspecting country. In a farcical, uproarious scene, he is greeted amid flashbulbs and frock coats by his power-hungry, domineering mother and her politician husband, who have decided to use Shaw's fame to further their own unscrupulous ambitions. What follows is at once a spy story, a love story, and a sobering, yet outrageously funny satire on demagoguery in American politics. Two tender love stories provide an undercurrent theme: the powers of light against the powers of dark. Shaw, the pawn, the brainwashed, is caught between the forces struggling for his soul.
©1959 by Richard Condon; (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"A psychoanalytic horror tale...and an irate sociopolitical satire." (The New York Times)
"Filled with that 'un-put-downable' element which makes this sort of [listening] a great deal of fun indeed." (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Hunter on 01-27-03

What a wonderful title!

Both the author and the narrator of this book are truly skilled and make this title a genuine treat. The speed of both the plot and narration are perfectly excecuted and the characterization is superb. What is an excellent plot is made even better by this narration!

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

By Jason on 06-05-07


The Manchurian Candidate, published in 1959 is as relevant as it was than as it is now. Dealing with political manipulation and spy thriller, Richard Condon weaves a tight human drama against the backdrop of political espionage and intrigue. The characters are developed in three dimensions, even Raymond’s mother, who is in competition as the worst mother of all time, has sympathetic moments. You also get the sense of Greek tragedy and a psychological study through Raymond’s 9 year ordeal during the political rise of his family. Condon also does something very smart and mentions no political affiliation of any character (although it is somewhat alluded to) and although his allusion to McCarthyism was a main focal point and quite apparent, it still has scary similarities to today’s world of talking heads in the media and political world. Like “1984” before it, “The Manchurian Candidate” will always serve as a warning about the trust we put in our elected officials and to whom their true motivation lies.
The narration is strong and keeps your interest throughout.
Highly recommended as one of the best political thrillers of the past 60 years.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Tom on 08-09-09

An entertaining read

A couple of Richard Condon's books (this one (original version not the rather lame recent re-make) and "Prizzi's Honour" with Jack Nicholson) have been turned into excellent films, and you can see why. Tight and intriguing plots, a well balanced mix of thrills, satire and humour, likeable characters and splendid villains and tremendous momentum. I particularly enjoyed the mix of satire and thriller in the Manchurian Candidate - puts you in mind of present day political shenanigans!

I've docked a star because of the variability in the narration. The narration itself is really excellent - the satire is splendidly brought out, for example - but the way in which the narrative has been edited together is sometimes a bit disjointed, with overlong gaps between paragraphs and sentences, which I found mildly off-putting.

Overall, though warmly recommended.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Duncan Barrett on 04-05-17

Great audiobook

An excellent recording of a fascinating novel. You can tell it's a few decades old, but it doesn't detract from the enjoyment and the narrator does a great job.

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