They Eat Puppies, Don't They?: A Novel

They Eat Puppies, Don't They?: A Novel

3.9 14
by Christopher Buckley, Robert Petkoff
     
 

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In an attempt to gain congressional approval for a top-secret weapons system, Washington lobbyist "Bird" McIntyre teams up with sexy, outspoken neocon Angel Templeton to pit the American public against the Chinese. When Bird fails to uncover an authentic reason to slander the nation, he and Angel put the Washington media machine to work, spreading a rumor that the

Overview

In an attempt to gain congressional approval for a top-secret weapons system, Washington lobbyist "Bird" McIntyre teams up with sexy, outspoken neocon Angel Templeton to pit the American public against the Chinese. When Bird fails to uncover an authentic reason to slander the nation, he and Angel put the Washington media machine to work, spreading a rumor that the Chinese secret service is working to assassinate the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile in China, mild-mannered President Fa Mengyao and his devoted aide Gang are maneuvering desperately against sinister party hard-liners Minister Lo and General Han. Now Fa and Gang must convince the world that the People's Republic is not out to kill the Dalai Lama, while maintaining Fa's small margin of power in the increasingly militaristic environment of the party.

On the home front, Bird must contend with a high-strung wife who entertains Olympic equestrian ambition, and the qualifying competition happens to be taking place in China. As things unravel abroad, Bird and Angel's lie comes dangerously close to reality. And as their relationship rises to a new level, so do mounting tensions between the United States and China.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
In Buckley’s novel and political satire, to win approval for a new weapons system, lobbyist Bird McIntyre partners with a beautiful, right-minded radical named—of all things—Angel to turn the American public against the Chinese. But when their efforts fail, the duo concocts a story so outrageous that it just might end up becoming the truth. Narrator Robert Petkoff’s straightforward yet inspired reading brings this audio edition of Buckley’s novel to life. Petkoff’s narration is relaxed and steady, and his interpretations of the characters feature slight shifts in dialect and pitch—making them all the more realistic. Ably capturing the spirit of Buckley’s prose, Petkoff provides a reading that is sure to entertain. A Hachette/Twelve hardcover. (May)
From the Publisher
"Each of his novels may be light as air, but bit by bit they're building up into a significant social portrait, the beginnings of a vast Comédie-Washingtonienne . . . At a time of high political absurdity, Buckley remains our sharpest guide to the capital, and amore serious one than we may suppose."—Blake Wilson, New York Times Book Review"

As Jon Stewart proves, Washington is an easy target to satirize with its hypocrisy, ego-powered politicians and endless hot-air emissions. What sets Buckley apart is his ability to mock Washington yet convey a genuine admiration for many of its residents . . . Buckley remains hilarious."—USA Today"

Hilarious . . . full of wry observations on the follies of Washington high life. What makes it laugh-out-loud funny is Buckley's sense of how little you have to exaggerate to make Washington seem absurd."—New York Daily News"

You can't make this stuff up . . . Unless of course you are Christopher Buckley, son of the late William, whose fictional satires are must-reads for those looking to understand our cultural moment, or at least have a few laughs at it. Buckley is a master at cooking up scenarios that are wild without being entirely absurd and populating them with attractive characters."—Chicago Sun Times

