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Don't Mess with Travis: A Novel Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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A political novel, but the laughter should cut across party lines. Like all great humor, Don't Mess With Travis points to some basic truths -- and the targets among contemporary politicians are ample. . . . With this lively and charming debut, readers on both sides of the aisle will hope that Smiley's novel won't be his last. (The Dallas Morning News)

One of the year's best, and arguably the most stinging work of political satire since Christopher Buckley's Boomsday.... A laugh out loud, thrilling ... smart, witty, and supremely relevant election year read that will appeal not only to conservatives, but to anyone who is fed up with the current state of the union. (Breitbart.com)

Bob Smiley gives us two things we really need: 1) a funny book about politics and 2) a Texas governor we can all get behind. Ben Travis forever! (Steve Hely, producer and writer for The Office and author of How I Became a Famous Novelist)

If there were a Nobel Prize for political wit, Bob Smiley's novel Don't Mess With Travis would win it in a landslide. Much needed in this angry political season! (Steve Forbes)

Some people might say that Don't Mess with Travis is a mix of Carl Hiaasen and George Will. But it's more than just a witty blend of larger-than-life characters and a prescient political narrative: It's intelligent satire--true on both the human and policy dimensions--that would make a great movie. Bob Smiley is this generation's Christopher Buckley. (Ilya Shapiro, The Cato Institute)

...the political humor and witty dialogue in Don't Mess with Travis should elicit chuckles from readers on both ends of the political spectrum. With shades of ... the novels Advise and Consent, Primary Colors, and State of Rebellion, Smiley's incisive and derisive view of the political process makes this razor-sharp debut novel a timely and entertaining read. (Booklist)

In bringing a humane point of view to the pitched election-year conflict between liberals and conservatives, this novel couldn't be timelier. As a bonus, Smiley smoothly mixes in bits of history about Texas politics and culture. A freewheeling political satire that does for politics what Texan Dan Jenkins' antic fictions did for golf and football. Smiley's first novel disproves the notion that conservatives can't be really funny. (Kirkus Reviews)

A terrific read for the 2012 campaign season-- a political satire funny for folks on either side of the aisle. (Jeremy Blachman, author of Anonymous Lawyer)

The world of politics is anything but funny these days. That's why Bob Smiley's new book Don't Mess With Travis is so refreshing. If you need an escape and your politics lean to the right, put away the Wall Street Journal, crack open an ice cold beer, and prepare to laugh and cheer for a not so unlikely political hero. (Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots)

About the Author

BOB SMILEY began his writing career as a research assistant to the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr. In 2008, he wrote the sports memoir Follow the Roar, chronicling his journey around the globe as he followed Tiger Woods for every hole of an entire season. He continues to work in television and film, having written for network sitcoms as well as for Fox News Channel's Half Hour News Hour. He recently wrote a Goonies-esque pilot for Disney XD and is developing a half-hour political comedy for AMC.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1St Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250001196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250001191
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

BOB SMILEY began his writing career as a research assistant to the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr. In 2008, he wrote the sports memoir Follow the Roar, chronicling his journey around the globe as he followed Tiger Woods for every hole of an entire season.

He continues to work in television and film, having written for network sitcoms as well as for Fox News Channel's Half Hour News Hour. He's currently writing a boxing movie for Warner Brothers-based Langley Park Productions and recently completed a half-hour pilot for Disney XD.

Though not completely dissimilar, Bob is not to be confused with Bob Smiley the standup comedian.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. C. Altman on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Two things stand out in "Don't Mess with Travis."

First, Bob Smiley has written an engaging, humorous novel that holds its own as far as storytelling goes, but still carries an important message for today's political climate. His characters are colorful and the dialogue reads like the script to a movie, which is not surprising considering Smiley's background. I found it easy to visualize the various characters while reading and look forward to a future movie version.

Second, Smiley has promoted the limited, constitutionalist government position without being overly preachy or without detracting from the story. As we shift towards the 2012 presidential election, Governor Travis' views on the role of the federal government need to be shared with every American voter.

Make this a bipartisan purchase: get one for you and one for a liberal friend!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If not, I suspect you'll hate it. Caveat emptor. I don't think you'll get the lampoons of real-life political figures as portrayed in the book; you'll DEFINITELY disagree with the beliefs, actions and motivations of the lead characters, and consider the things they do treasonous (and therefore probably not funny); you'll rabidly disagree with the constitutional issues portrayed; and this will probably overall be a pretty unpleasant read for you. You should pretty much avoid it.

But what does that tell the rest of us? That's it's a rocking good time, that's what!

Darned good book for a rookie. He hits it out of the park. This is really fun political satire.

I am subtracting one star, because I found the finale to be somewhat unsatisfying. I think the author built up to something he didn't fully deliver. But that's okay; in my rating pantheon, 4 stars are still really good.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By imafan on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other than Tom Wolfe, Christopher Buckley, and Ayn Rand, there aren't too many conservatives who are good at storytelling. Bob Smiley has potential to be among the greats, starting strong with Don't Mess with Travis. I hope there's many more to come and and that Bob inspires other young, creative conservatives to follow in his footsteps.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit on, you will love this book. Bob Smiley is an amazing story-teller, and I could not put the book down. One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Laugh out loud funny throughout.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Reneau on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't mess with Travis is a must read for conservatives, and anyone who enjoys quality humor. The satire focuses on the far reaching and illegal attempt at nationalization of industry by the democratic party. I look forward to additional works by Bob Smiley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelleyjane Kloub on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Thanks you Bob Smiley for a satirical look at inside of politics. Sadly, a lot of what was humor, could actually be true about how things work in DC. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope another is in the making. With all the materials our politicians provide, I can see a whole series!

VERY worth the read. I could not put it down!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. PITKIN on August 7, 2012
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I had a hard time putting this book down! This book was a fun read with just enough political reality to scare you. I found myself disappointed that the book ended so soon, I hope there is a sequel coming out soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob on June 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An unlikely premise - the secession of Texas - provides the setting for an extremely clever, engaging novel filled with hysterical one-liners and oh-so-relevant, but humorous, commentary on today's political nonsense. Found myself repeatedly laughing out loud. A quick read, but unfortunately it took 2 days as I could not stay up all night to finish it. An entertaining novel even apart from the ironic and pointed (but not mean-spirited) comments about today's political scene and figures. You don't have to know much about politics to enjoy this book, but if you do, you'll love it. Definitely recommend.
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