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May 2007

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leftofcenter7 in velocity_review

Book Challenge: Book #8 & #9 Reviews

Book #8

Title: Little Green Men
Author: Christopher Buckley
Pages: 301
Genre: Satire
My Rating: B




Description:

The reluctant hero of this novel is John Oliver Banion, a stuffy Washington talk-show host, whose privileged life is thrown into upheaval when aliens abduct him from his exclusive country-club golf course.

But were his gray-skinned captors aliens . . . or something far more sinister? After Banion is abducted again--this time in Palm Springs--he believes he has been chosen by the extraterrestrials to champion the most important cause of the millennium, and he embarks on a crusade, appearing before a convention of UFO believers and demanding that Congress and the White House seriously investigate UFOs. His friends and family suspect that Banion is having some kind of manic-depressive midlife crisis and urge him to seek therapy before his credibility as a pillar of the punditocracy is ruined.
So John Oliver Banion must choose: keep his establishment status or become the leader of millions of impassioned and somewhat scruffy new friends who want to expose the government's secret alien agenda.


Review:

While i found this book to be quite entertaining, it still lacked the all-out joyful absurdity of Buckley's latest, "Boomsday". Buckley's trademark wit and sarcastic view of Washington life, are here in all their glory. The actual ending of the book, seems a bit too pat and slapped together unfortunitely. But, the ride to that point, makes this book well worth reading.

Book #9

Title: Florence Of Arabia
Pages: 253
Genre: Political Satire
My Rating: C


Description:

The bestselling author who made mincemeat of political correctness in Thank You for Smoking, conspiracy theories in Little Green Men, and Presidential indiscretions No Way to Treat a First Lady now takes on the hottest topic in the entire world–Arab-American relations–in a blistering comic novel sure to offend the few it doesn’t delight.

Appalled by the punishment of her rebellious friend Nazrah, youngest and most petulant wife of Prince Bawad of Wasabia, Florence Farfarletti decides to draw a line in the sand. As Deputy to the deputy assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, Florence invents a far-reaching, wide-ranging plan for female emancipation in that part of the world.

The U.S. government, of course, tells her to forget it. Publicly, that is. Privately, she’s enlisted in a top-secret mission to impose equal rights for the sexes on the small emirate of Matar (pronounced “Mutter”), the “Switzerland of the Persian Gulf.” Her crack team: a CIA killer, a snappy PR man, and a brilliant but frustrated gay bureaucrat. Her weapon: TV shows.

The lineup on TV Matar includes A Thousand and One Mornings, a daytime talk show that features self-defense tips to be used against boyfriends during Ramadan; an addictive soap opera featuring strangely familiar members of the Matar royal family; and a sitcom about an inept but ruthless squad of religious police, pitched as “Friends from Hell.”

The result: the first deadly car bombs in the country since 1936, a fatwa against the station’s entire staff, a struggle for control of the kingdom, and, of course, interference from the French. And that’s only the beginning.

A merciless dismantling of both American ineptitude and Arabic intolerance, Florence of Arabia is Christopher Buckley’s funniest and most serious novel yet, a biting satire of how U.S. good intentions can cause the Shiite to hit the fan.

Review:

I'm a huge fan of Buckley's work, and having read a bunch of excellent reviews for this novel, i was excited to get started. unfortunitely, even tho the plot is a promising one, and there are a few genuienly funny moments...the majority of this book just doesn't work. It tries to be at once funny and heavy-handed at the same time. At points, Buckley gets beyond preachy, and considering the subject matter, i can understand his motives. but you can't have it both ways. either make the story satirical, or make it a serious study of the way women are treated in various middle eastern countries.
Very disappointing.



Book Challenge


Started: 5-1-07

Rating System – A+ [Best] – F[Worst]

Updated: 5-23-07

Books Read: 9


  1. The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory ~ 672 Pages (B)

  2. The Queen's Fool – Philippa Gregory ~ 512 Pages (C)

  3. The Boleyn Inheritance – Philippa Gregory ~ 528 Pages (B+)

  4. The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory ~ 416 Pages (C)

  5. The 6 Wives Of Henry VIII – Alison Weir ~ 656 Pages (B)

  6. Boomsday – Christopher Buckley ~ 336 Pages (A+)

  7. The White House Mess – Christopher Buckley ~ 224 Pages (C+))

  8. Little Green Men – Christopher Buckley ~ 301 Pages (B+)

  9. Florence Of Arabia – Christopher Buckley ~ 253 Pages (C)

  10. Wry Martinis – Christopher Buckley ~ 291 Pages (Currently Reading)

  11. The Book Of The Dead – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child ~ 454 Pages (Currently Reading)




Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9 / 50 Books
(18.0%)


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,928 / 15,000 Pages
(26.2%)

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