Leon Uris is dead, and the Babu’s got new wrinkles just thinking about it. He’s old enough to remember an era when people actually declaimed passages from Exodus in elocution contests (hell, the Babu’s old enough to remember the fading institution of the elecution contest–the object of which was to make a bunch of Indians sound like a cross between Bertie Wooster and some idiot at the BBC, instead of which we ended up sounding like the offspring of a mating between Peter Sellers and Monty Python circus members). “Mr. Uris’s fiction, including about a dozen novels, was more admired for the research that went into it and for its compulsively readable storytelling than for its depth of characterization or literary depth,” notes the * New York Times.

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