Lord knows most of them are cartoon characters to begin with. Yet Peter Lefcourt, a talented author of four previous, delightful novels, submits this tale of a contemporary senator who is no stranger to sexual antics, influence peddling, and problems on the campaign trail. Lefcourt as a writer is a tasty blend of Carl Hiaasen mixed with a few dollops of Elmore Leonard. Ever wonder what a gangster from Vermont would act and sound like? There are a few of those rare creatures prominently placed in the book, their leader being a character named John Quincy Adams. A kidnapped dachshund, the senator's lesbian wife, and a congressional bill for Tourette's Syndrome also form important chunks of the lighthearted plot. Considering the current crop of fools in congress, Woodrow Wilson White would seem to fit right in. The strange thing is that unlike our real lawmakers, you actually come to like old Woody. Go figure. Also go read this book for some good laughs.
The back of the book will tell you everything you need to know about the story inside but what might shock you as you're reading is that The Woody is more true-to-life than you'd ever imagine. For anyone who has worked on Capitol Hill, which I did for 5 years, you'll find dozens of parallels and laugh out loud. Even for those who have never been anywhere near politics you'll instantly laugh at Senator White and might even feel a bit of sympathy for him as his problems mount. What's best is the writing by Lefcourt, taking a piece here, a piece there, and slowly entertaining them as the story grows and grows.
I enjoyed watching the skewering of the Washington crowd. When you consider that this was published a while ago, the ongoing revelations of our elected officials at work supports that fiction follows fact and that, public representations to the contrary, they continue to waste our money while they pursue their own pleasures.
A clever mixing of fact and fiction. Teddy Kennedy sweats in the Senate Steam Room...Barbara Boxer grandstands on the Senate floor...Trent Lott parks his damn car over the white line in the Senate parking lot. Lefcourt has fun skewering the usual cast of Senate characters while inventing the totally believable Woodrow W. White - junior Senator from the great state of Vermont - and a dizzying cast of two staffs, two wives, two children, two INS proceedings, and an unused supply of Testoderm. Perfect for a plane ride.