More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘satire’

From Connie Willis satire that doesn’t make me laugh

Bellwether, by Connie Willis @@ (2 out of 5) I’m a big fan of satire. For instance, I love Christopher Buckley‘s books. Some of them make me laugh almost nonstop. But there’s nothing worse than a satirical tale that. Just. Isn’t. Funny. Unfortunately, that’s what I found in Bellwether by Connie Willis. Apparently, Willis wrote… Read More ›

Rereading Brave New World with a would-be dictator in the White House

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley @@@ (3 out of 5) Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s seminal works of dystopian literature. Critics today tend to group it with George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and… Read More ›

British satire about misfit spies in MI5

Slow Horses (Slough House #1 of 4), by Mick Herron @@@@ (4 out of 5) The spies who work out of Slough House are “a post-useful crew of misfits [who] can be stored and left to gather dust.” Every one of them. MI5 has dumped them all there after they screwed up royally. Now they… Read More ›

An irreligious take on Catholic history

A review of The Relic Master: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley @@@@@ (5 out of 5) In an interview conducted by Deborah Solomon for the New York Times Magazine in 2008, Christopher Buckley engaged in this exchange: [Your father] was a practicing Catholic. What are you? I am post-Catholic. As opposed to a lapsed Catholic?… Read More ›

Political satire where it hurts the most: 10 Downing Street

A review of Head of State, by Andrew Marr @@@@ (4 out of 5) If I were pitching this book in Hollywood, I might describe it as a mashup of “Wag the Dog” and the British version of “House of Cards.” This expertly crafted novel is a blend of absurd political satire and self-centered politics at… Read More ›

Self-help gurus get their comeuppance from Christopher Buckley

God Is My Broker: A Monk-Tycoon Reveals the 7-1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth, by Christopher Buckley and John Tierney @@@@@ (5 out of 5) At his best, Christopher Buckley writes breathtakingly hilarious novels. God Is My Broker is one of them. However, if you’re a devotee of Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie,… Read More ›

Washington, DC, served up on the skewer of satire

A review of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—plus plenty of valet parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital, by Mark Leibovich @@@@ (4 out of 5) Here is Washington, DC, laid bare by the discerning eye and poison pen of The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent there. If you think most of what takes… Read More ›

Washington and Beijing get what they deserve in this satirical novel of politics and diplomacy today

A review of They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, by Christopher Buckley. @@@@@ (5 out of 5). Political satire of the highest order. I found myself laughing hysterically, sometimes for pages at a time. But, like all superior satire, this book isn’t just funny — its droll treatment of politics in Washington and Beijing is spot-on accurate.

Satire that cuts close to home in British politics

A review of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, by Paul Torday. @@@@ (4 out of 5). A satirical treatment of British politics that adroitly mixes not just Yemen and salmon fishing but also the British Parliament, Al Qaeda, a mystical sheikh, the art of public relations, a sad love story, and a journey of self-discovery.