Christopher Buckley and Bill Pronzini

So I was going to write about what’s absorbing me these days which is livable streets which will be the topic at lunch today with the recently retired architect who, I’m hoping, has time to become a pedestrian provocateur even though he lives on one of those glamorous, swoopy, auto-oriented streets in Clifton, but with Norm de Plume all fired up and in his raging Editor-in-Chief persona it seems best to say something about the two books I grabbed for weekend reading, both shortish, Christopher Buckley’s Supreme Courtship and Bill Pronzini’s The Other Side of Silence.

supreme_courtshipThe Buckley is another of those smart, funny, and apparently shallow but actually fairly profound Washington sendups he keeps tossing out as if they were so many easy singles except that when you sit down and try to do the same thing you realize it’s about like tossing out a little Chopin. The best reason for reading this particular one is not the main story which is the dilemmas of a tart, sexy, Texas TV judge who is asked to step up to the Supreme Court, but for the hilarious treatment of a Connecticut senator who is so obviously Joe Biden that Buckley, still one of the politest guests ever at the old-timey Library with the cutting edge lectures, might just as well have named him Joe Biden.

2f88fcae-d32e-464e-8f9b-25f22634b293img100The Pronzini is a mystery, that being what he does and has done seventy – seventy! – times only this time without the Nameless Detective he stuck himself with. God, he must have wished so many times he hadn’t done that, but he was stuck with it thanks to the fans. But the detective here is a former MP (MPs have to be grateful to Lee Child, don’t you think?) now working security who finds a woman near dead in the desert and takes it from there. It’s competent and entertaining if not exactly Lee Child, with great desert scenery. That’s where Pronzini’s heart seems to be these days. Pleasant diversions both.

-Nemo Wolfe

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Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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