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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The White House Mess Paperback – May 1, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With a dotty, pajama-clad President Reagan refusing to leave the White House on his successor's Inauguration Day, Buckley has given this farce of Oval Office politics a nearly perfect beginning. Unfortunately, he uses his best shot first and the rest of the book rarely equals the wit that energizes the hilarious opening. Parodying the familiar form of the White House memoir, Buckley (author of Steaming in Bamboola, son of William F. Buckley) recounts the turbulent years of the Democratic Tucker administration, as told by loyalist Herbert Wadlough. Through this former accountant's eyes, we see the infighting that plagues the White House, the President's faltering marriage to a former starlet, and his ongoing crises, including restoration of ties with Castro andin one of the novel's smarter sectionsa Marxist coup in Bermuda. Buckley, a onetime speechwriter for George Bush, obviously knows Washington's foibles and follies, but the zest of the book's early promise is smothered by an otherwise bland performance. Literary Guild alternate. (March 24p
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Christopher Buckley, "the quintessential political novelist of his time" according to Fortune magazine, is the winner of the distinguished ninth annual Thurber Prize for American Humor. Tom Wolfe has described him as "one of the funniest writers in the English language."

Buckley is the author of eleven books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, and Florence of Arabia. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages, including Russian and Korean.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140249281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140249286
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amy R. Nix on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Believe it or not, I managed to make it through this much of my life having never read a word by Christopher Buckley. This book was loaned to me by a friend, and I was a little skeptical about reading a political satire after coming off the past several months of "political cartoon overload."
The belly laughing had begun by paragraph 5 of the prologue, and I was unable to put this book down. I read the entire book in two sittings, and I have to say that I haven't laughed so hard or so well in a long, long time.
I was genuinely concerned that the book would be just another politics-driven piece of thinly disguised propoganda for one "side" or the other, but it was, instead, a refreshing and silly poke at government in general. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this book is a good poke at <i>people</i> in general.
I loved every page of <u>The White House Mess,</u> and I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone looking for a good chuckle.
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Format: Paperback
This book will be funny to anyone, but readers unfortunate enough to have read any memoirs of the "from the corridors of power" genre will be convulsed. Buckley writes from the perspective of a high-ranking aide to Reagan's fictional successor, President Tucker, jotting down a diary as self-important as his real-life counterparts (one subplot turns around the writer's attempt to keep his parking spot, which seems to be of equal importance as the rest of the nation's business put together).
Buckley is not just amusing, but often insightful. While the events of the book are absurd, the characters are often all too realistic. A must-read for Buckley fans, and highly recommended for anyone else.
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Format: Paperback
The White House Mess is both a hilarious political satire and an amazingly accurate portrait of the first Clinton Administration. Sure, the names have been changed but anyone who followed politics over the course of the '90s will recognize the characters. Thomas N. Tucker is a so-called "Moderate Democrat" who, after a few terms as Governor of a small Republican state (Idaho, in this case), is elected President over Republican George H.W. Bush. Tucker comes to Washington with a fiercely independent wife and a staff that is an uneasy mix of cynical insiders and idealistically niave (read: stupid) campaign aides with little actual practical experience. Over the course of the next four years, Tucker finds himself embroiled in a sex scandal, has to deal with his idiot brother, fails to establish any firm policy beyond what the polls say he should do, and -- as his Presidency comes to a close -- manages to embroil American soldiers in a futile military campaign. There it is, the Clinton Administration in a nutshell. Of course, what's truly amazing isn't that Buckley managed to write a memoir of the Clinton Presidency but that Buckley did so in 1987 -- five years before anyone outside of Arkansas even knew who Bill Clinton was and certainly before anyone expected this guy to be President. (Of course, what's really funny is that when the book first came out, many critics sniped that Buckley's satire was too outrageous and had no basis in reality.)
Unfairly or not, Clinton hangs over Buckley's satire and, what originally might have seemed as a simple farce, is now tinged with a certain bittersweet feel. You still laugh but its no longer a what-will-he-say-next laugh as much as its a laugh of I-Can't-Believe-This-Actually-Happened.
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Format: Paperback
Here is another great and funny book from Mr. Buckley.
Are these real life situations or just possibilities ?
Just like his father, Christopher finds the right tone and the right sense of humor to make fun of our politicians.
Mr. Buckley please keep writing and amuse us. We need it in today's political environment.
Great book , and as always very well written.
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Christopher Buckley is a very funny man. I know this not just because I've read a few of his books, which generally "kept me in stitches" (whatever that means), but also because I actually spent much of an evening with him a few weeks ago. He'd come to Berkeley to do a "reading" from his newest book, They Eat Puppies, Don't They?, and somehow I'd been invited to introduce him to the audience of about 150 people who were there to hear him. I managed to coax out two or maybe three laughs during my introduction and the questions I later posed. He elicited -- oh, maybe 600. Because this was no "reading." Like the consummate pro he is, he didn't actually read from the book. He simply talked extemporaneously and, later, answered questions from the audience. The man is an accomplished stand-up comedian.

The White House Mess was written and published during the Reagan Administration, after (or perhaps during) Buckley's turn as chief speechwriter for Vice President George H. W. Bush. The book masquerades as a White House memoir - a send-up of life inside the White House that focuses on the travails of the First Famly and on the high stakes feuds among their staff. The plot revolves around an old-fashioned Marxist-Leninist coup in Bermuda, the First Son's missing hamster, a young First Lady who aches to become a Hollywood star again, a parody of a weak-kneed and wholly unsuited Democratic President, and a collection of snobs, misfits, and alcoholics who, somehow, manage to hold down jobs in the White House. Oh, and by the way: the title refers to the dining facilities, which are called the "mess" because they're run by the Navy.

If the foregoing paragraph hints that The White House Mess is a parody of Democratic politics, consider that hint confirmed here. Buckley, son of William F.
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