To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life Hardcover – November 15, 2011
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Three incompatible players vie for attention in the book's 300 pages: the author, Ann Beattie; the husband of the woman first mentioned in the title, Richard Nixon; and the ostensible subject of the book, Pat Nixon. Each of these persons is known for practicing a kind of obscurantism, by which I mean deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known. For Beattie this has been an aesthetic choice. The writer Jay McInerney once described Beattie's preferred style as "a refusal to overdetermine her characters, a reluctance to explain their behavior." For President Nixon the withholding of information was a practice that dragged him ultimately to the brink of impeachment. For his wife Pat Nixon this behavior was an emotional defense, how she chose to preserve personal dignity in the face of prying inquisitors.
So what have these three jousting protagonists created? In the judgment of most readers who've posted reviews, the result is an odd, unstable, and ultimately dissatisfying book. Beattie, the ringleader, comes across as showy and self-indulgent. Nixon emerges as self-pitying, a boor to be around. And Pat Nixon? Even with all the creative forces at her disposal, Beattie fails to inspire the First Lady to escape her comfort zone. Mrs. Nixon remains, at book's end, an enigma.
What's to like about MRS. NIXON? Answers come from some professional critics who say the book is an interesting literary concoction, unclassifiable, genre-bending, playful and polymorphous, and unlike anything Beattie's written before. But notice how these descriptions avoid answering the question of whether the book is a worthwhile read.Read more ›
In fact, I originally borrowed this book from the library, and I looked it up on Amazon because I'm going to order copies to give to all my writer friends. I'll be reading this book again.
Boring and self-indulgent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Demands a readership perceptive beyond that of the usual best-seller pap we see on the NYTimes lists . . .Published 7 months ago by Robert W. Hill
Ann Beattie should stick to fiction!!! I didn't even finish this piece of c$&p!
Maybe she has better luck if she would stick to what she knows.
There are a hundred one star reviews for Mrs. Nixon here on Goodreads. And I agree with all of them!
But most of the negative reviews just focus on the obvious. Read more
Could not finish this. WHat a self-indulgent waste of paper and ink.Published 18 months ago by Georgia
I only gave it a star so I could write a review. I can't finish the book -- it's awful. And yet in reading all the reviews, I get a better picture of Pat Nixon than I did reading... Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Jane L. Grau
Mrs. Nixon who received many and unfair jabs from the public was not worthy of that treatment. Remember the Red China joke about her? It was actually vicious and unwarranted. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by Karen Kee