Magazine November 21, 2016, Issue

The King’s Man

The Secret Chord, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking, 320 pp., $27.95)

‘This matter would need to be covered up, and swiftly,” writes the prophet Na­tan, in Geraldine Brooks’s new novel, The Secret Chord. “It was the kind of thing that corrodes, like a drop of lye fallen upon linen. You don’t see the effect at first, but in time the fibers weaken and fray, a hole widens, and the garment is spoiled. Only if the drop is washed away directly can the damage be gainsaid.”

When it comes to describing the damage wrought by sin, especially on the part of political leaders, Brooks has a master’s touch. And The Secret Chord gives

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In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Strange Superman

The Accountant, the new Ben Affleck action vehicle, is founded on a genuinely original idea. Indeed, I feel safe in ven­turing that nobody, in cinema or literature, has invented an ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Humble Experts The widespread connotation of “elitist” is one of arrogance and a haughtiness born not of achievement in the trenches but of patrician privilege. However, I feel certain this was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We predict the morally dubious figure with an awful record in public life and much-remarked-upon blond hair will lose the election — and, unhappily, win it.  ‐ To former Bill ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

FIRST WORDS And then I resolved that thenceforward I would choose for the theme of my writing only the praise of this most gracious being. But when I had thought exceedingly, ...

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