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A Time to Run: A Novel Paperback – August 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811856542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856546
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,091,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The "knee cap" reference I didn't quite get.
Ollie Nanyes
So, I wnet out and bought the book and could not put it down!
Barbara Cavoto
I hope Ms. Boxer's other book, Blind Trust, is better.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Steven Mason on 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 By Nina on October 24, 2005
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 By Donald Duenne on June 25, 2006
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 By S. Hayes on 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 By Amy, a reader on 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 By Barbara Cavoto on 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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By James Patterson on July 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara Boxer's book is an incredible page turner! Buy your copy today! James Patterson San Francisco
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