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A Time to Run: A Novel Hardcover – October 20, 2005

2.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The three-term senator from California—newly and handily re-elected in 2004—offers a debut novel to relate "a story I had long wanted to tell." Aspiring political activist Josh Fischer and aspiring journalist Greg Hunter are best friends and roommates at 1970s Berkeley; Josh is dark, sensitive and liberal; Greg is blond, gregarious and leans right. When the two meet Ellen Downey, a petite redhead with a steely determination to make the world a better place, romantic entanglements ensue, with Ellen ultimately marrying Josh shortly after graduation. Josh runs for political office, Ellen heads a mentoring program for at-risk kids, and Greg, married to a wealthy socialite but still in the picture, works as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. When Josh dies during his Senate campaign, Ellen assumes his candidacy and scores an upset victory; the book opens on the eve of a vote regarding a controversial Supreme Court nominee, with Greg appearing in Ellen's office holding incendiary documents that could alter the course of history—or level her career. All of this is by-the-numbers stuff, but Boxer brings been-there nuance to the backbiting, hazardous personal disclosures and naked power mongering of California and Washington politics. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

On the eve of the nomination of an ultraconservative Hispanic female Supreme Court justice, liberal Senator Ellen Fischer of California is given the perfect weapon: sensitive documents that could wreck the nomination. With less than 24 hours to take action, Ellen is bombarded with advice from her aides. But she doesn't trust the source of the damning information, Greg Hunter, darling of the right-wing conservatives, a former lover, and a longtime friend of hers and her deceased husband, Joshua. It was Joshua's accidental death on the eve of his election to the U.S. Senate that propelled Ellen's reluctant career as a politician. Hunter's offer provokes memories of how the three became friends: Joshua and Greg were roommates at the University of California at Berkeley, destined for sterling careers in the law and journalism. She was a budding social activist for children's causes. They became fast friends until Josh's proposal redefined their relationships. The ensuing years brought challenges to youthful idealism and the lure of power and wealth as the three made lives and careers for themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Across the years and across the country, Ellen and Greg eventually come to a showdown in the nation's capital. Boxer, a U.S. senator, brings an insider's knowledge of politics to this compelling novel of friendship, idealism, and corruption and the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into political deals. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811850439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811850438
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,762,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this novel, there is no "insider's knowledge of politics," it is not "what politics is reallly like," and it is not "authentic and compelling." Kirkus Reviews offers this admonishment: "Short on subtlety and insider dish." Nor is this novel "compelling, terrific, entertaining, or dramatic." It is, as Publishers Weekly mildly points out, "by-the-numbers stuff." And even with a professional co-writer, and even though this book is a seven-year labor of love - "a story I had long wanted to tell" - it is written in the style of an overwrought high-schooler.

All the liberals are smart, principled, and are dedicated and effective good-deed-doers. All the conservatives are greedy, corrupt, and yes, even evil. An intelligent, accomplished, and conservative Supreme Court nominee is implausibly naive. The story is melodramatic; the characters are two-dimensional. I had high hopes of gleaning genuine political savvy from "someone who really knows," but Boxer decided to write a pedestrian political thriller that doesn't inform or thrill.

One reviewer wrote about the sex scenes in this book. Don't get your hopes up about those, either. And now I know why Boxer, who is my senator, hasn't responded to any of my letters to her office; she and her staff have been too busy working on this novel.
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Format: Paperback
One of the worst books I've ever read. I support a lot of the causes Barbara Boxer trys to talk about, but she has an awful perspective on them that almost makes you want to change your mind when you agree with her.
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Format: Paperback
Much like her performance as a member of American politics, Barbara Boxer finds another way to take your hard-earned cash without giving you anything of value in return. Her formula: I'm a politician with clout, so all I need to do is write a book and, no matter how contrived the plot and how poorly it's written, people will buy it and make me wealthy. Anything to make money. Well, I fell for the bait and she snagged me, hook, line, and sinker. Don't buy this book. Don't read it. There are much better things to do with your time.
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Format: Kindle Edition
After reading this book, I can say I'm not disappointed, you need to have good expectations first to get that, and this was not the case.
Anyway, the books feels not authentic, disingenuous, and boring, some people say that sometimes the books are like they author.
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Format: Hardcover
I was a bit skeptical when I picked this up but I was drawn into the book almost immediately. It's fun story with engaging characters and the action unfolds quickly enough to keep you interested. But what makes this book really worth reading is that you feel like you are getting an insider's view of DC politics, power brokers, campaigning, and the Supreme Court nomination process. And of course you ARE getting an insider view since this written by Barbara Boxer, but because it's fiction and not a political memoir you get it without all the rhetoric and politicking!
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Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like this book, but it was so bad that I can't even think of any redeeming qualities to write about it. Why a self-respecting publisher would waste the paper to publish this is beyond me.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Completely unreadable. How this got published I will never know. It seems Barbara Boxer is the Rebecca Black of writing.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd say it's actually more like 3 1/2 stars. It's definitely worth the read. It won't win any literary awards, but then neither will a lot of the popular novels out there. I think she did a good job with this, and can't help but wonder if some of the negative reviews have more to do with people not liking Boxer herself as well as her liberal leanings.
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