No Way to Treat a First Lady MOBI ´ Way to Treat


10 thoughts on “No Way to Treat a First Lady

  1. Mal Warwick Mal Warwick says:

    Funny Ha Ha, and Funny StrangeHumor is a funny thing Not long ago I introduced Christopher Buckley to an audience of about 100 people in Berkeley No, I didn t go to Yale with him This was solely on the strength of having given favorable reviews to several of his novels Buckley spoke off the cuff rather than read from his writing, and I found him hilarious So did about half the audience Some seemed to be on the verge of falling off their chairs from time to time But the other half of the Funny Ha Ha, and Funny StrangeHumor is a funny thing Not long ago I introduced Christopher Buckley to an audience of about 100 people in Berkeley No, I didn t go to Yale with him This was solely on the strength of having given favorable reviews to several of his novels Buckley spoke off the cuff rather than read from his writing, and I found him hilarious So did about half the audience Some seemed to be on the verge of falling off their chairs from time to time But the other half of the audience sat stone faced, often with arms crossed and eyes darting right and left, apparently waiting for a chance to sneak out of the room.All this is to say that I read No Way to Treat a First Lady, laughing all the way and maybe you won t Whenever as a child I told my mother that something was funny, she would ask, Funny ha ha, or funny strange Well, this one is a little of both No Way to Treat a First Lady tells the tale of a philandering President and a long suffering wife who has, apparently, murdered him in his sleep See what I mean Christopher Buckley s humor is grounded in such situations, not too many steps removed from reality Don t get me wrong The leading characters in this novel in no way resemble two recent residents of the White House And the supporting cast would be a better fit in a Marx Brothers film than in today s Washington, DC the best criminal defense lawyer money can buy, who incidentally was the jilted law school lover of the First Lady a blonde Court TV superstar, who is the current, much younger squeeze of the self important defense lawyer bumbling rival trial attorneys and a motley assortment of FBI and Secret Service agents and White House hangers on Even so, you can practically see them behind today s headlines.I won t spoil the story by summarizing the plot, which is deliciously complex and as full of surprises as a best selling thriller You deserve the chance to discover it on your own.Forewarned, then, that I think Christopher Buckley is one of the funniest writers currently walking the planet, I commend you to my previous reviews of his books Little Green Men, Florence of Arabia, The White House Mess, and They Eat Puppies, Don t They If you read or have read these reviews, you know that I don t think they re all equally good Florence of Arabia, for example, was just a little too real for me.Pretty soon I m going to run out of Buckley s books, and I ll just have to start reading them all over again


  2. Kirstin Kirstin says:

    When you re the First Lady and charged with murder, to whom do you turn In the case of Beth MacMann, you call up your law school sparring partner, Boyce Baylor, now a sleazy but successful celebrity attorney whom you last saw when you jilted him for the man who d become your husband When sparks still fly as you work together to unravel the President s death, is there any doubt that eventually you ll find yourself fighting not just for your life but also for a second chance at love I picked thi When you re the First Lady and charged with murder, to whom do you turn In the case of Beth MacMann, you call up your law school sparring partner, Boyce Baylor, now a sleazy but successful celebrity attorney whom you last saw when you jilted him for the man who d become your husband When sparks still fly as you work together to unravel the President s death, is there any doubt that eventually you ll find yourself fighting not just for your life but also for a second chance at love I picked this up at my grandmother s suggestion earlier this year and was pleased to have done so The story pulls you along quickly, the surroundings are peppered with my familiar D.C scenery, and if the characters aren t always likable, they do seem realistic You end up rooting for Beth and Boyce to solve things quickly and to sort out their various entanglements Plus the secondary characters, which include Babette Van Anka, the president s paramour and a former B grade singer actress, are laugh out loud worthy.Want to read a book that epitomizes the 90s, that combines the media circuses of the O.J trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal This is the tale for you.Buckley also wrote Thank You for Smoking, a hilarious parody of D.C lobbyists, which I saw on film a few years back


  3. Steve Chisnell Steve Chisnell says:

    I generally like Buckley s books, but he s now hit or miss with me NWTFL is mostly a miss While the cynical parody of the judicial system is entertaining enough, the characters are repulsive enough to hold the story at arm s length And as for the resolution, a great disappointment Read it for light nonsense with a chuckle or two Or read my first and still favorite, Boomsday.


