Mike's Reviews > Harlot's Ghost

Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer
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Aug 04, 08

Read in July, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Wow, finally finished. 8 weeks in the making but it was worth every page.
Although this book is utterly boring in the "action" sense of the word, Mailer has a strange sense of making anything interesting and difficult to stop reading. The man could retype the phone book and it would be a hit.
I do find several things curious. The most prevalent being that I'm not quite sure why it was titled Harlot's Ghost, as it is that Harlot's character is not only fairly secondary despite his character's under girding carriage throughout the narrative, but he's not actually confirmed as being dead; as is implied in the very beginning of the book.
The most provocative plot throughout this epic and complex novel, though, is Hubbard's subversive relationship with Kittredge, as I'm sure Mailer intended; what with his more and more obviously waning libido (If anybody in recent memory spent more time talking about the sexual application of the least sexual of topics I'd like to see how). It's difficult to expect one to expatiate on the subject given that my edition clocks in at 1134 pages, (I'll leave that to good ol' Normy Norm), but I am certainly disapointed that Mailer didn't get around to fulfilling on his expressed intention of writing what would surely have been another epicly ameliorative continuation of this harrowing story. I suppose someone will have to address that for him posthumously.
Reader beware, the remarkably interesting beginning sees absolutely no fruition, simply a "To Be Continued". You don't find out if it's actually Harlot's body that washed up to shore, Harrick and Kittredge's affair never realizes itself and you certainly don't find out if Harlot was actually a double agent for the KGB; all of which can imaginably be figured from conjecture. But for you purists out there it will prove immensely disappointing.
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Quotes Mike Liked

Norman Mailer
“Bright was the light of my last martini on my moral horizon”
Norman Mailer, Harlot's Ghost


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