from the dust jacket of the 1987 Houghton Mifflin first edition
The Dinner Party
In a remarkable tour de force, Howard Fast has placed the entire action of this highly charged novel in the space of one day at the substantial home of a prominent United States senator. It is morning and the senator's wife is in the kitchen discussing arrangements for a dinner party with the cook and butler. The guests will be two senior officials from the administration, the senator's son and daughter who are home from college, and the wealthy and influential parents of the senator's wife.
It all sounds like a well-ordered and gracious affair, but as events unfold, the reader is battered from all sides by one startling revelation after another. There are things to be settled at this dinner party -- some are political and ethical, some are emotional, and some are questions of life and death. At the end of the book the reader will have been exposed to many of the fundamental issues and problems that are racking our society.
While this is a profound and important novel by a writer at the height of his powers, it also has the dramatic intensity of first-class theater. Few readers, after the first few pages, will be able to put this book down, and fewer will be able to forget it.