Family Politics

John Buckley, Author
John Buckley, Author Holiday House $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-63457-5
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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If every tabloid rumor ever printed about the Kennedy, Ford and Buckley families were true, they'd be the Daleys, the down-at-the-heels dynasty whose rivalries are the subject of this genial, often riotous first novel. The narrator, youngest son Charles, works for a trend-spotting newspaper in Manhattan as a rock music critic and political scribe. But sibling loyalty begins to gnaw at him when his older brother, a hard-line conservative, enters the Senate race against the incumbent, a moderate Republican who is their uncle and foe. ``It's a problem when you want to be a reporter and your family's the news,'' admits Charles, diving headlong into the campaign. With bemused wit and unflagging energy, Buckley (a member of the Buckley clan) charts the course of a contest that includes psychotic cousins, family skeletons, murders both foiled and accomplished, fireworks, sharks and even a hilarious cameo appearance by Richard Nixon. Despite some plot points at odds with the late-'70s setting and tendencies toward smugness and sentimentality, this is a bright debut by an author who clearly knows his subject well. (June)
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