Today, The Jerusalem Post‘s luminous columnist Caroline Glick writes a superb review of the first novel by PJM’s Richard Fernandez, No Way In: Freedom Is The Greatest Addiction of All, which so captivated her that she took an afternoon off last week to finish the un-put-downable thriller. After quoting a particularly moving passage from the novel, Caroline Glick writes,
“It seems to me that this passage gets to the heart of the nature of choice, freedom, slavery and the contradictory condition of man. On the one hand, we quest for greatness, as our eyes gaze up to the heavens and ponder the stars. On the other hand, we strive for security and the easy predictability of plenty. We aspire to the former but are willing to give up much of our ability to be free to dream and do for the certainty of the latter.
“Fernandez is the sole author of the Belmont Club, now at Pajamas Media. I’ve been following his writing for years. He has a unique ability to seamlessly blend strategic issues with human nature. His writing encompasses the whole of the human drama – from literature to poetry to film to history, war and common sense.
“No Way In is a story about a middle aged professor named Alex Francisco who never managed to move beyond his work as a revolutionary in the underground movement to overthrow Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s. Now, as the action begins, he is thrown back into the world of intrigue, danger and life on the run when he inadvertently stumbles upon a secret about recently stolen presidential elections.
“Often I find that writers have difficulty moving from one genre to another. Books by columnists often read like 250 page columns. Columns by novelists often read like something the author might have said it better if he had 25,000 words.
“But in No Way In, Fernandez succeeded in bringing all his passions, interests and knowledge to bear in a single, coherent, extremely well written and engaging composition. You learn about Philippine political history and about the Islamic threat to the country. You learn about modes of counterinsurgency.
“You read about the loves and sacrifices of extraordinary people who hear the call to service and leadership.”