clifford irving

Review of ‘Stranger’

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Through stubbornness and utter disregard for others, Gavin Roy turned an isolated valley in New Mexico into one of the richest mining and ranching areas in the Old West. He bent everyone, man or woman, to his will—or destroyed them—except for his rebellious son, Clay, and the beautiful woman from New York that he took to his bed after the death of Clay’s mother.

Stranger by acclaimed author Clifford Irving is an epic tale of the western frontier, and the men and women who made it great, told from the point of view of one dysfunctional family and their relationships—among themselves, with others around them, and with the land itself.

Irving, who served 2-1/2 years in prison for his faked autobiography of Howard Hughes, is in fine form in this tale of the Old West with a slightly different take on a beloved genre. There are no white hats versus black hats, and the hero doesn’t kiss his horse and ride off into the sunset. In the real west, people loved and hated, lived and died, and life was sometimes short and brutal, and true to his style, Irving pulls no punches.

Review of ‘Autobiography of Howard Hughes’

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Reclusive billionaire, Howard Hughes, is one of the most famous, and little-known men of the 20th century. Tycoon, recluse, filmmaker, and aviator, more myths have been circulated about Hughes than the ‘Flying Dutchman.’ Clifford Irving’s Autobiography of Howard Hughes: Confessions of an Unhappy Billionaire purports to be Hughes’ life story, told in his own words. While the veracity of this account cannot be definitely established, it rings true, and is not just a story of Howard Hughes, but a series of untold stories of many other luminaries in American history during the period of Hughes life.

Whether you chose to believe this account or not is irrelevant, it is mesmerizing reading. A new, and somewhat disturbing look at the lives and times of some of the most well-known personalities in politics, entertainment and business, that will challenge everything you think you know.

I give it four stars.

Review of ‘The Sleeping Spy’

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Eddie Mancuso formerly worked for the CIA and Vasily Borgneff for the KGB. The two were specialists in creating unusual killing devices (UKDs), which were used by their agencies for ‘special’ missions. Tired of their talents being used for murder, they decided to retire, but their agencies refused, so they decided to kill their way out. In the process, they had a falling out and Eddie left Vasily for dead—he thought.

Now, Eddie lives in his native New York under an assumed name and has fund a woman he can love, but his past catches up with him when the CIA gets word that there is a KGB sleeper agent in the U.S., and he’s part of a major planned Soviet propaganda operation. Eddie’s problem; the agent is his girlfriend’s father, and the man, after 35 years living as an American, he loves his adopted country and wants no part of the operation. That, of course, makes him a target of both country’s spy agencies, and only Eddie can save him and his family. Then, Eddie learns that Vasily survived and is after him for revenge.

The Sleeping Spy by Clifford Irving and Herbert Burkholz is a fascinating international thriller written in the 1960s style, before the breakup of the USSR, when the KGB was America’s number one enemy. Chocked full of double dealing and death dealing, this book will thrill fans of espionage novels a la Le Carre. The ending will hit you like a blow to the solar plexus and leave you breathless.

I give it four stars.