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Publisher's Summary

In an attempt to gain congressional approval for a top-secret weapons system, Washington lobbyist "Bird" McIntyre teams up with sexy, outspoken neocon Angel Templeton to pit the American public against the Chinese. When Bird fails to uncover an authentic reason to slander the nation, he and Angel put the Washington media machine to work, spreading a rumor that the Chinese secret service is working to assassinate the Dalai Lama.
Meanwhile in China, mild-mannered President Fa Mengyao and his devoted aide Gang are maneuvering desperately against sinister party hard-liners Minister Lo and General Han. Now Fa and Gang must convince the world that the People's Republic is not out to kill the Dalai Lama, while maintaining Fa's small margin of power in the increasingly militaristic environment of the party.
On the home front, Bird must contend with a high-strung wife who entertains Olympic equestrian ambition, and the qualifying competition happens to be taking place in China. As things unravel abroad, Bird and Angel's lie comes dangerously close to reality. And as their relationship rises to a new level, so do mounting tensions between the United States and China.
©2012 Christopher Buckley (P)2012 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Bulls-eye political satire" (Booklist)
"A well-built addition to Buckley's oeuvre" (Publishers Weekly)
"One of the funniest writers in the English language." (Tom Wolfe)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Adam Shields on 08-01-12

I love Buckley. This was not his best.

Christopher Buckley is one of my favorite authors. But this is not one of my favorite of his books.

Buckley’s books follow a similar path. Washington insiders, in a cynical, but somewhat believable way push a line that seems absurd, but much of the time you could actually see things working out in real life like they do in his books. It is satire. What makes Buckley one of my favorite authors is that he ridicules all sides of the political spectrum, he keeps his books funny and in the end his heroes usually see the error in their ways.

But this book is not as funny as most of his other books. It is satire, and you can see him poking fun at lobbyists, at the defense industry, at the media. But it is not sharp, it is not very funny and it feels phoned in.

What I am most disappointed in is that I do not really like most of the characters. In many of his others books, the characters, even when they do reprehensible things are still people that you want to root for. The reader wants these people to turn out well. In this book, I would be fine if all of these people had a big accident and disappeared. The only likable people in the book are the Chinese President, his aid and the head of the NSA. And none off them are really the main characters, so 85% of the book I am reading about people that I really don’t care about.

I like Christopher Buckley, but I would encourage you to skip this book. Instead, read Supreme Courtship, God is My Broker or Boomsday, all are worthy of your time.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By B.W. White on 06-18-12

Good, just not the best Buckley

This story was entertaining, and the voice actor did his best job conveying the tongue-in-cheek satire that makes a Christopher Buckley novel great. But, when held against beautiful and hilarious works like "Thank You For Smoking" and "Boomsday", it simply fell flat.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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