Set against the explosive start to the Age of Terror when fanatics detonated a bomb under the World Trade Center in New York in 1993, Ivan the Terrible- from Tulsa tells an engrossing tale of a clash of seductive personalities.
Cesare Groznyy is a power-mad academic fraudster of mysterious origins who likens himself to Russian despot Tsar Ivan IV. Moving between Midtown Manhattan and colleges in New England, he follows Ivan's macabre scenario of serial marriages and brutal politics.
His nemesis is the newly renamed Holly Wood, a cabaret singer of extraordinary vocal range and emotional intensity who fascinates everyone. Between her and the fake Ivan there follows a deadly courtship of tarantulas in scenes comic and serious and full of show music that makes for compulsive reading up to the tragedy of Groznyy's adored cartoonist son, Modest.
Sean Dennis Cashman, author of classic history America in the Gilded Age, draws from his varied life not only as a professor but also his experiences in gyms, stores, the arts and among disabled people to tell us about America and the irreligious fanatics intent on destroying it.