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A Time to Run: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Broxer , mary-Rose Hayes
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Written with a true insider's perspective, A Time to Run is the remarkable literary debut of United States Senator Barbara Boxer, one of the most admired and respected figures on the political scene. Senator Boxer, writing with Mary-Rose Hayes, tells an exciting tale of friendship and betrayal, idealism and pragmatism, in-fighting and public spin. The novel follows Ellen Fines from her days as a college student through romantic entanglements and a difficult marriage to a rising political star. When her husband is killed in a car accident during his campaign for the Senate, Ellen assumes his candidacy and achieves an upset victory over a political machine. On the eve of a crucial vote, past and public worlds collide when Ellen's former lover, now a journalist with strong right-wing connections, gives her sensitive documents that could either make or break her career. From hideaways deep under the U.S. Capitol to wealthy southern California ranches to the political unrest on the streets of Berkeley, A Time to Run is a great read, and a fascinating, up-close story of power and trust.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The three-term senator from California—newly and handily re-elected in 2004—offers a debut novel to relate "a story I had long wanted to tell." Aspiring political activist Josh Fischer and aspiring journalist Greg Hunter are best friends and roommates at 1970s Berkeley; Josh is dark, sensitive and liberal; Greg is blond, gregarious and leans right. When the two meet Ellen Downey, a petite redhead with a steely determination to make the world a better place, romantic entanglements ensue, with Ellen ultimately marrying Josh shortly after graduation. Josh runs for political office, Ellen heads a mentoring program for at-risk kids, and Greg, married to a wealthy socialite but still in the picture, works as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. When Josh dies during his Senate campaign, Ellen assumes his candidacy and scores an upset victory; the book opens on the eve of a vote regarding a controversial Supreme Court nominee, with Greg appearing in Ellen's office holding incendiary documents that could alter the course of history—or level her career. All of this is by-the-numbers stuff, but Boxer brings been-there nuance to the backbiting, hazardous personal disclosures and naked power mongering of California and Washington politics. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On the eve of the nomination of an ultraconservative Hispanic female Supreme Court justice, liberal Senator Ellen Fischer of California is given the perfect weapon: sensitive documents that could wreck the nomination. With less than 24 hours to take action, Ellen is bombarded with advice from her aides. But she doesn't trust the source of the damning information, Greg Hunter, darling of the right-wing conservatives, a former lover, and a longtime friend of hers and her deceased husband, Joshua. It was Joshua's accidental death on the eve of his election to the U.S. Senate that propelled Ellen's reluctant career as a politician. Hunter's offer provokes memories of how the three became friends: Joshua and Greg were roommates at the University of California at Berkeley, destined for sterling careers in the law and journalism. She was a budding social activist for children's causes. They became fast friends until Josh's proposal redefined their relationships. The ensuing years brought challenges to youthful idealism and the lure of power and wealth as the three made lives and careers for themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Across the years and across the country, Ellen and Greg eventually come to a showdown in the nation's capital. Boxer, a U.S. senator, brings an insider's knowledge of politics to this compelling novel of friendship, idealism, and corruption and the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into political deals. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 612 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC (September 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009MILYHE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(33)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Quit Your Day Job, Barbara! August 26, 2007
Format:Paperback
In this novel, there is no "insider's knowledge of politics," it is not "what politics is reallly like," and it is not "authentic and compelling." Kirkus Reviews offers this admonishment: "Short on subtlety and insider dish." Nor is this novel "compelling, terrific, entertaining, or dramatic." It is, as Publishers Weekly mildly points out, "by-the-numbers stuff." And even with a professional co-writer, and even though this book is a seven-year labor of love - "a story I had long wanted to tell" - it is written in the style of an overwrought high-schooler.

All the liberals are smart, principled, and are dedicated and effective good-deed-doers. All the conservatives are greedy, corrupt, and yes, even evil. An intelligent, accomplished, and conservative Supreme Court nominee is implausibly naive. The story is melodramatic; the characters are two-dimensional. I had high hopes of gleaning genuine political savvy from "someone who really knows," but Boxer decided to write a pedestrian political thriller that doesn't inform or thrill.

