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Supreme Courtshipby Christopher Buckley
Synopses & Reviews
President of the United States Donald Vanderdamp is having a hell of a time getting his nominees appointed to the Supreme Court. After one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill a Mockingbird, the president chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won't have the guts to reject her — Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation's most popular reality show, Courtroom Six.
Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including a floundering Chief Justice who, after legalizing gay marriage, learns that his wife has left him for another woman.
Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature. Supreme Courtship is another classic Christopher Buckley comedy about the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.
From Our Staff:
Supreme Courtship is Christopher Buckley's finest novel yet. His latest political romp takes on gay marriage, presidential debates, Supreme Court justice vetting, and much more. Always timely, always funny, you cannot go wrong with Buckley.
"From the indefatigable Buckley comes a flabby satire about a television judge who ends up on the Supreme Court. Unpopular president Donald P. Vanderdamp nominates Pepper Cartwright after Sen. Dexter 'Hang 'em High' Mitchell torpedoes his first two contenders. Once Pepper is confirmed and leaves her show, her producer (and soon-to-be ex-husband), Buddy Bixby, persuades Mitchell to leave the Senate and try his hand at acting as the star of the political drama POTUS. Vanderdamp, meanwhile, mounts a re-election bid to protest Congress's approval of an absurd term limits amendment. He faces off against Mitchell, who ditches his role as television president to run for real president, and before you can say 'Whizzer White,' it is left up to newbie Pepper and the rest of the Supremes to decide the fate of the election. Unfortunately for the reader, Pepper's story gets lost between the jokes and the overstuffed plot (including a romance with the Chief Justice, the investigation of a leak inside the Supreme Court and a nuclear threat from China), and the satire is oddly detached from the zeitgeist. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The premise of Christopher Buckley's new political comedy, "Supreme Courtship," isn't all that far-fetched. In fact, after Fred Thompson's bid to bring law and order to the White House, this novel could more accurately be called near-fetched — disarmingly, hilariously so. President Donald Vanderdamp, the most loathed POTUS in history, is outraged to have two Supreme Court nominations... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) crushed. To spite Dexter Mitchell, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Vanderdamp taps Perdita "Pepper" Cartwright, the sassy judge of a TV courtroom show. The straight-talking Texan proves so wildly popular that her confirmation sails through and Vanderdamp's approval ratings soar. Humiliated, Mitchell resigns his Senate seat to star as president in his own TV show, which then proves so wildly popular that he runs for president, campaigning with his hot TV wife rather than his actual wife. "You can't tell anymore what's real and what isn't," President Vanderdamp complains. "Everything's all jumbled. The world has been reduced to a wide-screen TV." While the insight isn't exactly original, Buckley has some serious fun with his very-close-to-real-life Supreme Court, which includes Silvio Santamaria, a supercilious arch-conservative, and glum Crispus Galavanter, who "occupied the 'black seat' on the court, though it was seldom openly referred to as such." The novel's comic centerpiece is Swayle v. Rimski Firearms, a case in which a criminal sues a gun company for a trigger malfunction during a bank robbery. When Pepper casts the deciding vote in favor of the bank robber, the plot thickens, as public outcry leads to one-term limits on the presidency. The courtship of the title refers to Pepper's affair with Chief Justice Declan Hardwether. Pepper and "Chiefy" share a delightful meet-cute when she disrupts his suicide attempt and the two parry about whether she's "construing too narrowly" in positing a "duty to care." You don't read a Buckley novel for the depth of character development. With her rodeo slang and cowboy boots, Pepper is Texas-trite, but no matter. You'll be belly-laughing through Buckley's byzantine plot, which includes Peester v. Spendo-Max Corp., a case in which a male shoplifter stuffing merchandise into a burqa sues the Reno police force for racial and religious profiling, and ends with the Supreme Court deciding a presidential election. As the president sighs, "It's not as though we haven't been there before." Last go-around, it wasn't quite so uproarious. Lisa Zeidner's most recent novel is "Layover." Reviewed by Lisa Zeidner, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Buckley delivers a clever, merry, escapist little parody. OK, sedatives are useful, but let's hope he has his claws out next time around." Booklist
"While Supreme Courtship doesn't quite reach the inspired lunacy of Boomsday or Thank You for Smoking, it's still mighty nifty....Just take my word for it, and the word is: delicious." Seattle Times
"You can almost hear the mute trumpet wah-wah in the background....Buckley has fun with the court's fractious politics and even more fun riffing on the strange creatures and customs of its marble halls." Blake Wilson, The New York Times Book Review
"Buckley is a master at setting up ridiculous situations featuring unsavory characters, and he does not disappoint here....Happily, Buckley features these supporting characters and their snappy dialog heavily. Recommended." Library Journal
"Why does Buckley think it's enough to give his characters funny names (Blyster Forkmorgan, Esquire, et al.) rather than develop them? Even Buckley fans might suspect that he's begun to crank them out a little too quickly." Kirkus Reviews
In bestselling author Buckley's hilarious novel, the president of the United States, ticked off at the Senate for rejecting his nominees, decides to get even by nominating America's most popular TV judge to the Supreme Court.
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. 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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