USA Today
"As Jon Stewart proves, Washington is an easy target to satirize with its hypocrisy, ego-powered politicians and endless hot-air emissions. What sets Buckley apart is his ability to mock Washington yet convey a genuine admiration for many of its residents . . . Buckley remains hilarious."
New York Daily News
"Hilarious . . . full of wry observations on the follies of Washington high life. What makes it laugh-out-loud funny is Buckley's sense of how little you have to exaggerate to make Washington seem absurd."
Blake Wilson - New York Times Book Review
"Each of his novels may be light as air, but bit by bit they're building up into a significant social portrait, the beginnings of a vast Comédie-Washingtonienne . . . At a time of high political absurdity, Buckley remains our sharpest guide to the capital, and amore serious one than we may suppose."
Chicago Sun Times
"You can't make this stuff up . . . Unless of course you are Christopher Buckley, son of the late William, whose fictional satires are must-reads for those looking to understand our cultural moment, or at least have a few laughs at it. Buckley is a master at cooking up scenarios that are wild without being entirely absurd and populating them with attractive characters."
Chicago Sun-Times
You can't make this stuff up . . . Unless of course you are Christopher Buckley, son of the late William, whose fictional satires are must-reads for those looking to understand our cultural moment, or at least have a few laughs at it. Buckley is a master at cooking up scenarios that are wild without being entirely absurd and populating them with attractive characters.
Blake Wilson
Each of his novels may be light as air, but bit by bit they're building up into a significant social portrait, the beginnings of a vast Comédie-Washingtonienne . . . At a time of high political absurdity, Buckley remains our sharpest guide to the capital, and amore serious one than we may suppose.
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Buckley takes on another hot-button political issue in his latest satire. Returning somewhat to the Thank You For Smoking model, he presents “Bird” McIntyre, PR functionary for another unappealing lobby: arms manufacturers. His employers, Groepping-Sprunt, have a solution without a problem: a secret defense system, related to a near-future China, that is threatening in its ascendance authoritarianism, and ownership of American debt, if not actively dangerous. The company hopes that Bird’s fomenting of anti-China sentiment will mean appropriations. His attentions soon turn to an ailing Dalai Lama, and a complex game of manipulation involving the upper echelons of the Chinese and American governments is afoot. Buckley has a smart grasp of the issues and plots a convincingly byzantine series of machinations, maintaining a light tone while discussing topics like state-sponsored assassination and drones. He’s at his funniest when describing Bird’s efforts to complete his hackneyed quartet of political thrillers, a self-aware move that revels in thriller clichés like the irresistible “blond, buff miniskirted” co-conspirator. There are a few sags and predictable twists, but overall this is a well-built addition to Buckley’s oeuvre. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (May)
Fortune
"The quintessential political novelist of our time."
Tom Wolfe

PRAISE FOR CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY

"One of the funniest writers in the English language."

John Updike
"A Benchley with WordPerfect."
Joseph Heller
"An effervescent joy."
Christian Science Monitor
"Christopher Buckley is the nation's best humor novelist."
National Review
"Christopher Buckley doesn't merely observe the zeitgeist better than anyone else on the planet. He anticipates it-and routinely has a new novel finished at the precise moment when everyone else is about to notice that something is afoot."
Associated Press Staff
"With rising concern about China's military buildup and its economic rivalry with the U.S., perhaps the best course of action is to milk the situation for some laughs. And there are laughs aplenty in Christopher Buckley's sendup.... Creators of great works of satire, such as Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain, don't appear often, but Buckley follows in the footsteps of fellow satirist Tom Wolfe in giving readers a delightful perspective on some of the leading issues and social mores of our times."
The New York Times Book Review
"Sun Tzu's Chinese classic, 'The Art of War,' gets quite a workout in Christopher Buckley's latest uproarious political farce, fervently quoted by strivers and schemers in both Beijing and Washington."
The Washington Post
"Buckley is at his searing best.... Buckley knows Washington. He knows satire. He knows Dr. Strangelove and how to ratchet up absurdities. As our antiheroes get closer and the stakes climb, the book mixes outrageousness and plausibility like a dirty martini..... this is a funny book, and there's nothing here to displease the devoted Buckley fan. And perhaps it speaks to his skill with satire that as the world teeters toward war, we find ourselves missing his lobbyist."
The Wall Street Journal
"They Eat Puppies, Don't They? cuts deftly between politburo meetings in China and backroom deals in Washington while skewering D.C. pretensions.... Unlike so many other satirists of Beltway culture, Buckley is both deeply informed and deeply funny."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Waggishly amusing... It requires a certain measure of audacity to reward that most whacked of political piñatas, the Washington lobbyist, with his day in the sun. But lobbyists and spin doctors have been good to Buckley (see Thank You for Smoking and Boomsday), who reciprocally accords them a mordant admiration akin to that which David Mamet has lavished upon real estate sharks and card sharps."
The Daily Beast
"A hilarious and page-turning story of political absurdity worthy of Dr. Strangelove himself."
Houston Chronicle
"A funny, funny book.... Buckley is that rare combination-a brilliant satirist of the first-order and a laugh-out-loud funny writer. They Eat Puppies, Don't They? is one of his best."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Sharply hilarious, outrageously fun....Outrageous does not mean implausible, however, and Buckley commands the material so convincingly that the reader stops to ponder if some comic invention wasn't something read in the newspaper last week...They Eat Puppies is smart entertainment, too. And seriously funny."
The Oklahoman
"World powers get little respect from Christopher Buckley in his latest novel.... And as the title might suggest, there is a lot of humor to be digested...hilarious....The usual disclaimer describes the book as a 'work of fiction,' and one can only hope there are no exceptions to that."
Booklist

