cover image BUSHWORLD: Enter at Your Own Risk

BUSHWORLD: Enter at Your Own Risk

Maureen Dowd, , read by Kathe Mäzur. . Penguin Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-305716-1

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Dowd's first collection of op-ed pieces tightly focuses on George W. Bush (aka "W.," "43," "our kinda-sorta chief executive," and "the boy king"). Dowd's 30 years of covering Washington politics enable her to start her trajectory with "Poppy" Bush packing up after his one-term presidency while sons Jeb and W. run for governor of Florida and Texas, respectively. Soon listeners are propelled into the messy Gore/Bush election of 2000 (between "the insufferable and the insufficient"), the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq War, which Dowd sees as a way for Bush Jr. to settle old scores with "Poppy's" Gulf War foe Saddam. Mazur's nimble narration is assured. She never stumbles over the tongue-twisting foreign names and locations, and she underplays Dowd's tart observations with a deadpan delivery. Dowd's "Grilled Over Rats" essay on a GOP anti-Gore ad that supposedly used subliminal messages originally ran with specific words in bold, creating its own subliminal message. On CD, the essay is read twice—the second time reading only the highlighted words. Penguin's spare packaging extends to the discs themselves. All essays begin with a new track, but without a title listing on disc or package, locating a specific essay among 144 pieces can prove frustrating. Simultaneous release with Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 2). (Sept.)