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Every Man a King: A Novel Hardcover – May 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Pr Inc; 1st edition (May 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939149265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939149261
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,805,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This witty, splenetic fiction debut charts the brief rise and long fall of a Reagan-era neoconservative. From a small town in western New York, John Huey (named after Huey Long) Ketchum escapes to become an embittered underling on the staff of a revered, constantly intoxicated New York senator. Moving on to a rightist think tank, he's able to launch a promising career as a political columnist, larding his pieces with apocryphal anecdotes about his "grandpappy" Fred. But at the pinnacle of Huey's early success, an appearance on Face the Nation , he utters a racial slur on the air; the resulting firestorm blasts him out of politics forever and back to his hometown of Batavia. The novel's second half, in which the destroyed young man finds true love with a low-born factory worker named Wanda, lacks the sting of the Washington scenes, all of which are shot through with a seemingly inexhaustible dose of venom. How much of the novel is autobiography--Kauffman is a former Senate staffer and journalist who now lives in Batavia--is anybody's guess, but his devastating sketches of barely disguised politicos and institutions are unfailingly funny, and his portrayal of the repulsive young comer in their midst is just as harsh.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John F. Carney III on April 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Bill Kauffman has written a beautiful book about a young man from western New York who leaves home for our nation's capital, where he gets mixed up with the 'conservative movement.' After he violates the most sacred rule of American political conversation, our hero returns in shame to his hometown. Shame fades, however, as he learns to live and love again on a human scale. In Kauffman's world we can come home again, and only by coming home can we come to our senses.
The damage done to our souls by the destruction of local community at the hands of our deracinated political and cultural elite has been the theme of many of Kauffman's superb essays but nowhere else has he matched the achievment of this novel. Our new sage of Batavia (heir to the tradition of fellow Batavian John Gardner) has produced an American masterpiece that deserves a place on bookshelves alongside the great works of contemporary American fiction. (Kauffman would probably prefer to stay on the shelves reserved for western New York writers but it would be stingy to deny the rest of our countrymen the pleasure of reading this great book).
You won't find a better satire of the culture of Washington, D.C. or a more moving portrait of the people of Western New York. I pray Kauffman is right--that we can go home again. It is the only hope for this perishing Republic.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Salton on October 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Every Man a King begins as a hilarious --- but accurate -- satire of Washington, D.C.'s status quo. If you want to learn how things work in our government, this novel will tell you the truth. But then it takes an unexpected and enormously satisfying turn toward exploring the things that matter even more than politics: things like courage and loyalty, sacrifice and love. Bill Kauffman, a brilliant writer who often publishes in the Wall Street Journal and the Spectator, has hit a home run with this book.
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ross Sargent on July 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I must be missing something. I bought this book based on the review given it by anothe reviewer. I found this book to be sophomoric. Listen to some of this tripe: "Fred had never abased himself...the martyred populist avatar, the paladin of the people" Then you get such nuggets as" John Huey saw ..rendered nugatory the verities that he learned at his grandpa's knee. The high and the mighty..did not rule by tyranny so much as by acquiesence." Or, finally, "Her thick tongue thrashed in his glossal roughhouse." Huh? This book should win "It was a dark and rainy night" Award.
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