One Hell of a Candidate ) elicits chuckles but few belly laughs with his latest satire of national politics. Pete Dick"/>
 

The Ernesto Che Guevara School for Wayward Girls

William F. Gavin, Author
William F. Gavin, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-312-33889-3
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-0747-1
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Former Nixon and Reagan speechwriter Gavin (One Hell of a Candidate ) elicits chuckles but few belly laughs with his latest satire of national politics. Pete Dickinson, once a top speechwriter for President Ty "the Guy" Ferguson but now trying to make his living as a freelancer, has all sorts of problems—money, cocaine, women. As part of a last-ditch effort to pull himself out of dire financial straits, Pete takes on too much work. He's secretly rehired to write presidential addresses, but at the same time accepts a gig composing speeches for the head of the titular school, Ferguson's political rival Donna Hart Lyons, "Godmother of the American Left" and real mother of Pete's old flame "Che Che." Dickinson juggles those jobs with assignments for a union chief and a right-wing radio talk-show host. What happens? You guessed it: he mixes up the speeches and political mayhem ensues. Gavin shows a beltway insider's understanding and eye for detail, but his latest effort struggles to find traction. Pete is an amusing if not very engaging snob, and the book's numerous subplots, while entertaining, go on at the expense of the story's main thread. (Jan.)

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