rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Manchurian Candidate is a picture of national fear, family dysfunction, and truly terrible betrayals. Raymond Shaw is one of the least likable main characters I've ever met. But I still had compassion for him, as a product of so many people's desires and psychosis, his character is not his fault. Richard Condon describes him as one with his armor. Which is a sad thing, to be unable to shed that.
Even though I know the sort of brainwashing discussed in this book isn't currently possible (as far as we know) it was still very frightening. The idea of not being in control of yourself, and being unaware of that fact, is particularly repellent. This story gave me a lot to think about, and it has been on my mind for days. I keep coming back to certain parts of it, taking them out, examining them again.
I would suggest this book should be required reading. And I also think that Raymond's mother should be on a list somewhere of fictions most disturbing villanesses!
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