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am 24. Februar 2016
Satire-Profi Buckly erzählt routiniert, süffig überzogen und stets unterhaltsam von der Arbeit eines fiktiven Zigaretten-Lobbyisten in der US-Medien- und Politszene. Am Rand agieren auch PR-Akteure für Feuerwaffen und Alkohol.

Die vielen Dialoge sind voller Gags und geschmeidiger Sophistereien. Dennoch entsteht ein etwas fader Beigeschmack:

- Manche Dialoge und Szenarien wirken weit hergeholt, überflüssig oder unrealistisch, bieten offenbar nur den an den Haaren herbeigezogenen Anlass für neue Gags und Skurrilitäten.
- Buckley klingt stets etwas zu glatt routiniert und erwartbar; nicht so pointiert wie etwa die ansonsten ähnlichen Büroromane The Imperfectionists von Tom Rachman (den Buckley sehr lobte) (2010) und vor allem Then We Came to the End von Joshua Ferris (2007).
- Während Dialoge und politische Szenarien noch amüsieren, geht der eingebaute Kriminalfall in Richtung absurde James-Bond-Parodie, die Spuren von Liebesgeschichte überzeugen gar nicht (die Verfilmung von 2005 reduziert diese im Roman wichtigen Bereiche darum auf wenige Minuten, die intrigante Kollegin Jeannette verschwindet ganz)
- einiges klingt didaktisch belehrend

"Bestürzend reißerisch..." – die Rezensionen:

Kirkus Reviews:

Less a novel than a series of glib one-acts... playful assault on American moral hypocrisy... Topical allusions and a quick pace guarantee an amusing read, but Buckley's stereotyped characters, impassive prose, and pat ending limit his satirical reach to entertaining but inconsequential jabs.

Publishers Weekly:

The silly plot sometimes gets in the way of the funny stuff...

Falter.at:

So viel politisch Nicht-Korrektes, wie dort geplaudert wird, hört man nur noch selten. Das Buch ist feiner Lesestoff für alle, die beruflich fremde Meinungen vertreten müssen.

FAZ, Burkhard Spinnen:

Buckley war unter anderem Redenschreiber für George Bush, und nach eigenem Bekunden lebt er seit 1981 in Washington, weil es ihm schwerfalle, diesen Logenplatz mit Blick auf den unerschöpflichen Jahrmarkt der Eitelkeiten und der Lächerlichkeit preiszugeben. Ohne Zweifel hat von daher seine Satire auf die Machenschaften der Lobbys etwas Schlüsselromanhaftes, und der deutsche Leser ist dankbar für das knappe Glossar, in dem ihm neben unübersetzbaren Wortspielen einige Namen und Begriffe aus der amerikanischen Polit- und Medienlandschaft erklärt werden... Friedhelm Rathjen, Kenner von Arno Schmidt und James Joyce, hat Buckleys Roman übersetzt und dabei das Meisterstück der Übertragung von einem amerikanischen in einen ebenso glaubwürdigen deutschen Jargon abgeliefert... Am bestürzend reißerischen Fortgang der Handlung des Romans (Entführung, Mordkomplott) hat Rathjen freilich nichts ändern können. Ebensowenig am Schluß des Buches, der in einer allgemeinen Saulus-Paulus-Metamorphose besteht und dabei selbst so vollkommen politisch korrekt (und schmalzig) daherkommt, daß man versucht ist anzunehmen, der Text wolle sich selbst ironisieren
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am 3. Dezember 1996
Somehow, I've always imagined that a p.r. rep for the tobacco lobby would
have to be a heartless bastard. Well, Christopher Buckley has proven me right.
Nick Taylor is definitely a heartless bastard. He just happens to be a likable
heartless bastard.

If this was a Victorian novel, Nick would be the arch-villain, spending his
time trying to ruin Christmas for the children of the world, or stealing the farm
from the dying father of some frightened heroine. Instead, Buckley has cast Nick
in modern times, a fighter for the rights of the giant tobacco companies to peddle
their product to an increasingly savvy and health-aware public.

Nick is the embodiment of all our fears of corporate America's disinterest in the
public welfare, with his disregard for the scientific community's "datum" about
smoking-related deaths and parent's concern over advertising aimed at children. But
somehow Buckley manages convince us that Nick is just a working dad trying to pay
the mortgage, all the while fighting off attempts by his latest boss to replace him
with a younger, hipper and less expensive version of himself. When this ousting
is foiled by a wildly successful appearance on Oprah and a series of high-profile
escapades, Nick is quickly caught in the corporate grinder which is all too familiar
to the white collar worker of the 1990's.

