Condon's ( Prizzi's Honor ) 23rd novel, a broad satire about the ``Imperial Presidency,'' aims much of its humor and all of its anger at former president Ronald Reagan. Every improbable and often hilarious event is explained with reference to either the former chief executive or one of his staff (Oliver North is a favorite target). After Washington is destroyed by a nuclear explosion, the Royalist Party comes to power and names army colonel Caesare (Chay) Appleton CINCAFUS-CIAFBIANSA (Commander in Chief, Armed Forces of the U.S. plus the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency). Chay devotes himself to defending the nation against the ``evil empire'' of Nicaragua and is eventually proclaimed emperor of the American Republic under legislation buried in an Omnibus Enabling Act that also grants the long-awaited congressional pay raise. Before his inevitable downfall, Chay beds almost every woman he meets and installs one of his brothers as the first American pope. Despite occasional confusion, much sad truth is suggested in these outrageous pages. (Feb.)
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Meet the Author
Born and raised in New York City, Richard Condon began writing fiction in his forties. He had previously worked in the movie business for more than twenty years as a press agent for Walt Disney productions, putting in time at nearly all of the major studios. In addition to The Manchurian Candidate — a work that many feel disturbingly foreshadowed the assassination of both President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert — he wrote numerous bestsellers, including Prizzi's Honor and Prizzi's Family. He died in 1996.