  4. Dar R Dar R says:

    Just a pass time really Basically a beach book, or if you re in DC, a bar book If a woman had written it, they d call it chick lit Dick lit, I guess.


  5. Jason Pettus Jason Pettus says:

    THE GREAT COMPLETIST CHALLENGE In which I revisit older authors and attempt to read every book they ever wroteCurrently in the challenge Martin Amis Isaac Asimov Robot Empire Foundation Margaret Atwood JG Ballard Christopher Buckley Philip K Dick Daphne Du Maurier Michel Houellebecq John Irving Kazuo Ishiguro Shirley Jackson Bernard Malamud VS Naipaul Tim Powers Philip Roth John Updike Kurt VonnegutBetween his uproariously dark literary debut, 1994 s lobbyist THE GREAT COMPLETIST CHALLENGE In which I revisit older authors and attempt to read every book they ever wroteCurrently in the challenge Martin Amis Isaac Asimov Robot Empire Foundation Margaret Atwood JG Ballard Christopher Buckley Philip K Dick Daphne Du Maurier Michel Houellebecq John Irving Kazuo Ishiguro Shirley Jackson Bernard Malamud VS Naipaul Tim Powers Philip Roth John Updike Kurt VonnegutBetween his uproariously dark literary debut, 1994 s lobbyist satire Thank You For Smoking, and his new string of historically accurate Medieval satires such as 2015 s The Relic Master, the purportedly true story of the con artists who faked the Shroud of Turin , I ve become a big fan of political journalist turned comedic author Christopher Buckley, which is why I added him to the list of writers I m tackling as part of The Great Completist Challenge What I m learning, though, is that like a lot of politically focused satirists, when Buckley isn t at the absolute top of his game, his exaggeration of archetypes can get obvious and plodding really fast, ruining any enjoyment you might ve gotten from the wacky hijinx of the plot itself.I first noticed this in his second novel, the UFO panic satire Little Green Men, which I eventually forced myself to finish against my will just to say that I had but the problem gets exponentially worse in his third book, No Way to Treat a First Lady, so much so that I barely got even 50 pages into it before quitting it in bored disgust Written during the Clinton Lewinsky scandal of the late 1990s, and published a year after Clinton left office, Buckley obviously got the inspiration for it from that situation it s the story of a strong, independent first lady who, increasingly disgusted with her husband s philandering, whips an antique bedpan at his head one night during a fight, accidentally kills him, then is put on trial by her opportunistic political opponents for assassinating a President, eventually hiring a flamboyant Johnny Cochran type celebrity attorney to defend her.It sounds like a great premise, definitely the consistently strongest part of Buckley s writing skills but the actual manuscript is so ham fisted and stereotype beholden that one can barely get through it, so dedicated Buckley is to pushing these cardboard cutouts around as they increasingly get in the way of the plot he s trying to unspool I will absolutely continue to make my way through his bibliography next on the list is 2004 s Florence of Arabia, in which a low level State Department flunky suddenly finds herself with a chance to introduce American style liberal feminism to Qatar but certainly I ll be approaching all the rest of his books with low expectations, pleased when they turn out to be better than I hoped for but accepting when they invariably don t You re best off approaching this definition of hit and miss writer yourself as well.Christopher Buckley books now reviewed Thank You For Smoking The Relic Master Little Green Men


