cover image Gordon Liddy is My Muse, by Tommy ""Tip"" Paine

Gordon Liddy is My Muse, by Tommy ""Tip"" Paine

John Calvin Batchelor. Linden Press, $18.45 (303pp) ISBN 978-0-671-69078-6

Posing as hack writer Tommy ``Tip'' Paine, Batchelor ( The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica ) offers a comic and often provocative look at contemporary America in this episodic ``autobiographical'' novel. In eight chapters, each self-contained, Tip roams from Moscow to Hollywood to New England to his ultimate destination, G. Gordon Liddy's Firearms Security Academy in Arizona. While in Russia, he watches a boyhood friend progress, over the years, from awed admirer of American western movies to KGB superstar to an official non-person, ``disappeared'' as part of that nation's changing politics. In Hollywood, despite the warnings of his decidedly offbeat agent, Tip falls into the clutches of a woman who is not what she seems. In New England, together with his ``imaginary best friend, McKerr,'' Tip solves a multiple murder and uncovers what is possibly a relic of American history. Finally, in the Arizona desert, he posits an arguable identity for the still-elusive``Deep Throat'' of the Watergate scandal. Other tales in this totally engaging work recount run-ins with famous literary personages, wealthy Texans and restless Vietnam veterans, or suggest a dark and ancient secret hidden in the heart of Germany. This may be Batchelor's breakthrough novel to the wide audience he deserves. (Mar.)