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Trudy Hopedale: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 17, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416549242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416549246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,978,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

IKE AND DICK: PORTRAIT OF A STRANGE POLITICAL MARRIAGE is a narrative history that explores the complicated political and personal relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon--a sometimes painful association that lasted nearly twenty years. The years I spent working on it were enormously interesting, not least because I had a chance to interview dozens of men and women who knew and worked with both men, as well as family members.

IKE AND DICK was published by Simon and Schuster in early 2013 and is now out in paperback. THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, in a front-page review,called it "meticulously researched....a highly engrossing political narrative that skillfully takes the reader through the twisted development of a strange relationship that would help shape America's foreign and domestic agenda for much of the 20th century." Russell Baker, in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, called it "an elegant example of how pleasurable political history can be when written by a skilled teller of fictional tales who has a careful reporter's respect for facts. It is top-drawer as political history, unusually well written, and stuffed with forty pages of notes providing sources for an extraordinary variety of information." Thomas Mallon in THE NEW YORKER called it "one of the best books ever written about Richard Nixon."

There's a terrific audio version of IKE AND DICK on Tantor Audio, read by the award-winning Arthur Morey. As SoundCommentary put it, "...the depth of his talent is revealed when he reads in the voice of Ike, Dick, JFK, or any of the other historical figures that people this work, because he ingeniously imbues his voice with subtle changes that only hint, without mimicking, those well-known voices."

A bit more about me: I've also written four novels, three of which--THE COLUMNIST (2001), BAD PUBLICITY (2004), and TRUDY HOPEDALE (2007)--comprise the Washington Trilogy. I'm also the co-author, with Diana Crone Frank, of a fresh translation of Hans Christian Andersen's stories. And I'm a journalist: I was deputy editor of the Outlook section at The Washington Post as well as a senior editor at The New Yorker for more than thirteen years.

My Web site:
Facebook page:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill A. Bossert on October 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having loved Jeffrey Frank's other books, I started Trudy Hopedale with anticipatory pleasure. And then found I could not put it down. All that's been said about its clear prose, pitch-perfect tone, cracking satire is all there, but what was a special delight was the page-turning need to find out what happens to the hapless characters that inhabit's Frank special Washington. My only regret is that it was over too soon.
Jill Bossert
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Former Washingtonian on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Frank continues to turn out novels about Washington that are shrewd, funny and engaging. Like no one else, he skewers the futile ambitions, the pandering and the rampant egotism that drive the city. His characters are losers all (even the winners), adrift in a treacherous world of false values. Laugh at them you will. But in the end - and this is Frank's real achievement- you end up feeling real sorrow for them and thier misguided lives. A great book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TRUDY HOPEDALE is the second Jeffrey Frank novel I’ve read, after loving THE COLUMINST, a similar book about the intelligentsia in Washington DC. Trudy Hopedale is the host of a daytime DC talk show, TRUDY’S PEOPLE, who is also, with her husband Roger, one of the city’s premiere hosts. Donald Frizze is a young historian specializing in obscure vice-presidents, with a non-existent dating life and a questionable scholarly past. The book takes place in the months before and after the George W. Bush election, and the joy of the book comes from the way the community, which seems to have the rites and rotes of a small town, changes from the Clintons to the Bushes. The book is a dissection of the two characters, each character having their own first-person chapters. There is not much in the way of a plot, just the natural progression of a friendship straining to keep up with the times. While not as memorable and epic as THE COLUMNIST, TRUDY HOPEDALE is an entertaining read, more for the machinations and characters over the plot.
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