They eat puppies, don't they? - Buckley, Christopher
Summary: Starting a rumor about an assassination plot targeting the Dalai Lama as part of an effort to gain support for a secret weapons system, Bird McIntyre and Angel Templeton provoke Washington crises that bring the United States and China to the brink of war.
In his latest novel of bull's-eye political satire, Buckley (Supreme Courtship, 2008) skewers our adversarial yet symbiotic relationship with China, along with the corruption endemic to lobbying, weapons manufacturing, and media spin. Walter "Bird" McIntyre, lobbyist for an aerospace behemoth, is instructed to "whip up . . . anti-Chinese fervor" to help secure government funding for a new secret weapon. Hapless and endearing, Bird divides his time between the condo he calls the Military-Industrial Duplex and the country estate he dubbed Upkeep, home to his equestrian wife, Alzheimer's-afflicted mother, and freeloading brother Bewks, a Civil War reenactor, while writing egregiously clichéd thrillers. Bring on sexy-scary hawk and neocon Angel Templeton, and Bird is in more trouble than he concocts for his tough-guy heroes. Vicious confrontations break out on Chris Matthews' Hardball, the Dalai Lama is in peril, and the eminently reasonable president of China can talk with his trusted aide only in the bathroom with the water running full blast to foil their enemies' listening devices. Buckley balances bayonet humor and tenderness in this canny and diverting send-up. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.