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People Top 5
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- September 23, 1974
- Vol. 2
- No. 13
James Grady in his blistering first novel, Six Days of the Condor, imagines a secret CIA branch deployed to screen spy stories for similarities too close to actual agency practices to be comfortably ignored. Condor is a stunner and, to yield to the implication of its final paragraph, will be followed by a sequel as soon as Grady, 25, polishes a devilish enough plot. He has every incentive to do so. Condor was snapped up by Paramount for $100,000. Robert Redford will star. When the call came from his publishers announcing the movie sale, Grady was sitting in a slum apartment in his native Montana worrying the pros and cons of sinking 890 into a new shower nozzle. "I just hung up and went back and did my dishes," says Grady, who "never expected to make more than $10,000 a year." The way things were going, he'd have been lucky to make that. After working his way through the University of Montana and abandoning plans for law school, he found work as a grave digger, a store clerk and a movie projectionist. The inspiration for the book came while Grady was still an undergraduate on a Sears Congressional Journalism Internship in Washington. A bachelor, he has lately returned to the Capitol, where he works as an aide to Montana's Sen. Lee Metcalf.
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