Friday, June 20, 2008

2008 Book 57: Primary Colors

Book #:57

Book Title:Primary Colors


Publisher:Random House

Pub. Date:1996


Started:June 15, 2008

Finished:June 19, 2008

Time to Read:5 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"He was a big fellow, looking seriously pale on the streets of Harlem in deep summer. I am small and not so dark, not very threatening to Caucasians; I do not strut my stuff.

We shook hands. My inability to recall that particular moment more precisely is disappointing: the handshake is the threshold act, the beginning of politics. I've seen him do it two million times now, but I couldn't tell you how he does it, the right-handed part of it - the strength, quality, duration of it, the rudiments of pressing the flesh. I can, however, tell you a whole lot about what he does with his other hand. He is a genius with it. He might put it on your elbow, or up by your biceps: these are basic, reflexive moves. He is interested in you. He is honored to meet you. If he gets any higher up your shoulder - if he, say, drapes his left arm over your back, it is somehow less intimate, more casual. He'll share a laugh or a secret then - a light secret, not a real one - flattering you with the illusion of conspiracy. If he doesn't know you all that well and you've just told him something "important," something earnest or emotional, he will lock in and honor you with a two-hander, his left hand overwhelming your wrist and forearm. He'll flash that famous misty look of his. And he will mean it."


Review:Quite honestly, the only thing that stops this work, which I am going to term "semi-fiction", from getting 5 stars instead of 4 is that I am disgruntled over how abruptly the ending comes. I could use another 100 pages or so of the political scenery Mr. Anonymous paints, the intrigue that is so absurd, and yet so real.

This book makes it hard to separate fiction from reality. It seems to be based more than loosely on actual events in an actual presidential campaign - I'll let you discover for yourself which one, if it isn't already apparent. The ebb and flow of the book is phenomenal in mimicking the pace of an actual campaign. The characters are left both murky but stirringly described and there are certain points where the reader may think they're holding an issue of Newsweek instead of a "semi-fictional" novel.

When I picked this up, I'd already done a once-over on my whole library and found nothing that was immediately calling my name. My husband had contributed this book to our joint library when we got married, and told me that I absolutely needed to read it - given my background and interests, he knew it'd be right up my alley. It definitely was, and now I urge you to give it a read for yourselves!

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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