One reviewer wrote about the sex scenes in this book. Don't get your hopes up about those, either. And now I know why Boxer, who is my senator, hasn't responded to any of my letters to her office; she and her staff have been too busy working on this novel.
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48 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fun read! October 24, 2005
By Nina
Format:Hardcover
I was a bit skeptical when I picked this up but I was drawn into the book almost immediately. It's fun story with engaging characters and the action unfolds quickly enough to keep you interested. But what makes this book really worth reading is that you feel like you are getting an insider's view of DC politics, power brokers, campaigning, and the Supreme Court nomination process. And of course you ARE getting an insider view since this written by Barbara Boxer, but because it's fiction and not a political memoir you get it without all the rhetoric and politicking!
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
While reading this book, I'm reminded of a high school English class where we tried to impress each other by reaching for words and descriptive phrases, but we would wind up cluttering the ideas in a blob of words. The senator tries to be eloquent but it comes off to me as forced and melodramatic. I'm only half way through because I can only stand reading it ten pages at a time.
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43 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading November 13, 2005
Format:Hardcover
I'd say it's actually more like 3 1/2 stars. It's definitely worth the read. It won't win any literary awards, but then neither will a lot of the popular novels out there. I think she did a good job with this, and can't help but wonder if some of the negative reviews have more to do with people not liking Boxer herself as well as her liberal leanings.
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55 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read unless you're a Cheney fan October 29, 2005
Format:Hardcover
...and who's going to admit to being a Cheney fan these days??

It seems like a couple of the reviews here are about Boxer, not her book. Yes, I bought it because I am a fan--and then I read and got totally into it. Her personality really shines in this book. It's knowledgeable about the scene, witty, sharply insightful, fast-paced. Like the Senator herself. A great plane read, full of the colorful behind-the-scenes politicking and some interesting characters, I just had an enjoyable time reading it. And if you are a Cheney fan, well, that's your issue to grapple with. Just enjoy the book, okay?
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41 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boxer Fan Forever October 25, 2005
Format:Hardcover
I'm typically not into books of this genre, but when I saw the article about the Senator in the New York Times magazine last weekend, I was very intrigued. So, I wnet out and bought the book and could not put it down! It was so reflective of what is happening with the Supreme Court nominations and an absolute delight to read. I've always admired Senator Boxer, but now that I know that she can write AND have a strong voice in politics, I am a fan forever.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Even Good Enough to be Garbage! January 1, 2010
By Reader
Format:Paperback
I really wanted to like this book, but it was so bad that I can't even think of any redeeming qualities to write about it. Why a self-respecting publisher would waste the paper to publish this is beyond me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I gave up and tossed it September 22, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I admire Ms. Boxer in other ways but not this her book. I gave up and tossed this book after slogging to the midway point. Miser that I am, I hate to throw out something I paid good money for but in this case so be it. Incomprehensible plot, jumpy timelines, hard to follow, a jumble. I hope Ms. Boxer's other book, Blind Trust, is better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Barbara Boxer's book is an incredible page turner! Buy your copy today! James Patterson San Francisco
Published 2 months ago by James Patterson
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven
I've been reading a lot of books on politics of late, and it seems like the reviews tend to be a function of how well the author's views square with that of the readers'. Read more
Published on May 12, 2012 by P. Troutman
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner!
This was a great book and I believe Senator Boxer and her co-author did a nice job! The last chapter seemed a bit rushed but the book is still a good read. Read more
Published on August 22, 2011 by L. Marie
1.0 out of 5 stars Excerpt from book
Her skirt was very short, and Josh found himself mesmerized by her perfectly shaped, silken legs with kneecaps that reminded him of golden apples.

excerpt from Sen. Read more
Published on January 27, 2011 by Ronin
1.0 out of 5 stars Boxer: Unintentionally Funny
When Senator Fischer is asked, "If the people can't trust you, who can they trust?" I had to laugh out loud.

This book is Barbara Boxer's opinion of herself. Read more
Published on February 28, 2010 by Coug Moog
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected
I was a bit surprised at how much I ended up liking this book. I bought it as a "bargain book" and got more than my money's worth.

I wasn't expecting much. Read more
Published on May 26, 2008 by Alan Arthur Katz
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beach read for Liberals
Boxer's been a hero of mine for ages, so I was kindly disposed. Great literature? No. More than competent writing, arresting storyline and characters? Sure. Read more
Published on March 1, 2007 by PageTurner
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this book down! A MUST READ!
I have to say I wasn't expecting much when I started this book. I was very surprised. I read it in two nights; I found it very engrossing!!! Read more
Published on February 7, 2007 by S. Lourie
5.0 out of 5 stars A real politician who's not afraid to be a "good guy"
Barbara Boxer tells a good story in her first novel. The three main characters are drawn in a way that you feel the tragedy of their selfish choices. Read more
Published on September 8, 2006 by R. Gunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Political Fiction Novel
It has been many many years since I have read fiction books, but recently I decided to take some time away from my schedule and read a couple. Read more
Published on June 28, 2006 by Maria L Sutcliffe
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