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The Dick Cheney Code: A Parody Paperback – September 7, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code is all about an ancient brotherhood trying to keep a shocking secret. In The Dick Cheney Code, there is also a brotherhood and a shocking secret. The difference between the two books is that this one is a lot shorter, moves a lot faster, acknowledges its reliance on genre cliches, and is very funny. Beard has been writing parodies for a long time, and he pretty much has the drill down pat. He knows, for example, to throw in plenty of self-referential jokes and lots of silly names (Government agents named Dan Fine and Jim Dandy, preachers Jordy Weevil and Pud Buggerson). Like most literary parodies (e.g., Kaplow's The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun), Beard's effort is funnier for those familiar with the source material. Still, if you happen to be one of the six people on the planet who hasn't read The Da Vinci Code, you will still find plenty to laugh at here (presuming you sit on the left side of the political aisle). David Pitt
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About the Author

Henry Beard attended Harvard University and was a member of the Harvard Lampoon. He went on to found the National Lampoon with Douglas Kenney and served as its editor during the magazine’s heyday in the 1970s. He has written numerous bestselling humor books, including Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life and (with Christopher Cerf) The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First edition. edition (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743270029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743270021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,241,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erin Esposito on October 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a book that one can truly laugh outloud while reading, only if they've met the following two criteria: 1.) they've read the DaVinci Code and 2.) they are up to speed on all the happenings in Washington, DC and the political arena. If you have not met these two criteria, then the book will not seem as enjoyable or as funny.

The author has brilliantly masterminded a way to incorporate the similar twists from the DaVinci Code into a political thriller/parody. This is an easy reading, which can be read in one sitting (well, depending on how many times you have to stop reading because you're laughing so hard...) and is well worth the time!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. K. Speeth on September 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
From page one, "The Dick Cheney Code" surpasses "The Da Vinci Code" whose peculiarities it caricatures. It's not only civilized, clever, and well written, but also -- and this is crucially important, because these days it would be easy, with what's going on inside the Beltline, to succumb to despair -- it's delightfully funny! A good laugh is hard to find. As Norman Couisins would attest, Henry Beard has contributed to the health of the nation by offering this delicious parody just when we need it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Russell Weisfield on February 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This hidden message found on the back cover of the book tells exactly why this book is so funny. That is, Beard perfectly parodies The Da Vinci Code taking many stabs at Brown's style. The book even starts by mentioning what organizations are real like Brown does.

From a political standpoint, Beard definitely has a liberal slant. He takes many jabs at the Patriot Act and President Bush. While he does have make fun of John Kerry's flip flopping, the needling is far less than that of the President.

Beard's overall writing style is nothing great. He jumps around a bit and does not fill in many details. Nor does Beard try overly hard to write a coherent and absorbing story preferring instead to rely on the strength of the parody.

From this point of view he succeeds marvelously. If you find Dan Brown's writing to be somewhat predictable and long winded then you will find great joy in Beard's novel. Beard will even point out extra flaws in The Da Vinci Code and Brown's overall style.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Boyle on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Although one prerequisite for reviewing a parody might be actually to have read the work parodied, Henry Beard's "The Dick Cheney Code" ("TDickCC") mercifully gives some respite from the dirty work of having to read "The Da Vinci Code" ("TDaVC"), work that this reviewer wouldn't wish on any worst enemy he hypothetically happened to have. --Not that anyone on our terrestrial surface, barring a few deaf-and-blind sorts, can presently be ignorant of the basic skullduggery-plus-cryptic-investigations-shows-us-that-Jesus-gets-it-on-with-Mary-Magdalene-thank-you-Lenny-Da-Vinci-&-"Mona-Lisa" plot of TDaVC.

The respite comes because of two main points. First, Beard, by his scathing and frequent asides about how ludicrous the plot twists in a conventional thriller like TDaVC are, reveals to us what a waste of time and money it might be to become yet another sucker coming to see Dan Brown's circus in TDaVC. Second, the relevance factor which TDickCC has, about the turpitude and sinister machinations of the Cheney/Bush administration and also about the upcoming election. (As for TDaVC, Jesus "schtupping" Mary Magdalene is hardly irrelevant, either, but the malevolence of the present American government is probably far more likely and provable than any alleged dalliance between a messiah and a possible whore.)

Henry Beard, by the way, is no stranger to bearding the Bush administration, cf. his (co-)authoring of the 2003 comedic illustrated book "Where's Saddam?" He puts this experience to superb use in skewering Cheney and his cohorts royally, including a take on Rumsfeld's mock-Hamlet "pose a question and answer it myself" speech pattern.
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