  6. Mark Taylor Mark Taylor says:

    As the political atmosphere seems to get worse and worse by the day, it feels almost quaint to recall the late 1990 s and early 2000 s Bill and Hillary Bob Dole W Al Gore Novelist Christopher Buckley does an excellent job conjuring up that era in his 2002 novel No Way to Treat a First Lady In the novel, First Lady Elizabeth Tyler MacMann wakes up to find a dead president next to her in bed The evening before, the couple had quarreled over the President s late night visit to the Lincoln Be As the political atmosphere seems to get worse and worse by the day, it feels almost quaint to recall the late 1990 s and early 2000 s Bill and Hillary Bob Dole W Al Gore Novelist Christopher Buckley does an excellent job conjuring up that era in his 2002 novel No Way to Treat a First Lady In the novel, First Lady Elizabeth Tyler MacMann wakes up to find a dead president next to her in bed The evening before, the couple had quarreled over the President s late night visit to the Lincoln Bedroom, where he had an assignation with singer and movie star Babette Van Anka After questioning, the First Lady is arrested for the assassination of her late husband No Way to Treat a First Lady leads us through the Trial of the Millennium that inevitably ensues The First Lady has entrusted one of the most famous defense attorneys in the country, Boyce Shameless Baylor to defend her Awkward backstory Boyce was engaged to Beth in law school, but she broke it off when she met the future President Boyce has cycled through four marriages, the latest one lasting all of six months As Boyce says, We were blissfully happy the first two months p.40 Boyce s current flame is Perri Pettengill, who hosts a legal talk show called Hard Gavel Perri is known for wearing very tight sweaters She s become so famous that Tom Wolfe had mentioned her in an essay, calling her the Lemon Tort p.14 I won t spoil anyof the plot, but Buckley does an excellent job of winding this improbable case through its many twists and turns Buckley is especially adept and handling the back and forth of the courtroom scenes You could make the argument that there s no one to really root for in the novel, but once Buckley compared Beth to Natalie Wood, she instantly had my sympathy And in my head, I had cast Alec Baldwin as Boyce Baylor, so I found pretty much anything Baylor said to be quite hilarious There are many humorous lines sprinkled throughout No Way to Treat a First Lady The press nickname for Beth was Lady Bethmac, and Buckley gets off a great Macbeth pun by naming a Secret Service agent Woody Birnam My other favorite lines from the book include Hypocrisy is a prerogative of the press but must under no circumstances be tolerated in politicians p.24 Sometimes the American Dream, like God, works in mysterious ways p.113 I also laughed heartily at Boyce s list of Baby Boomer accomplishments Disco, junk bonds, silicone implants, colorized movies, the whole concept of stress as a philosophical justification for self indulgence p.133 Fans of Buckley s other Washington, D.C satires should note that John O Banion, the lead character in Little Green Men, briefly appears, as does Nick Naylor, the unscrupulous lobbyist from Thank You for Smoking Naylor has taken a job as a publicist for Babette Van Anka, a position that isandfraught with danger as the novel progresses Buckley relentlessly skewers the ridiculousness of the press throughout the book There are also many opportunities for the skewering of the legal profession, and one of my favorite quotes was this one There are few spectaclespathetic than a roomful of otherwise responsible people trying to squirm out of a civic duty enshrined in Magna Carta as one of the signal boons of democracy On the other hand, who in his right mind wants to serve on a jury p.66 As someone who has served on a jury, I can identify with that sentiment If you re looking for an escape from the current political climate, you ll enjoy No Way to Treat a First Lady


