Vintage is reissuing Fletcher Knebel’s 1965 novel Night of Camp David, asking “What would happen if the president of the USA went stark-raving mad?”.
The book is about an out-of-control president who sees conspirators and traitors all around him, has paranoid hysterical outbursts, and promulgates erratic, outlandish ideas that pose a risk to America’s national security.
Although released 53 years ago, sales of second-hand copies of the political thriller have since spiked, some for “feverish sums”, prompting the reissue, according to Vintage.
Beth Coates, publishing director of Vintage Paperbacks, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada), from Eric S. Brown (a lawyer representing the author’s son and grandson).
She said of the deal: “Fletcher Knebel’s book was a huge bestseller in America when it was first published, and was recently name-checked by Rachel Maddow and Bob Woodward as a great novel that speaks to our own challenging times.
“Since then, second hand copies have been changing hands for feverish sums. We’re very excited to be bringing Night of Camp David to a new generation of readers.”
Knebel was a journalist who covered the Washington political scene for more than 20 years. His son, Jack Knebel, commented: “My father’s novel Night of Camp David created a controversy when it was originally published and even drew speculation about connections to real politicians. The family is thrilled to see this provocative novel published once again.”
Vintage will publish in e-book on 29th November and in paperback and audio on 13th December.