Nick Naylor, chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies is the hero of Christopher Buckley's wickedly funny Thank You for Smoking. Nick likes his job. In the neo-puritanical nineties, it's a challenge to defend the rights of smokers and a privilege to promote their liberty. Sure, it hurts a little when you're compared to Nazi war criminals, but Nick's just doing what it takes to pay the mortgage and put his son through Washington's elite private school St. Euthanasius.Nick can handle the pressure from the anti-smoking zealots, but he's less certain about his new boss, who questions whether Nick is worth $150,000 a year to fight a losing war. Nick seeks inspiration and solace from 2 sympathetic souls who work for the firearms and alcohol lobbies. They call themselves the Merchants of Death, and together, they bemoan their plight and argue over which of them has the most deadly job.Under pressure to produce results, Nick goes on a PR offensive, turning appearances on Oprah and Larry King Live into national events. But Nick's heightened notoriety makes him a nice target for someone who wants to prove just how hazardous smoking can be. If Nick isn't careful, he'll be stubbed out.More
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- Anthony L. Dewitt