Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley

My very first job was washing the plate glass windows of my uncle's law firm on the small-town main street of my hometown. I loved coming in twice a month and just being around the smell of old books and leather that exuded from the conference room made me a happy camper.  I now understand that the practice of law is more than just a cool office, leather-bound books and unisex bathrooms. (At least that's what my friends in the field tell me - I've heard it both ways.)

In Supreme Courtship, author Christopher Buckley looks at the world of law from the other side of the bench as he melds the highest court in the land with, arguably, the lowest.

The Twitter² Summary: 
When his first two selections are rebuffed, President Donald Vanderdamp spites Judiciary Chairman Dexter Mitchell by nominating reality-TV judge “Pepper” Cartwright. When her popularity creates a quick confirmation, Mitchell resigns his Senate seat to star as president on a TV show that proves so popular that he runs for real.

The Low-Down: 
Buckley’s blend of the U. S. Supreme Court with a fictional TV courtroom show is usually smooth, but this makes the occasional hiccups all the more glaring. The most obvious of these is the recurring theme of the rodeo slang Pepper speaks and the stretch that at least one character understands it that shouldn’t. Another is Buckley’s use of footnotes that distract from his narrative with unnecessary jokes.

I do appreciate that in a novel about the forces and practice of politics, Buckley doesn't identify his characters by party. This allows the reader to apply their own filter to Buckley’s spot-on satire of Washington politics. It remains to be seen whether Supreme Courtship’s story will remain pertinent as a commentary of the ever-shifting world of politics or become a relic of the specific time of this political season.

The Rating: 
3 of 5 stars (Great for a one-time read, I’d check it out from your local library.)

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