  7. Steve Kettmann Steve Kettmann says:

    My review published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002 First lady might be a murdererReviewed by Steve KettmannSunday, October 13, 2002No Way to Treat a First Lady By Christopher Buckley RANDOM HOUSE 288 PAGES 24.95 Skewering Washington political culture with hilarious, over the top novels has always been a tough job, but it got a lot tougher during our long national obsession with Bill Clinton and the sordid My review published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002 First lady might be a murdererReviewed by Steve KettmannSunday, October 13, 2002No Way to Treat a First Lady By Christopher Buckley RANDOM HOUSE 288 PAGES 24.95 Skewering Washington political culture with hilarious, over the top novels has always been a tough job, but it got a lot tougher during our long national obsession with Bill Clinton and the sordid details of his White House sex life How could anyone top this stuff What could beludicrous No one would have blamed Christopher Buckley, author of the satires The White House Mess and Thank You for Smoking, for throwing his hands in the air and giving up on this kind of book forever Instead, No Way to Treat a First Lady succeeds despite seeming somehow redundant Here s the setup A long suffering first lady, incensed at her husband s latest infidelity, explodes in anger and heaves a historic Paul Revere spittoon at him The next morning, the president is found dead, and first lady Elizabeth MacMann is charged with his murder During the ensuing Trial of the Millennium, Lady Beth Mac as the tabloids call her swallows any reservations she might have and enlists the services of the nation s top trial lawyer, Boyce Shameless Baylor Shameless happens to be an old flame from law school, one Beth unceremoniously dumped when she met the dashing, ambitious, White House bound Ken MacMann Baylor takes the case with the idea of losing on purpose, reputation be damned, just to inflict a little long deferred revenge But that idea quickly goes out the window, along with any reluctance to pick up where they left off 25 years earlier Rich as the setup is, it almost doesn t matter Buckley is at his best when he s having delirious fun with the details along the way, and like any great satirist, he tends to be funnier when he s also making a serious point Buckley, editor of Forbes FYI magazine, taps a deep reservoir of insights on Washington and its media culture When Shameless, motivated by selflessness for a change, tampers with the jury, the FBI agents arrest him during his appearance on a TV morning program The director of the FBI denied that the timing was intended to humiliate Boyce Baylor, Buckley writes The agents were simply following procedure Of course no one believed this, much less the director of the FBI, but the media was so grateful to him for providing them with such a spectacular moment that they didn t press Describing the general in charge of the ultrasecret and ultrapowerful National Security Agency, he writes Roscoe Farquant was, as most NSA chiefs tended to be, a former military person He looked it trim, peach fuzz hair, glasses, eyes beady with the big big secrets He looked like a man who wouldn t tell God something on the grounds that God was not cleared to know Or how about the new president President Harold Farkley was in the middle of a meeting with various princes of a Middle Eastern kingdom, he writes read Saudi Arabia He hoped to persuade them to increase their oil production in time to lower prices at the gas pump before the upcoming presidential election He knew that in return they would ask him to sell them advanced U.S fighter jets, ostensibly to protect their oil but really to annoy the Israelis Thus the intractable American position in the Middle East pleading with Arabs foroil while providing their enemy with the latest weapons Another day at the White House The book has many laughs, especially the wicked sport Buckley makes of Babette Van Anka, the film star paramour of the late president, who identifies herself, on the witness stand, under oath, as an an activist in international affairs because of all the valuable work she has done on behalf of Middle East peace Buckley s problem, though, is that laughing at presidential erections just isn t that fun It doesn t transport us to some fresh new place, where the perspective is a littleclear, and absurdities are a littletolerable for having been exposed No, even two years after the Clinton era, chuckling over red faced presidential huffing and puffing or presidential dousing of the presidential privates in a glass of ice water feels a little like sitting in the studio audience and following Jay Leno through onetired routine The big sign says laugh, and laugh we do, but who can blame us for turning the page right away and getting on to the next bits That s not to knock Buckley But here s hoping he s already hard at work on one orfollow up volumes, say, something skewering the cartoonish style of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld If anyone can do it, Buckley can Steve Kettmann is the editor of Game Time, an anthology of Roger Angell s New Yorker baseball writing, coming out in April.http sfgate.com cgi bin article.cgiThis article appeared on page RV 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle


  8. Chaitra Chaitra says:

    This was hilarious until Shameless became a little too besotted with the former First Lady I still laughed a lot at the shenanigans, but not as much as the first half I expected it to be boring but that it was decidedly not Weirdly, this world has both Hillary Clinton and Lady Bethmac It also has both O J Simpson and a J J Bronco who is clearly meant to be O J.


