American Adulterer by Jed Mercurio
A Novel

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Synopsis

• Taut, magnificent prose: Mercurio’s premise—to chronicle Kennedy’s exploits, political and sexual, through the President’s own anguished but self-centered perspective—is bold to the point of hubris, but he succeeds in spades. The writing is elegant, spare, and wry; the narrative is exquisitely paced. The book’s ending is emotionally shattering—empathetic, redemptive, and shocking.

• Startlingly revisionist portrait of JFK: We see Kennedy at his best, as a visionary statesman, a former soldier turned moral pacifist, a loving parent and devoted husband. And we see him at his worst, as a compulsive philanderer whose countless conquests—of movie stars, socialites, secretaries, and interns—ruined hundreds of lives.

• Amazing cast of characters: They are all here: Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson, Judith Campbell, LBJ, Fiddle and Faddle, Eisenhower, and perhaps most memorably, Jacqueline Kennedy.
 

About Jed Mercurio

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Jed Mercurio trained as a doctor and, while at medical school, received extensive flying training with the Royal Air Force. As a resident in internal medicine, he wrote a groundbreaking medical drama for the BBC, Cardiac Arrest. His first novel, Bodies, was chosen by The Guardian as one of the top five debuts of 2002. He adapted the novel into an award-winning drama series for the BBC and is currently developing a version for American television. He lives outside London.
 
Published June 30, 2009 by Simon & Schuster. 353 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Adulterer

The Guardian

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(A more faithful version, starring Sean Penn, was made in 2006.) American Adulterer : A Novel by Jed Mercurio Find this on the Guardian bookshop Sear...

Mar 29 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

The Guardian

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It seems so obvious that one wonders why no one has done it before - to take a novel, clinical approach to John F Kennedy as a case study in philandering and psychosexual pathology, conditioned by a history of medical illness that required a plethora of drugs to maintain the illusion of vigour an...

Apr 11 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

AV Club

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Still, the remove granted by treating Kennedy’s womanizing at arm’s length works against Mercurio when the situation calls for empathizing with him waiting at a Boston hospital for the prognosis of his as-yet-unborn son, or pacing the floor of the Oval Office.

Jul 23 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

The novel often leans on Dallek's work to construct a portrait of someone whose boudoir antics seem doubly incredible given that Kennedy's damaged back meant that he sometimes couldn't even get into bed unaided.

Jul 08 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

The Washington Post

"American Adulterer," a novel based loosely on John Kennedy's days in the White House, purports to examine our former president's adulterous career.

Jul 17 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

The Telegraph

The novel is concerned with cataloguing its subject, sometimes pausing for a professional disagreement or aphorism (“men make their match not with the woman they can get, but with the woman they can keep”).

Apr 30 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

The Bookbag

For a reliable history of the Kennedy years, try Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot.

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

USA Today

It takes a great deal of audacity and no less imagination to dissect the libidinous mind of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, but British doctor-turned-novelist Jed Mercurio comes equipped with a little black bag, ready to operate.Mercurio, who created the BBC medical dramas Bodies and Cardiac Arrest, del...

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Tampa Bay Times

American Adulterer draws a vivid — sometimes excruciatingly so — picture of Kennedy's constant battle with the physical pain caused by serious injuries on the football field and during World War II, complicated by the debilitating effects of Addison's disease and the dizzying array of drugs his t...

Jul 17 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

Scotsman.com

We see them on 15 July, every year, for years and years.

Mar 12 2010 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

The Ann Arbor News reported that in a statement, owner Karl Pohrt "said the shop is not a sustainable business anymore despite 'a first-rate staff, a fiercely loyal core of customers, a very decent landlord and my own commitment to the community of arts and letters in Ann Arbor.'" For more than a...

Jun 10 2009 | Read Full Review of American Adulterer: A Novel

Reader Rating for American Adulterer
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