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Publisher: Harvest Books (2001-04-19)
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0156011425 / 9780156011426
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1385462
(Houghton Mifflin $18.95)
Thomas Mallon's acclaimed novel vividly tells the story of a day in May-May 24, 1962. While Scott Carpenter orbits the earth in his Aurora 7 capsule, the lives of a host of characters seem interwoven on the ground below: everyone from a convicted child killer to a famous novelist, a New York cabdriver, a sexually conflicted priest, and a British housewife about to give birth to a thalidomide-stricken baby.
Aurora 7 is above all the story of Gregory Noonan, a spooky suburban fifth-grader obsessed with the space program. The fate of Gregory and his family will prove mysteriously linked to the astronaut's when the boy flees school to watch the perilous climax of Carpenter's mission on the giant TV monitors in Grand Central Terminal. As John Updike observed, Mallon's novel-featuring cameos by Walter Cronkite, John F. Kennedy, and Lee Harvey Oswald-"hones a multitude of details to a gleaming, smoothly oiled fit . . . and catches dozens of characters in its shimmering web."
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