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Kalki by Gore Vidal
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Kalki (1978)

by Gore Vidal

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Not just your plain everyday end of the world tale! This novel, written in the 1970s, is more of a sociopolitical statement than a novel. Using the Hindu concepts of Vishnu come again as avatar Kalki, to end the current era of human life on earth, the protagonist manages to manipulate the masses in order to achieve his own ends. Not only does he manipulate the common person on the street, but he is able to successfully manipulate Congress, the Chinese Mafia, and the CIA to his own ends. Charisma and intellect combined create a dangerous entity! Yet, without spoiling the book for anyone, I would have to say that if the reader is not enjoying the author's sociopolitical commentary in the first two thirds of the book, the final third is just a great ending to the entire novel, satisfying in many ways! ( )
1 vote hemlokgang | Apr 9, 2012 |
A surprisingly good novel. Somehow the subject matter, does not at first appeal, but within the context of when it was written, it makes sense. I've always enjoyed Vidal's wit and style. I'd recommend this if you do to. ( )
  Borg-mx5 | Feb 13, 2010 |
This forgotten novel by Gore Vidal both entertained and enthralled me when I read it in the early 1980s. The most startling part for me was at the end when only two human beings are left on earth. Vidal describes how quickly nature comes back to cover up man's highways, buildings and bridges. In no time New York City has reverted to a forest with animals roaming. What a wonderful day that would be! ( )
  BrokenSpines | Dec 24, 2008 |
A wacky counterculture view of the U.S. as susceptible to anyone with a messiah complex. In this case, the messiah presents himself as the Hindu god of destruction. Like many of Vidal's novels, way too heavy-handed at times. ( )
1 vote scootm | Jul 12, 2008 |
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For Kukrit Pramoj who first told me of Kalki
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141180374, Paperback)

Bestselling author Gore Vidal joins the ranks of Penguin Classics. To satisfy a public that longs for a savior, Vidal's eponymous hero of KALKI, born and bred in America's Midwest, establishes himself in Nepal, puts out the word that he is the last incarnation of the god Vishnu, and predicts an imminent apocalypse meant to cleanse the planet.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:40 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Is the ex GI posing as Kalki, an ancient Hindu diety, running an international drug ring or bringing about the destruction of the world?

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