Why did one of my favorite authors have to inject leftist politics into his latest book?
Some things are always a joy: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the laughter of grandchildren, walks on the beach, my wife's cooking — and until now, the Gabriel Allon novels by Daniel Silva. Year after year, I have impatiently awaited summer and the release of his next book.
But this year's offering, The Cellist, has put an end to my craving for Silva's writing. Sadly, in this book, the author has abandoned what is likely more than half his readership and penned a viciously anti-Trump tome.
I knew there was trouble ahead when Silva dedicated his book to the Capitol Police who "defended our republic from the Trump insurrection" of January 6. In his author's notes at the book's conclusion (yes, I read — actually listened to — the entire novel with an increasing sense of pain and loss of a loved one), Silva states that he rewrote the second half of the novel after watching the events of January 6. He states that he believes it to be a day more damaging to our nation than 9/11. He claims he was alerted to turn on the TV by his wife, Jamie Gangel, a correspondent for CNN. Doubtless, it was slanted CNN coverage that he consumed — after all, happy wife, happy life.
I have never known or cared about Daniel Silva's politics, though his marital status has made me suspect a bit of liberalism on his part. There aren't many couples like James Carville and Mary Matalin who survive as a happily married duo with polar-opposite political views. But that's the beauty of writing and other art forms. The line between the artist and his art allows us to enjoy the art without the pollution and distortion of the artist's political views. That line, uncrossed by artists who wish their efforts to be measured and enjoyed on their merit, ensures a judgment based solely on achievement.
Alas, Silva has crossed that line for me, crossed and obliterated the boundary between his masterful storytelling and his now evident progressive and globalist views. To me, this is a tragedy commensurate with losing a great friendship over a political disagreement. Michael Jordan, basketball star and Nike spokesman for his personally branded Air Jordan shoes, made the most cogent remark pertaining to this type of situation. When asked to endorse a Democrat politician with whom he undoubtedly agreed on most issues, the basketball star demurred, stating, "Republicans buy sneakers, too."
Well, this Republican will not be buying any of Daniel Silva's future books. Silva undoubtedly has enough money socked away so he won't miss the lack of my contributions to his savings account. But I will miss the joy of anticipating and rapidly consuming his novels each year. Thank God for grandchildren and great Italian home cooking. Sunrises and sunsets will go on as usual. Next July, I will read another author's book. Most of life's joys will go on, but I will miss an old friend.
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