From Publishers Weekly
Pettiness, backstabbing, social striving and tit-for-tat favors are "the gasoline in this town"-Washington, D.C.-in the third fast-paced, entertaining Beltway send-up from New Yorker editor Frank (following The Columnist and Bad Publicity). As the Clintons make way for the Bushes in 2000-2001, the novel follows Trudy Hopedale, television host of a certain age and D.C. social mainstay, who is fast fading into political and social obsolescence. Trudy's husband, Roger, is a retired career Foreign Service man with a shady past who is working on an embarrassing novel, while "handsome and brilliant" vice-presidential biographer Donald Frizzé is suffering from writer's block. As the gelling Bush administration creates shifting power dynamics and loyalties, readers must read between the lines to gather information from Trudy and Donald, two very different unreliable narrators, each with secrets and ulterior motives of his or her own. Supporting cast members are one-dimensional, and Trudy can seem too petty even for satire, but Frank's lively writing and sharp eye for the story's fourth major character, the "soiled town" that is political Washington, carry the day.
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Washington, D.C., is a town of secrets, and few people have more than Trudy Hopedale. A society hostess with her own TV show, Trudy is married to a former foreign-service officer who has written a scandalous novel that may or may not give away state secrets. In the meantime, Trudy, a former stripper, is having an affair with a senator she finds repulsive. Her close friend Donald has his own problems. Pompous and completely unself-aware, Donald is facing charges of plagiarism and an overly amorous reporter. Donald and Trudy are both on a course of personal destruction, and they tell the story in alternating chapters. It's a major accomplishment that Frank can narrate a story in the voice of a pompous, bad author without seeming pompous himself. Set in the summer of 2000, this gentle satire has a nostalgic affection for a time when Clinton's sex life was seen as the country's biggest problem. Block, Marta Segal