This book is a keeper, one which you'll be passing around to everyone in the office
(after you've put your name in the front cover, to make sure everyone knows who read
it first...). This is the type of book that will leave everyone else on the train
wondering if you're reading something really funny or you're clinically insane, since
you can't help but laughing out loud. I'd give this book a ten, but I'm hoping that
Buckley comes out with another book soon to top this one.
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am 19. Juli 1999
I was given this book with a strong recommendation from a reliable source. For the first fifty pages, I was delighted - irreverent, insightful, clever - even well-written in spots. Buckley excelled at defining a beautifully sardonic initial setting along with it's denizens. His early description of his protagonist justifying "the industry's" position on television was absolutely delightful.
So why did I dislike this book? Because, after the intial glowing promise, the book became trite. Very trite. Car chases, cartoonish villians, improbably flaky Californians (which says something), elaborate setups, and some of the worst dialogue since "The Truth Machine". I actually had to painfully reread "the big confrontation" scene several times just to make sure Buckley was really wanting us to believe it. What is so painful is that this book could have been a "Catch 22," but settles for being yet another NYT Bestseller.
In short, beautiful setup and the promise of competent writing, but quickly loses focus and any genius it might have posessed. Read the first 50 pages. Then put it down.
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am 16. Juni 2000
My husband asked me to read this to provide him with my view on whether this novel would be an appropriate book to assign for an undergraduate class on political parties and interest groups. When I finally got to it in my (despairingly large) pile of "must reads," I wearily resigned myself to what a I thought would be unsubtle insider jokes and hackneyed cynicism. Much to my delight, I discovered that the writing was absolutely brilliant -- tight, funny, sophisticated, and original. While the characters, both the neo-puritans and the MOD squad, are Seinfeld-esque in their nihilism and unlikability (even the ending does not redeeem our protagonist -- And whatever happened to his first wife and child? They just dropped right off the map!), the fast-moving plot and brilliant verbal "jujitsuing" provide more than enough entertainment for the reader. Ultimately, I suggested that the book was perhaps too sexually provocative for undergrads, but I heartily recommend it to adults.
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am 21. Januar 2000
Mr. Buckley's novel dealing with a tobacco company press flack is well-developed and strongly presented. Both humorously irreverent and capably defensive of our traditions of freedom, it is a strong statement of the emptiness of the PC Thought Police and of the persons who sell themselves, body and sometimes soul, to make money off of others' misfortunes. In other words, Mr. Buckley has smoothly transferred a political position of live-and-let-live (at least in the case of perfectly legal Merchants of Death (I love that) like guns, tobacco and alcohol - query: knowing the position of WFB and NR, illegal drugs?) while simultaneously manifesting the dangers of hypocrisy to the individual, into a novel of quick action and very lively dialogue. That's no mean feat.
I was impressed enough with this book to begin to look into some of his other novels.
Kelly Whiting
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am 10. August 1999
Personally, I thought the "humor" aspect of all the critics was a mass illusion or something. Sure, some parts were pretty darn funny, (the beggining sentance about the neo-puritanical buttlock was a little gem) but beyond that, I wanted more from a "comedy." It's an easy read, and it moves along after page 150 or so (The begining repeats itself with Nick going to different conferences and TV shows, all ending the same way). Don't go into it thinking "This'll be hilarious!", but rather "Maybe I'll laugh, maybe I won't. I'm bored, I'll take whatever I can get." Stick to Harry Potter.
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am 3. Juni 1998
I'm a bleeding heart liberal, but a liberal with a different twist. I'm the old fashioned kind of democrat, a yellow dog one. I smoke cigarettes, and I love it when men give me cheesy compliments. I despise political correctness in every way, and I've come to blows with some of my fellow liberals on this issue. Buckley's book is witty and insightful, and it is a major hoot, even to the last page. I especially liked the character of Bobby Jay, since I am a Southerner myself. My husband (a staunch conservative) gave me this book to read. After this book, I will be reading many more of Mr. Buckley's novels.
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am 21. August 1999
Chris Buckley skewers everyone who takes the game of politics seriously. Lobbyists, journalists and political junkies will get the biggest kick out of "Thank You For Smoking." I laughed out loud when I read it, annoying my husband so much that he HAD to read it. He cracked up too, and now we buy everything Chris Buckley writes. But please, won't someone make this one into a movie? I see Tim Robbins starring. If you liked "Bob Roberts," you're a good match for "Thank You For Smoking."
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am 13. Juni 1998
I first listened to this book on tape during my lengthy commute to work. I liked it so much I bought the book for my sister. While listening to it on tape I could barely drive down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, incapacitated as I was by fits of laughter and constant eye wiping while alone in a car. Can't imagine what other drivers thought of me. The part about the nicotine patches was, quite possibly, the funniest and most original passage of any book I have ever read.
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am 10. Mai 2000
this book is a great read. Smoker or non, you will laugh through the whole thing.
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