Print the Legend by Craig McDonald (Minotaur) 352 pagesRead about the other books on the list.
The Hector Lassiter series took a significant step forward in 2010 when author Craig McDonald released his third book about the renegade hard-boiled writer, Print the Legend. Set in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1965, four years after Ernest Hemingway’s suicide, old Papa pal Lassiter finds himself the keynote speaker at a symposium about his drinking and writing rival and fellow spirit. Hemingway is on the verge of becoming the literary cottage industry that we know today with dissertations, journals, and academic jealousies. On top of it all, Mary Hemingway, the black widow herself, is still ensconced in the Ketchum home where she is said to be ready to release a posthumous memoir Hemingway wrote about his experiences in 1920s Paris, a book familiar to us today as A Moveable Feast. Yet all is clearly not right, since a rogue CIA agent named Donovan Creedy is lurking about the symposium, apparently hell-bent on destroying Papa’s reputation -- and take Lassiter out in the process. Meanwhile, Lassiter is trying to subdue the widow Hemingway, retrieve some long-lost papers, and keep Creedy from screwing Papa over once and for all. McDonald helps to keep this story timely by dovetailing it nicely into the recent controversy surrounding a re-editing of A Moveable Feast by one of the great author’s grandson, Sean Hemingway -- a “restored” version that received significant criticism from Hemingway loyalists. Like the previous entries in the Lassiter series, Head Games (2007) and Toros and Torsos (2008), in Print the Legend McDonald pulls from the archives of conspiracies and skullduggery to compose a rollicking yarn, taking no prisoners and never letting up on the adrenaline. One can’t help but be reminded, when reading several sections of this novel, of that old joke about why battles in academia are so vicious: because the stakes are so modest. -- Stephen Miller
The Page 69 Test: Print the Legend.
My Book, The Movie: Print the Legend.