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The Columnist

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It a cocktail party, George H. W. Bush encourages Brandon Sladder, the prominent Washington columnist, to write his memoirs. Sladder has, after all, known just about everyone of importance. He has talked on intimate terms with world leaders, been a witness to enormous change, and expressed weighty opinions on important matters of state. He believes that his own life story could add much more than a footnote to our age. But what is meant to be a look back at his life and our times turns out to be far more revealing.
The Columnist is Sladder's attempt to burnish his image for posterity. What emerges is something else: the misadventures of an irresistibly loathsome man -- self-important, social climbing, dangerously oblivious. He seems to be remarkably destructive to those who know him best -- employers, rivals, lovers, and family. In Brandon Sladder, Jeffrey Frank has created one of the most memorable rogues in contemporary fiction.
By turns hilarious and dismaying, The Columnist is a dead-on, elegantly written portrait of the media and politics of the second half of the twentieth century.

From Publishers Weekly

May 28, 2001 – Frank's debut is a curious blend of ribald, tongue-in-cheek narrative and political tell-all that winds up evoking an odd sense of nostalgia for a bygone era. Former President Bush remarks to pompous, amoral columnist Brandon Sladder that he ought to write a memoir—and so Sladder does. Now in his 60s, Sladder has left a trail of sources, lovers, wives and erstwhile colleagues in his wake while climbing to the top of the newspaper heap. His adventures start in his hometown of Buffalo, where he gets his father fired from his job as an insurance salesman by using confidential information from his father's files to break a big story, then capitalizes on his newspaper boss's indiscretion to blackmail his way up the ranks. When the paper is sold, Sladder moves to Washington, D.C., where, before writing for a political magazine and then a major daily, he uses a prostitute to get dirt on local elected officials. Later, it's on to the world of TV and roundtable reporter shows, but the unctuous Sladder's personal life is a mess—a merry-go-round of affairs, marriage for money and ill-advised alliances—with the constants being his relentless ambition and a remarkable ability to justify his own heinous behavior. Frank's smooth, fast-moving and often hilarious prose makes this a quick read, although much of the humor is dark, and the repulsive narrator makes the journey a bit thorny. The political material is enlightening and well delivered, as Sladder reveals the way things work within the Beltway in the postwar era. The result is a witty, racy and fast-moving novel that remains compelling despite its odious protagonist. real columnist his narrator might be based on.
The Columnist
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Aug 22, 2001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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