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03 November 2015 @ 07:12 pm
I must admit that I like Real People Fic. I appreciate Guy Gavriel Kay’s argument about respecting the privacy of those who’ve gone even centuries before, but I wallow in scabrous imaginings about the unlibelable dead. James Ellroy’s American Tabloid is a particular fave. (Come to think of it I’d favor a Koch/cruz D/s, though I wouldn’t actually read it.)

A few years ago Thomas Mallon wrote a book with the irresistible title of Watergate: A Novel, which it lived up to. With a few truly fictional characters and some inspired conjectures about nonfictional ones, he told a delightful tale. He even managed to make Pat Nixon interesting.

Now he’s back, with Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years, and he’s done it again. A fine selection of viewpoint characters, including the deposed Nixon, the promising young journalist Christopher Hitchens, and the First Lady’s astrologer (in fulfillment of the prophecy in Stranger in a Strange Land), tell us a fascinating story.
et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on November 9th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
Have you read Silent Coup, about the Watergate Burglary?
During the Pakistani Civil War that broke off Bangla Desh, Nixon sent the Seventh Fleet into the Bay of Bengal. Personally. The Joint Chiefs found out about the move from the morning papers. They were not pleased. So they infiltrated a spy into the White House staff so they'd be sure of knowing where the army and navy were.
That's not a direct part of the narrative, it's scene-setting illustrating how insanely paranoid the Nixon White House was.
The book is the only serious investigative reporting of the burglary that I've ever seen, and it's insane fun, even if one of its main conclusions has been contradicted.