I have to say I was disappointed with this book. Like all Christopher Buckley novels it had its moments, some of them quite funny, but it tended to lose focus near the end, meandering off in aimless directions. I honestly think he started writing this book without any idea of how to end it, and when it came time to "tie a bow" on it, he just piled a bunch of absurd situations on top of each other. In that respect it was kind of like "No Way to Treat a First Lady," his other weak effort. His best work (by far) is "Thank You for Smoking," a textbook case of how satire should be written: witty, incisive, and especially understated.
I can't stress that last point enough. Buckley's "Smoking" was funny precisely because the basic concept of the book - a roguish tobacco spokesman with a silver tongue fights nanny state moralizers - did not seem so outlandish and impossible, and by the end of it we were rooting for the anti-hero Nick Naylor in spite of ourselves. This one start's with an absurd premise - a Judge Judy type justice on the Supreme Court - and piles on the craziness from there in giant, heaping spoonfuls. I don't want to spoil the surprise for those of you who want to listen to it, but the story ends with a constitutional crisis of such epic insanity it would have flummoxed Maimonides, and a presidential election so convoluted it would have made the 2000 Florida debacle seem simple. Add to this the fact that most of the the novel's characters, including the protagonist a TV judge named Pepper Cartwright, come across as a little self-absorbed and unlikeable, and the whole thing really feels like a waste of time.
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