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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice light reading for politics junkies
Although this is hardly a brilliant novel, it makes a fine reading for us fans of politics; it was a nice light Holidays reading for me.
I liked it more than the film although it shares one good feature with the film: together with the hero/young black aid Henry, the reader/viewer is sucked into the magnetic power of politics, ideology and personal charms...
Published on 1 Jan. 2009 by Nikica Gilic

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I could not get on with this book
Unfortunately I binned this book after only reading a few chapters.
I simply could not find a good enough storyline to keep me interested. At an early point in the book, it could have got interesting with a potential clash over two rival candidates, but then in the next few pages, the story ditched the other candidate without any description as to why they pulled out...
Published on 19 Feb. 2009 by Mrs. S. E. Davies


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice light reading for politics junkies, 1 Jan. 2009
Although this is hardly a brilliant novel, it makes a fine reading for us fans of politics; it was a nice light Holidays reading for me.
I liked it more than the film although it shares one good feature with the film: together with the hero/young black aid Henry, the reader/viewer is sucked into the magnetic power of politics, ideology and personal charms...

This book is not an attack on the Clintons (although the characters are obviously based on them and their circle) because the same political rules apply in the era when educated "half-black" hero Henry Burton became president and the Clintons are forced into supporting roles.

One of the fun trivia bits - Joe Klein (a.k.a. anonymous) wrote one of the characters for Kathy Bates to portray it in the eventual film version (which she did).
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 Nov. 2002
By 
G. SAUNDERS (Leipzig, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book was on my reading list for a module I'm studying in US Politics and for anyone with an interest in the intricacies of the american political system, this is a must.
Do not be put off by a rather weak film adaptation starring John Travolta and Emma Thompson, it loses lots of the personal feel of the novel. Indeed the fact that the book is written in the first person is one of the reasons that it is so compelling and so realistic. You find yourself drawn not only into the strange world of a democratic party campaign but also into the lives of the co-workers, particularly the relationship between the narrator and a fellow campaign official.
The book succeeds in creating an interesting story about politics, ambition, love and sex, and paints a fabulous picture of life at the centre of politics in the United States.
If you are studying or are interested in politics, particularly stateside this is a must. For others, well, I would recommend having a go at it, the descriptions are beautiful and there is more to it than just the tussle for the presidential candidacy.
Give it a try, I loved it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of happenstance and serendipity, 1 Aug. 2010
By 
Geoffrey Woollard (South East Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
My relationship with this book is a mixture of happenstance and serendipity.

I heard of Primary Colors when it came out in 1996. I didn't get round to buying it then. Shortly thereafter - in 1998 - a film starring John Travolta and Emma Thompson was made of the book. Shortly thereafter, I was taking a trans-Atlantic flight and the film was shown. It was amusing enough to keep me awake but not amusing enough to make me want to buy the book. So I didn't buy the book. (Moral: always read the book before watching the film).

This year, my wife and I found ourselves in Washington State. On a pleasant little side-trip along Highway 101, we were in need of a good breakfast. We stopped off at 'The Tides Family Restaurant,' near Hoodsport, a small community in Mason County. We had a very good breakfast, lasting a couple of hours and consisting of good food and fine company. We were sated. We then noticed a small book case with second-hand books for sale and marked at a dollar each. In amongst the books on show was a very good hardback edition of Primary Colors. We got it. So, if my wife and I had not been loitering on a July Saturday morning in Washington State, if we had not been hungry, if we had not happened upon 'The Tides Family Restaurant' and if we had not had a dollar to spare, we would not have bought Primary Colors nor would I have enjoyed a book that is so, so much better than the film, nor would I be reviewing it for Amazon from back home in England after having read it into the wee small hours with amusement, fascination and admiration for the author's (the one-time 'Anonymous' but now known to be Joe Klein, a controversial but respected political author and blogger) skill in concocting a plot that bears sufficient kinship to real life and the real politics of the early 1990s and that is utterly riveting. As the author says, in a preface note, 'None of these events ever happened.' And, of course, Governor Jack Stanton and his wife, Susan, didn't exist either. Nor did Governor Stanton win the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1992. Or did he?

Perhaps I should warn readers of a sensitive disposition that the story-line is racy and that the dialogue is often crude. Despite the foregoing, I loved the book and recommend it to all who appreciate a steamy political tale told with the skill of a literary genius.

And, if you, dear reader, are ever in need of a good meal whilst travelling on Highway 101 in Washington State, stop by 'The Tides Family Restaurant' for first-class food and for another good book. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I could not get on with this book, 19 Feb. 2009
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Unfortunately I binned this book after only reading a few chapters.
I simply could not find a good enough storyline to keep me interested. At an early point in the book, it could have got interesting with a potential clash over two rival candidates, but then in the next few pages, the story ditched the other candidate without any description as to why they pulled out of the race, leaving the way clear for the main character to pull together his campaign.
The author when introducing quite minor characters, overly describes them, what they are wearing, what their thoughts are etc, but without actually giving you any background as to why they are in the story. Also the characters spend too much time reminiscing about past events, which seem to be meaningless to the story.
It may be that I should have given it longer and tried to read more of the book before judging it so harshly, but I have read books written in this manner before and ended up knowing as little about the story at the end of the book as when I started reading it!
I am sure that not everyone will agree with my review, but those who have similar reading taste to myself (see my other reviews) may also struggle with this one.
Thanks for reading my review.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A familiar sounding candidate seeks nomination for President, 6 Jan. 2001
Focussing on the attempts of Govenor Jack Stanton and his attempts to gain the Democratic nomination for President, the book is a satire on everything that is wrong with politics, as a man with dubious morals worms his way towards success. Laced with cynicism, the Stanton and his wife are skillful pastiches of Bill and Hilary Clinton, and there is much humour in the book. A fantastic read, I would strongly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in politcs: it reaffirms everything we know is wrong with government.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great political novel, 4 April 2009
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One of the best and most cynical books on American politics - hugely gripping, entertaining, shocking and brilliant.
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