by Sukey HowardJuly, 1999
What price glory If dreams of heroism have ever flickered through your mind, you may rethink them after listening to Peter Blauner's new novel, Man of the Hour (6 hours). David Fitzgerald, an appealing, dedicated high school English teacher in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, has dabbled in those dreams. Then it happens; he saves a student from a burning bus. First he's championed by the media and praised by the President. Then overnight he becomes a suspect and the center of the media's ceaseless vilification. Richard Jewell, the security guard who was congratulated and then condemned by the police and media after the 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Olympic games, would surely understand what's happening here. This is no whodunnit. We know that Nasser, a young Palestinian edgy, confused, disparately unhappy in America planted the bomb. And we know that he was a student of David's and that their paths are bound to cross again. Blauner has created vivid, believable characters, in a vivid, believable situation, with a New York background that blares like the sound of honking horns. The pace is strong and so is the reading by Joe Mantegna.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.