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Condon, Richard

candidate political novels film

(US, 1915–96)

Condon spent over twenty years as a publicist in the film industry before becoming a writer. This experience shows in novels that are tightly plotted and alive with vivid scenes, products of a fertile and febrile imagination. His best-known book, The Manchurian Candidate (1959), is a gripping political thriller, made into a brilliant Frank Sinatra film, in which the stepson of a US congressman is the brainwashed assassin of a presidential candidate. Condon's passion for authentic detail and setting, and his skill at character drawing, are used to chilling effect in An Infinity of Mirrors (1964), as the sordid depravity of Nazi anti-Semitism is seen through the eyes of a young French Jewess who falls in love with a German soldier. Winter Kills (1974) returns to the theme of political paranoia, with echoes of the Kennedy assassination. Late in his career Condon began a successful series of black comedy novels about the Mafia, starting with Prizzi's Honor (1982), for which he also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay.

Thomas Pynchon, Terry Southern, Don DeLillo  TH

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