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book cover of The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

(1987)
A novel by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
Fans of earlier Fast novels, such as Citizen Tom Paine and the series beginning with The Immigrants, will recognize the author's interest in politics and in the conflicts between ideals and compromise in this work about a U.S. senator and his family. At the suggestion of the Secretary of State, Sen. Richard Cromwell arranges a small dinner party at his country home. Among those present are the Secretary of State, Cromwell's wife Dolly, their college-age children, Leonard and Elizabeth, and Dolly's parents, Augustus and Jenny Levi. Gus Levi is extraordinarily wealthy and influential, and Richard understands the dinner has been requested so that the Secretary can speak with his father-in-law informally. Fast's tale covers the day of the party, from Cromwell's earliest thoughts, which are of his mistress, to his late-night reordering of priorities. In the course of the day, he reconnects with his wife, learns a tragic fact about his son and alters the direction of his career by standing up for his own needs and beliefs. More of the author's familiar preoccupations are represented in other characters: the couple who manages the Cromwell household is black, as is Leonard's visiting friend and lover from law school; Leonard relies on a Zen-like meditation to help him face death. Though vintage Fast in its issues, unfortunately there's little pace to this novel that reads more like a treatise related by cardboard figures than a story about livingand dyingpeople. (January 28)

Library Journal
Senator and Dolly Cromwell are giving a dinner party. The guests are two high administration officials; Dolly's old-rich parents; Lenny and Elizabeth Cromwell, home from college; and a last minute addition, Lenny's friend Clarence, who ''happens'' to be black. To Dolly, planning a dinner party is like ''creating a work of art,'' and this is clearly what the novel is supposed to be: a theatrical piece in which the author explores the burning issues of the day. The main issues are the Central American crisis, which is the reason behind the dinner party, and death, which is the reason Lenny has come home. He must tell his parents that he has AIDS. Unfortunately, Fast dilutes the intensity of this material by sending Clarence home early and by writing dialogue that reads more like rhetoric than conversation. Intellectual drama in the form of a dinner party is an intriguing idea for a novel, but here the elements fail to mesh. Donna L. Nerboso, N.Y.U. Lib.

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Used availability for Howard Fast's The Dinner Party

Hardback Editions

January 1987 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-395-43035-6 / 978-0-395-43035-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1988 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Dinner Party (Windsor Selections)
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-86220-236-1 / 978-0-86220-236-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1988 : USA Hardback

Title: Dinner Party (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-8161-4331-5 / 978-0-8161-4331-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: G K Hall & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1987 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-340-41027-2 / 978-0-340-41027-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1987 : Hardback
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Fast Howard
ISBN: 5551845737 / 978-5551845737
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

November 1987 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-440-12047-0 / 978-0-440-12047-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1988 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Dinner Party (Coronet Books)
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-340-42251-3 / 978-0-340-42251-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Coronet Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

August 2015 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 1-5012-8626-9 / 978-1-5012-8626-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2008 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 1-4233-7212-3 / 978-1-4233-7212-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2008 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 1-4233-7211-5 / 978-1-4233-7211-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2008 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   


September 2008 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


December 1987 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: The Dinner Party
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 1-56100-029-9 / 978-1-56100-029-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Unabridged Library Edition
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


December 1987 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: The Dinner Party (Bookcassette(r) Edition)
Author(s): Howard Fast
ISBN: 0-930435-34-6 / 978-0-930435-34-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bookcassette
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Dinner Party: A Novel
Author(s): Howard Fast
Publisher: Open Road Media
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA