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The Running Mate Paperback – 5 Apr 2001

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (5 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099285584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099285588
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,901,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Senator Charlie Martin, the slightly John McCain-like war hero of Joe Klein's The Running Mate, thought getting blown up in Vietnam was tough, but presidential politics proves the uglier jungle battlefield. Charlie blows his challenge to the incumbent, Jack Stanton (the delightfully slimy protagonist of Klein's roman à clef about Clinton's 1992 campaign), by refusing to smear Stanton for his affair with his wife's stylist, "the Happy Hairdresser". Then he brushes a campaign worker's breast--by accident--and gets punched on TV by her irate dad. Charlie does, however, revive his career by springing a veteran named Mustafa from a Vietnamese prison, and soon he's on Stanton's shortlist for veep and politicking to get an old war buddy named defence secretary.

In this political novel par excellence, skeletons dance out of practically everybody's closet. Charlie's vivid trip back to Vietnam turns up a son he sired in a one-night stand; his wickedly droll, still healthy Southern press secretary is HIV positive; Mustafa has society re-entry problems; and major politicians turn out to be closet pill heads, boozehounds or rapists of staffers ("Apparently, she suffered an involuntary loss of her virginity in the Cannon Building"). Even Republicans hoard deadly secrets. And politics isn't about policies, it's about artful Machiavellian manoeuvres, back stabbing, and feeding scandals to ignorant, arrogant press know-it-alls. (You can't say Klein lacks chutzpah!) Ornery but honest Charlie finds politics "becoming more noxious and also more sterile as the century staggered home". One politico says, "It's a big game hunt, and we're the game.... The jungle'll be left to pygmies and hyenas".

Klein hails and nails Stanton/Clinton for skilful cynicism: "He was all yak-butter and horseshit", says Charlie. Fans of Primary Colors will love this book's raffish authenticity. But the canvas is vaster--the Vietnam chapter is as evocative as the American ones--the story sprawls Tom Wolfe-ishly, and Klein is not just scoring points, he's a moralist hunting big game. --Tim Appelo

Review

Praise for Primary Colors:
"An absolutely dazzling book, the best political novel in many years, one that manages to be simultaneously cynical and redemptive, funny and profound, reportorial, satirical, and thrilling."
-- Christopher Buckley, "The New Yorker"
"Breaks all the rules and lives to tell about it ... there is a wonderful honesty about [Primary Colors], a refusal to give into the conventional interpretation of people and events that cripples so much that is written about politics."
-- Michael Lewis, "The New York Times Book Review"
"This sensitively wrought, deftly drawn, acid-tongued political novel ... is the best aides' eye view of politics since All the King's Men."
-- Walter Shapiro, "Time"
"The dialogue throws sparks, capturing perfectly the lingo of political professionals.... [The author] is a writer of considerable gifts; he has intimate knowledge of the political world."
-- Andrew Ferguson, "The Wall Street Journal"
"A delight to read. The author knows politics ... and writes like a dream."
-- Alex Beam, "The Boston Globe"
"The rollicking new satire ... Primary Colors gives the reader an entertaining, inside and often very funny look at the daily workings of a political campaign."
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"[The author] has matched Teddy White. Nowadays, only fiction can do justice to the truth."
-- Richard Cohen, "The Washington Post"

Praise for Primary Colors

"An absolutely dazzling book, the best political novel in many years, one that manages to be simultaneously cynical and redemptive, funny and profound, reportorial, satirical, and thrilling."
-- Christopher Buckley, "The New Yorker"

"Breaks all the rules and lives to tell about it ... there is a wonderful honesty about [Primary Colors], a refusal to give into the conventional interpretation of people and events that cripples so much that is written about politics."
-- Michael Lewis, "The New York Times Book Review"

"This sensitively wrought, deftly drawn, acid-tongued political novel ... is the best aides' eye view of politics since All the King's Men."
-- Walter Shapiro, "Time"

"The dialogue throws sparks, capturing perfectly the lingo of political professionals.... [The author] is a writer of considerable gifts; he has intimate knowledge of the political world."
-- Andrew Ferguson, "The Wall Street Journal"

"A delight to read. The author knows politics ... and writes like a dream."
-- Alex Beam, "The Boston Globe"

"The rollicking new satire ... Primary Colors gives the reader an entertaining, inside and often very funny look at the daily workings of a political campaign."
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"

"[The author] has matched Teddy White. Nowadays, only fiction can do justice to the truth."
-- Richard Cohen, "The Washington Post"

Praise for Primary Colors
"An absolutely dazzling book, the best political novel in many years, one that manages to be simultaneously cynical and redemptive, funny and profound, reportorial, satirical, and thrilling."
-- Christopher Buckley, "The New Yorker"
"Breaks all the rules and lives to tell about it ... there is a wonderful honesty about [Primary Colors], a refusal to give into the conventional interpretation of people and events that cripples so much that is written about politics."
-- Michael Lewis, "The New York Times Book Review"
"This sensitively wrought, deftly drawn, acid-tongued political novel ... is the best aides' eye view of politics since All the King's Men."
-- Walter Shapiro, "Time"
"The dialogue throws sparks, capturing perfectly the lingo of political professionals.... [The author] is a writer of considerable gifts; he has intimate knowledge of the political world."
-- Andrew Ferguson, "The Wall Street Journal"
"A delight to read. The author knows politics ... and writes like a dream."
-- Alex Beam, "The Boston Globe"
"The rollicking new satire ... Primary Colors gives the reader an entertaining, inside and often very funny look at the daily workings of a political campaign."
-- Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"[The author] has matched Teddy White. Nowadays, only fiction can do justice to the truth."
-- Richard Cohen, "The Washington Post" --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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on 3 October 2000
Format: Paperback
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsSmart, fun, funny, and even tender
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4.0 out of 5 starsPrimary Colors readers might well like this book less.
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5.0 out of 5 starsA political wonderland
on 25 April 2000 - Published on Amazon.com

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