"Bulls-eye political satire"

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"You won't really be fond of any of the characters in Christopher Buckley's satire 'They Eat Puppies, Don't They?' But you will have a ball reading about their shenanigans.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Christopher Buckley, amuser-in-chief...Buckley's latest foray into international affairs is entertaining and topical. It cuts close to the bone, funny and otherwise."
Library Journal
Bird McIntyre, a Washington lobbyist and novelist manqué with a few really bad thrillers in his closet, and neo-con Wonkette Angel Templeton want to make sure that Congress approves a top-secret weapons system. So they start a rumor that the Chinese secret service wants to assassinate the Dalai Lama. Expect more barbed political humor from Buckley, who sells quite nicely.
Kirkus Reviews
The title refers to the supposed culinary propensities of the Chinese, but as this novel makes clear, it's said with more than a twist of irony. Defense lobbyist Walter "Bird" McIntyre is not having a good day, for his big push for aerospace contractor Groepping-Sprunt to secure a multi-billion dollar contract for drones the size of jumbo jets has fallen through. He retires to his modest home, which he's dubbed the Military Industrial Duplex, to plot a new direction for his life. Fortuitously, he quickly links up with Angel Templeton, a sexy, frighteningly unsentimental and ultraconservative pundit--so conservative she's named her son Barry Goldwater Templeton--who has a wacko plan to embarrass the Chinese by claiming their secret service is planning to assassinate the Dalai Lama. Blindsided by the false media campaign, the Chinese are caught by surprise but need to deal with the crisis, artificially induced though it may be. McIntyre has to balance both domestic and political troubles when his wife, Myndi, is named to the United States equestrian team that's scheduled to have a meet in China, one that might be canceled owing to the newest Sino-American conflict. And things get really complicated when, predictably, Bird and Angel begin an affair--and the Dalai Lama develops pheochromocytoma, and then dies. Buckley handles all of these strange machinations with a breezy style and loves mixing the fictional with the real--for example, by having Angel Templeton engage in a mano a mano debate on Chris Matthews' Hardball. A lively and politically spirited read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611134261
Publisher:
Hachette Audio
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Sales rank:
1,018,376
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Joseph Heller
An effervescent joy.
John Updike
A Benchley with WordPerfect.

Meet 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 twelve books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, Florence of Arabia, and the memoir Losing Mum and Pup.

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They Eat Puppies, Don't They? 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But not great. Parts were funny particularly the end.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite "Bird" McIntyre is a Washington DC lobbyist who works on the nation's most secret goings-on. Married to a gold-digging Equestrian Olympic hopeful who lives at their ranch (not in D.C.), Bird seems to have two lives. One life is the underbelly of the government while the other is with the elitist that seem to gravitate to his wife. Bird's world is turned upside down when he pairs up with Angel Templeton to spread rumors that China is out to kill His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Just as a tornado destroys everything in its path so when these two get together strange events take place. The book starts out in a very intriguing manner, drawing the reader in so far that one does not want to put the book down until finished. Therein lies the problem. It seems that the author simply got tired of writing given the intensity of the book up until the last few chapters. I found myself mesmerized by the plot but then I was dropped off a cliff with a flimsy umbrella for a parachute. The storyline is a good one with intrigue, politics, double crosses and twists. The tale seems to be as if it were modern day and possibly happening in a parallel world. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes this kind of story but don't get worked up for the end. You will be sorely disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny. Well-paced and eerie. The machinactions of foreign policy have never been more riviting :)
JustMyTwoCents More than 1 year ago
I've read several of Christopher Buckley's books, and this one wasn't his best, but was still entertaining. Thank You for Not Smoking was terrific, of course, but I'd also recommend his first -- or one of his first books - The White House Mess. That being said, the plot of this novel, as in others can be confusing with so many characters and layers of deceit going on, but it is the witty, elitist sort of humor that keeps my going. I don't recommend buying a lot of books--but this one is worth at least checking out from the library. 
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I wishmore writers were entertaining in a manner like Buckley. Always a fun read.
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If you're not reviewing the book, shut up.