Ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be
popular. A disgruntled New York corporate lawyer, he's more than
ready to leave his lucrative career for the excitement and
uncertainty of journalism. When he's offered the post of foreign
correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a
homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared
larger-than-life reporter he's been sent to replace, Barrington
Saddler, as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate.
Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about
their beloved "Bear," who is no longer lighting up their work
Yet all is not as it appears. Os Soldados Ousados de Barba--"The
Daring Soldiers of Barba"--have been blowing up the rest of the
world for years in order to win independence for a province so
dismal, backward, and windblown that you couldn't give the rat hole
away. So why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents
claimed by the "SOB" suddenly dry up?
A droll, playful novel, The New Republic addresses weighty
issues like terrorism with the deft, tongue-in-cheek touch that is
vintage Shriver. It also presses the more intimate question: What
makes particular people so magnetic, while the rest of us inspire a
shrug? What's their secret? And in the end, who has the better
life--the admired, or the admirer?
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