12.30.2006

HH Com 653

Jake Black just wants to play baseball.

As he wiles away the summer of 1953 in the Minors, beer and sun help him ease memories of Isaak, the brother he lost in the War. When Army Intelligence wants him back, Jake’s not interested - until they tell him that President Taft has terminal cancer, and maybe Isaak is not dead after all.

The mission is simple: coach the Embassy team in Tehran while ensuring the CIA doesn't botch their first ever coup attempt. Jake discovers Iran on the verge of civil war. After a crash course in Persian and hookah smoking, he tracks Kim Roosevelt, Middle East Station Chief, by day and combs the expatriate bars at night for signs of Isaak. Demonstrations soon become riots as Jake mixes with communist insurgents, Polish refugees, British journalists, striking oil
workers, and anyone who can hit a fastball. Can he find his brother and keep the country from crumbling into chaos before Vice President MacArthur sends in the paratroopers?

Tehran Summer is an alternate history spy thriller.


The most essential thing in "alternate history" is that you tell us what event did/didn't happen that makes this the alternate. Philip Roth did this with The Plot Against America: FDR doesn't win the election in 44.

What you're missing here is the event that makes me understand why Taft is president in 53 and not dead. Without that, this is just events without context.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This one really intrigued me. I would read this.

Anonymous said...

You might want to change the main character's name.

Jake Black sounds too much like the actor "Jack Black."

~Nancy said...

This does sound intriguing, but I agree with Miss Snark: How is it that Taft is still around in the 1950s? (He was born in 1857, died in 1930.)

And why is he President Taft? I'd be curious to know that he wasn't chosen as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, turned it down (which would be curious, since he preferred the law to politics), or was elected through more than four elections (even FDR didn't accomplish that feat!).

More details, please!

~JerseyGirl

Dhewco said...

The author might be referring to someone like Senator Robert Alphonso Taft (served from 1939-til his death in 53) and not Teddy's hand picked successor. This Taft tried for the Republican nomination in 40, 48, and 52.

Dhewco said...

BTW, as an addition, the above Robert Alphonso Taft was profiled by JFK in his Profiles in Courage.

Anonymous said...

Author here.

dhewco's got it. Robert Taft would've been the Republican nominee had Eisenhower not run - which is my point of divergence.

I would've happily mentioned that in the hook if I'd thought it was necessary. Shame, too, because I would've liked to see Miss Snark's comments on the writing itself. Oh well, lesson learned the hard way.