  9. Beth Medvedev Beth Medvedev says:

    Fun


  10. Gene Gene says:

    A fun thing to read, especially for those of us who despise most lawyers, politicians, and media personalities Buckley makes skillful fun out of making these characters in his book about as unlikable as possible It dealt with sex quite a bit, but we Americans are becoming used to having that as a part of our presidential politics Not recommended for those who would rather not read something slightly off color But it really is humorous throughout, and though not gripping, the plot did keep my A fun thing to read, especially for those of us who despise most lawyers, politicians, and media personalities Buckley makes skillful fun out of making these characters in his book about as unlikable as possible It dealt with sex quite a bit, but we Americans are becoming used to having that as a part of our presidential politics Not recommended for those who would rather not read something slightly off color But it really is humorous throughout, and though not gripping, the plot did keep my attention


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No Way to Treat a First Lady Christopher Buckley is not so much a novelist as a free ranging satirist looking for targets In Thank You for Smoking it was big tobacco and earnest reformers in God Is My Broker it was business and religion and in No Way to Treat a First Lady, it s the entire legal profession, not to mention the Washington establishment The novel opens with the President of the United States returning to the conjugal bed after an illicit Lincoln Bedroom romp with the Streisandesque Babette Van Anka His wife, the long suffering Beth McMann, promptly clocks him with a Paul Revere spittoon Several hours later he dies Lady Bethmac, as the First Lady is immediately dubbed by the media, is put on trial, and the resulting media circus gives Buckley lots of opportunity for nicely observed skewerings of legal culture Judge Dutch creaked forward in his chair This is the source of the aura of judges they have bigger chairs than anyone else That and the fact that they can sentence people to sit in electrified ones It s all about chairs He gets in some neat neologisms a lawyer performs a credibilobotomy on a witness and sends up the pretensions of law TV at a roundtable discussion, the guest from Harvard Law is invited to provide gravitas and to shift uneasily in his seat when the other guests said something provocative Buckley s Trial of the Millennium is so far fetched that it seems entirely possibleClaire Dederer ❮Reading❯ ➸ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space Author Muriel Dimen – Kleankitchen.co.uk it s the entire legal profession [Download] ➽ Insight and Interpretation ➺ Roy Schafer – Kleankitchen.co.uk not to mention the Washington establishment The novel opens with the President of the United States returning to the conjugal bed after an illicit Lincoln Bedroom romp with the Streisandesque Babette Van Anka His wife [EPUB] ✵ Good People in an Evil Time Author Svetlana Broz – Kleankitchen.co.uk the long suffering Beth McMann [Read] ➵ On a Day Like This ➼ Peter Stamm – Kleankitchen.co.uk promptly clocks him with a Paul Revere spittoon Several hours later he dies Lady Bethmac ⚦ [PDF] ✎ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ✶ – Kleankitchen.co.uk as the First Lady is immediately dubbed by the media [PDF / Epub] ☉ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Kleankitchen.co.uk is put on trial [Epub] ❧ Secrecy ➛ Rupert Thomson – Kleankitchen.co.uk and the resulting media circus gives Buckley lots of opportunity for nicely observed skewerings of legal culture Judge Dutch creaked forward in his chair This is the source of the aura of judges they have bigger chairs than anyone else That and the fact that they can sentence people to sit in electrified ones It s all about chairs He gets in some neat neologisms a lawyer performs a credibilobotomy on a witness and sends up the pretensions of law TV at a roundtable discussion [BOOKS] ✸ The Silence and the Roar ⚦ Nihad Sirees – Kleankitchen.co.uk the guest from Harvard Law is invited to provide gravitas and to shift uneasily in his seat when the other guests said something provocative Buckley s Trial of the Millennium is so far fetched that it seems entirely possibleClaire Dederer


About the Author: Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1976 He shipped out in the Merchant Marine and at age 24 became managing editor of Esquire magazine At age 29, he became chief speechwriter to the Vice President of the United States, George H.W Bush Since 1989 he has been founder and editor in chief of Forbes Life magazine Librarian Note There isthan one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread forinformation He is the author of twelve books, most of them national bestsellers They include The White House Mess, Wet Work, Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, Little Green Men, No Way To Treat a First Lady, Florence of Arabia, Boomsday and Supreme Courtship Mr Buckley has contributed over 60 comic essays to The New Yorker magazine His journalism, satire and criticism has been widely published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New Republic, Washington Monthly, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Esquire, and other publications He is the recipient of the 2002 Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence In 2004 he was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor.