Paul Theroux, one of the world's most popular authors, both for his travel books and his fiction, has produced an off-beat story of 1960s weirdos unlike anything he has ever written.
During the time of Lyndon Johnson's presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job, which happens to be at the Kant-Brake toy factory, which manufactures military toys for children. His income keeps his chocolate-loving mother, who tips the scales at a smidgeon over 200 pounds, from starvation.
Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, also works at Kant-Brake. When Herbie is drafted, Mr. Gibbon falls in love with Herbie's mother and they move in together at Miss Ball's rooming house. Since Herbie is fighting for his country, Mr. Gibbon feels that he, too, should do something for his country and convinces Miss Ball and Mrs. Gneiss to join him in the venture.
They decide to rob the Mount Holly Trust Company because it is managed by a small dark man who is probably a communist. There are some complications, including Herbie's death in action, Miss Ball's jealous Puerto Rican lover, and a few unavoidable murders--not to mention three people over sixty pulling off a bank robbery in broad daylight.
Combine Donald E. Westlake with Abby Hoffman, add a bit of Gore Vidal at his most vitriolic, and you will have Murder in Mount Holly.
Praise for Murder in Mount Holly
The geezer psychopath finally gets his due... The fun here is in how hateful the characters are. -The New York Times Book Review
Murder in Mount Holly parodies the American political fringe at a time when flags burned, hippies protested and commies lurked everywhere...you'll have little difficulty inserting today's fringe characters into Theroux's lampoon. --Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Christopher Moore andTony Robbins come to mind. It's kind of like watching All in the Family when all of a sudden Edith comes home with a suitcase full of body parts... Fans are sure to enjoy both the read and the stretch. -Bookreporter
The situations and dialogue are often hilarious, invoking reactions that range from a simple smile to belly laughs. It is a parable that applies today...Murder in Mount Holly is a most entertaining read. --About.com
...a Vonnegut tinged absurdist satire...(a) tightly paced, expertly drawn comic romp. --Lit Reactor Praise for Paul Theroux
Theroux has established himself in the tradition of Conrad, or perhaps Somerset Maugham. --The New York Times Book Review
What makes Paul Theroux so good is what always separates the fine writers from the pack: his ability to look at the familiar in a fresh, original way--and make us richer for it. --The Philadelphia Inquirer
Reading Theroux becomes a journey of the unexpected, the comedic, the bureaucratically tangled and the marvelous. It is like all good journeys should be. --The Plain Dealer
Theroux is an irresistible storyteller, able to hook you with his first few lines. He dazzles not just with the number of places he writes about but the number he can evoke as if they were home. --Chicago Tribune
Murder in Mount Holly