peteg's blog - noise - books - 2012 09 16 Burdick Lederer Sarkhan

E. Burdick and W. J. Lederer: Sarkhan. (1966)

/noise/books | Link

Presumably encouraged by the public's response to The Ugly American, Burdick and Lederer concocted this follow-up novel in 1964. They return to Sarkhan, their fictional hybrid South-East Asian kingdom of harmonious Buddhist and Moslem agrarians, where the competition for influence between the Communists and the U.S. is embryonic. Again the great bureucratic machines of Washington are shown to be incapable of rising to the task or of interpreting information that conflicts with the narrative of the day. One would expect things to be much worse now with so many new fiefdoms minted after 9/11.

I quite enjoyed this one, perhaps because I don't read too many diplomacy-espionage-revolution thrillers. Graham Greene's genre probably died with him.