Oswald's Tale by Norman Mailer
An American Mystery

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Synopsis

In perhaps his most important literary feat, Norman Mailer fashions an unprecedented portrait of one of the great villains—and enigmas—in United States history. Here is Lee Harvey Oswald—his family background, troubled marriage, controversial journey to Russia, and return to an “America [waiting] for him like an angry relative whose eyes glare in the heat.” Based on KGB and FBI transcripts, government reports, letters and diaries, and Mailer’s own international research, this is an epic account of a man whose cunning, duplicity, and self-invention were both at home in and at odds with the country he forever altered.
 
Praise for Oswald’s Tale
 
“America’s largest mystery has found its greatest interpreter.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance. . . . From the American master conjurer of dark and swirling purpose, a moving reflection.”—Robert Stone, The New York Review of Books
 
“A narrative of tremendous energy and panache; the author at the top of his form.”—Christopher Hitchens, Financial Times
 
“The performance of an author relishing the force and reach of his own acuity.”—Martin Amis, The Sunday Times (London)
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Norman Mailer

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Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked and the Dead; The Armies of the Night, for which he won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; The Executioner's Song, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize; and The Castle in the Forest.Frank Rich is a columnist for The New York Times. His latest book is The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina.
 
Published January 23, 2007 by Random House. 865 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Oswald's Tale

Kirkus Reviews

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Mailer subtly exercises his novelist's imagination and expends considerable journalistic shoe-leather probing our central cultural conundrum -- Lee Harvey Oswald: Patsy or Lone Assassin?

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Publishers Weekly

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Mailer opines that Lee Harvey Oswald was a sincere Marxist, a nihilist and an inveterate liar who was motivated to assassinate John F. Kennedy in order to shake up the world, to create the conditions

Apr 03 1995 | Read Full Review of Oswald's Tale: An American My...

Publishers Weekly

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Mailer opines that Lee Harvey Oswald was a sincere Marxist, a nihilist and an inveterate liar who was motivated to assassinate John F.

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Entertainment Weekly

After nearly 800 pages of Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery), after describing the JFK assassination as ''the greatest mountain of mystery in the twentieth century,'' after describing the Warren Commission report as ''a dead whale decomposing on a beach,'' and after some strenuous speculation a...

May 19 1995 | Read Full Review of Oswald's Tale: An American My...

Entertainment Weekly

The disparity between Oswald's character (neurotic twerp) and his consequence (changing the course of American history) gives Norman Mailer a worse case of vertigo than the most convoluted conspiracy scenario.

Jul 19 1996 | Read Full Review of Oswald's Tale: An American My...

People

Drawn again to the '60s, this time to the tragedy of Dallas in November 1963, Mailer and literary investigator-book packager Larry Schiller (who worked with the author on The Executioner's Song) sift through the magnified detritus of Lee Harvey Oswald's life.

May 29 1995 | Read Full Review of Oswald's Tale: An American My...

London Review of Books

‘When it comes to lying,’ Mailer warbled to gossip-columnist Liz Smith of the New York Daily News in the mid-Eighties, ‘Larry Schiller makes Baron von Munchausen look like George Washington.’ Yet at the beginning of this new book there is an appreciation: ‘to Larry Schiller, my skilled and wily c...

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Red Room

Later, after He and Lawrence Schiller received permission from the Gorbechev government, under Glostnost, to review the KGB files and on Oswald, conducting interviews with the surviving witnesses and individuals with connections to Oswald, and having studied the Warren Report, all volumes, he cam...

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Reader Rating for Oswald's Tale
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