Set during the cold war in the mid-1960's, this is a medical novel set in the middle east. It is combination travelogue and thriller, including a plot to blow up the world.
This manuscript was written by my father in the late 1960’s. Based on letters between he and his editor in New York, the manuscript neared completion in 1968. However, with attempts at two slightly different endings and a number of changes requested by the editor, my father gave up on the book and it never saw the light of day. When moving my parents from their apartment and the late 1990’s, I found carbon copies of the manuscript along with copies of the letters between my father and his editor. I put them away with the intention of someday perhaps seeing it to conclusion.
When I retired in April of this year, I decided to resurrect the manuscript with an eye toward possibly printing a few copies. This has now become possible through the latest in technology. The first objective was to convert the carbon copies into computer text such that it could be edited and eventually printed. This was no easy task, as the carbons were of very poor quality, with the result that my scanner and OCR software made lots of mistakes that had to be corrected by hand (I think I got most of them, but you never know…). I was particularly excited when I found Blurb and downloaded their bookmaking software. As it turned out translation of the text into their system was laborious as well. However, the result is really quite cool.
Those of you who knew my father will recognize him in this manuscript, which is a combination of travelogue, international thriller/spy story and medical novel. I don’t know how many of the places in the Middle East described in detail in the book were places actually visited by him and I am not sure if he ever participated in a State Department lecture series like the one he describes in these pages. Perhaps you could shed some light on this. At any rate, while I was sorely tempted to apply my own editing to the manuscript, I decided to leave the bulk of it in its original form, for I suspect it does provide insight into things he did and opinions he held – some quite strongly as you will see.
However, I gave up on his version when I came to the original endings, both of which were, in my opinion, terrible. They were abrupt and unfinished and most importantly, left our hero, Dr Wallace alone and heartsick, having lost the woman with whom he fell in love. Frankly, the poor guy was left a mess and I couldn’t stand it. So you will find new sections in Chapters XI through XIII that follow the trail of our heroine and a new Chapter XIV, entirely added by me, in which the guy gets the girl and in typical Bond fashion, they are last seen making love in the bunk of a sailboat. Please forgive the liberties I have taken with this, but also please trust that from my point of view at least, this ending is much more satisfying.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the life of my father as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to fruition, such as it is: Flight to Oblivion by Robert Frazer (the pen name he used in the manuscript).
I am a neuroscientist by training and spent the first 20 years of my career doing brain research. I then went into higher education administration and health care delivery.
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