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Little Green Men: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, February 2, 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Christopher Buckley's hilarious fourth novel, Washington, D.C., is naturally enough a place of sex, lies, and videotape. Unfortunately for Little Green Men's pundit protagonist, John Oliver Banion, it is also the HQ of Majestic Twelve, a very, very covert government project. Since "that golden Cold War summer of 1947," MJ-12 has had a single mission--to convince taxpayers that space invaders are constantly lurking below what's left of the ozone layer. "A country convinced that little green men were hovering over the rooftops was inclined to vote yea for big weapons and space programs," the author thoughtfully explains.

But one disgruntled operative wants out. Nathan Scrubbs is fed up to the back teeth with the art of alien abduction--not to mention his cover as a Social Security flunky--so when his request for a transfer is quashed, he drunkenly decides to take it out on ubiquitous ultra-prig Banion, who happens to be on TV at the time. The ensuing high-tech kidnap, at Maryland's Burning Bush Country Club, is only one of the thousands of convulsively funny scenes in Little Green Men. Not that the novel isn't a skewed morality play of some sort: as Banion comes to believe in Tall Nordics and Short Ugly Grays, he is quickly removed from every A-list in town. But oddly enough, social and political disaster turns out to be as liberating as the finest alien probe. Let's just say that long before Banion and Scrubbs have a close encounter at the Millennium Man March on Washington, this Beltway barrel of monkeys attains a truly extraplanetary level of amusement. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Celebrity trials, populist bile and The X-Files get the Buckley (God Is My Broker; Thank You for Smoking) skewer in this fast-paced satire. John O. Banion is an acerbic journalist, a talk-show host, a D.C. insider?and proud of it. MJ-12 is a secret federal program (based on a real-life program of the same name) that stages alien abductions to maintain popular support for military spending and space exploration. When he is "probed" by "aliens" at a golf course, Banion becomes a true believer in UFOs. Ostracized by the D.C. establishment, he uses his TV show to organize millions of UFO cultists (the "Millennium Men"), who gather on the Mall (the "Millennium Man March") and just may bring down the government. Consistently hilarious and painfully topical, the novel can resemble a series of stand-up comedy routines; it's dense with one-liners, inside jokes, mini-exposes and tangential riffs on peripheral characters, from FBI men to Larry King. But Buckley's plot is no drawing-room farce: he envisions national catastrophes, convergences of millions of people, the stuff of big-budget disaster movies and spy thrillers. His wit-above-all style combines with his ambitious plot to flatten his characters: the few sympathetic relationships?between a refugee secret agent and his down-home fisherman protector, or between Banion and a sexy UFO crusader?seem out of place, little lumps of feeling in an otherwise smooth, cool gelatin of extended banter. By the time the climactic courtroom scenes have tied up the subplots, the novel seems both hurried and cluttered: half monologue, half screenplay. Buckley delivers the irreverent comedy his fans are looking for, but those seeking more complexity from their political fiction, or more three-dimensional characters, may feel, well, alienated. Agent, Amanda Urban. BOMC selection; film rights sold to New Line Cinema; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st Perennial ed edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060955570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060955571
  • ASIN: B002KE4820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,127,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wow! I can't recall the last time I actually laughed out loud while reading a book. My contagious giggling actually caused my wife to suggest I read it only while alone and in an enclosed room.
Satire is best when nobody is safe and Buckley spares no one. Everyone from white trash, "X Files" buffs, politicians to the sexually dysfunctional are lampooned with utter hilarity. I dare you to read this without cracking a smile! I'll bet UFO conspiracy theorists are forming up as we speak to lynch Buckley. Always worth a smile or two, I'll never be able to look at one again without bursting out in laughter.
In an age where government scandals and cover-ups have been decidedly un-funny, this book is a welcome change. In this era in which people think that poking fun is offensive, I love the fact that Buckley pulls no punches and really goes out of his way to offend everybody! Forget politically correct, leave your cares at the door and lose yourself in a wild ride full of hilarious characters and dead pan humor.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book is literally stunning. If there were any justice, the hacks ought to abandon their work (or at least rewrite it through a few times) before they sling it out the door- looking at James Patterson and Dan Brown.

The prose on every page is so carefully wrought it is amazing. He captures characters, organizations and Washington dynamics with such economy, with such perfect on-the-nose phrasing it, it really is amazing. Put your finger down on any page and you will find excellence. This is the league of Wodehouse and Waugh.

The book is both amusing and enteraining and worth the purchase because the reread value will be high, but I'll be damned if you dont come away with the feeling of resentment at other popular authors who's poor craftsmanship is so clearly shown up by Buckley.

"Banion took the call.

'Jack!' Bill Stimple was the Ur-corporate relations man. Each greeting began with an exclaimation mark. When the Grim Reeper came for Bill he'd probably bray, 'Death!', and ask how his golf game was coming."
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Format: Paperback
I read LGM after being introduced to Buckley in Thank You For Smoking. In comparison, TYFS is a better book; the writing is tighter, and the plot feels more completed. However, LGM is still worth reading, if only for Buckley's take on the millennial madness of our times.
The American obsession with the question of aliens and government involvement therein is a timely topic, and Buckley's treatment of it, ranging from the pyscho-sexual, to the pseudo-scientific, to the international political ramifications, is comprehensive and biting. His characterization of the believing mob (the Millenium Man marchers and their subset, the MM Militia) does not seem farfetched at all, if you've ever seen a UFO or X-File convention. And our hero is by far more sympathetic and likable than the characters in TYFS, with clearer motives and more upright actions.
But ultimately, the grand scope of the book hurts it -- in trying to take on all aspects of the UFO question, publishing, TV talk shows, government conspiracies, Cold-War politics, and the nihilism of bureaucrats, something is lost -- I walked away feeling like I wasn't sure what thet point of it all was.
As far as the writing, Buckley is great, as always, except for one thing: those damnable asterisked footnotes that were EVERYWHERE in this book. I found them distracting and condescending; I hope he leaves that conceit behind in future novels.
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Format: Paperback
As a devoted fan of the 'Aliens Are Among Us' literary theme, I always make a special effort to read any example of the genre, no matter how good or bad the writing. Buckley's latest work, however, truly surprised me with its quality writing, side-splitting humor and dead-on-target sarcastic commentary about aliens and alien abductions, a much maligned subject that quite frankly deserves to be much maligned.
Little Green takes the reader into the life of one John Oliver Bannion (whose initials have some disturbing Biblical connotations), a staunch Guardian of the Establisment and deeply entrenched member of the Beltway Elite. Bannion is something of a political gadfly, and delights in skewering uppity politicians with smug intellectualism on his highly rated political news hour. As such, although he is the last person any one would point to as being an 'alien abductee', we can rest assured that once Bannion uses his nationwide popularity and broadcast TV to tell his unbelievable story, every single one of the numerous enemies he's made will be giddy with glee.
Well, you can guess quite accurately the rest. Of course, his life is turned upside down, his marriage falls apart, his Beltway 'friends' fall by the wayside, and our hero eventually runs happily into the smothering embrace of the lunatic fringe. But then, something strange happens. It would seem that an alien abductee of such high political and social standing gives a new luster to the charges made by kooks of all stripes about UFOS and government involvement. And as luck would have it, this former political icon and total blowhard is transformed, and ultimately becomes the Messiah of a Movement, a counter-cultural icon whose mission is to get the government to tell THE TRUTH about aliens.
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