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The House of the Prophet: A Novel

275 pages5 hours


A novel about a powerful public intellectual—and about what is true in the end—by an acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author.
Felix Leitner has been a celebrated lawyer and political commentator, an advisor to presidents, an author of influential books, and a Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist. For decades he professed an unswerving commitment to intellectual truth. His stands weren’t always popular, but in the eyes of millions, he had the stature of an oracle.
Now he is in his eighties and confined to a nursing home, and his longtime research assistant and protégé, Roger Cutter, is determined to compile a chronicle of his mentor’s life—for complex personal reasons as well as for posterity’s sake. The House of the Prophet presents Felix from the point of view of multiple narrators, including his two ex-wives, his stepdaughter, and a former law partner. The portrait that takes shape from Roger’s memories, from documents willingly or reluctantly supplied by Felix’s family and associates, and from Felix’s own accounts, is that of a man whose lifelong aim has been to stay free of any ties that might impinge on his quest for truth, be they emotional, religious, patriotic, or even humanitarian. Was Felix, then, a heartless egotist or a saint? And did his integrity justify the human toll it exacted?
With a rich supporting cast and scenes that range from New York to Paris, from a resort in Maine to Georgetown dinner parties, The House of the Prophet is a novel of great psychological depth, about a man obsessed with truth—and another man’s quest to pin down the elusive truth about his character.
“Auchincloss ranks among the best in American literature.” —Kirkus Reviews

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