cover image First Hubby

First Hubby

Roy Blount, jr. / Author Villard Books $18.95 (286p) ISBN 978-

Blount, well known as a country humorist with a flair for punning, has written a first novel about a country humorist with a flair for punning. Guy Fox, whose wisecrack on hearing Noriega's name is, ``Have yourself a merry little isthmus,'' is, in 1993, married to the first female president of the U.S. He decides to write a journal/memoir about how he and Clementine Searcy Fox met, reached the White House and what some of their problems and victories have been. What he, and Blount, bring off is a sweet and randy valentine to conjugal love. Guy and Clementine and their children, Jackson and Lucy, dote on each other, despite minor complications such as Clementine's considering an abortion when she discovers she's pregnant her first year in office. At one point, Guy recalls he once thought about penning a novel, but never began the project because ``I hate to get people in trouble.'' This confession gets to the heart of what's wrong with Blount's initial work of fiction. The pleasant but frail love story is almost overwhelmed with too-abundant puns and belch-and-barf jokes, and the plot is nearly bereft of any troubling, involving or satiric events that might alleviate the strain of Blount's relentlessly joking tone. (June)