They Eat Puppies, Don't They? by Christopher Buckley

69%

24 Critic Reviews

There are a few sags and predictable twists, but overall this is a well-built addition to Buckley’s oeuvre.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

In an attempt to gain congressional approval for a top-secret weapons system, Washington lobbyist "Bird" McIntyre teams up with sexy, outspoken neocon Angel Templeton to pit the American public against the Chinese. When Bird fails to uncover an authentic reason to slander the nation, he and Angel put the Washington media machine to work, spreading a rumor that the Chinese secret service is working to assassinate the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile in China, mild-mannered President Fa Mengyao and his devoted aide Gang are maneuvering desperately against sinister party hard-liners Minister Lo and General Han. Now Fa and Gang must convince the world that the People's Republic is not out to kill the Dalai Lama, while maintaining Fa's small margin of power in the increasingly militaristic environment of the party.

On the home front, Bird must contend with a high-strung wife who entertains Olympic equestrian ambition, and the qualifying competition happens to be taking place in China. As things unravel abroad, Bird and Angel's lie comes dangerously close to reality. And as their relationship rises to a new level, so do mounting tensions between the United States and China.

 

About Christopher Buckley

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Christopher Buckley, "the quintessential political novelist of his time" according to Fortune magazine, is the winner of the distinguished ninth annual Thurber Prize for American Humor. Tom Wolfe has described him as "one of the funniest writers in the English language." Buckley is the author of twelve books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, Florence of Arabia, and the memoir Losing Mum and Pup.
 
Published May 8, 2012 by Twelve. 345 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for They Eat Puppies, Don't They?
All: 24 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 05 2012

Buckley handles all of these strange machinations with a breezy style and loves mixing the fictional with the real...A lively and politically spirited read.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Alida Becker on May 11 2012

...he’s offering a few hours of comic respite from a real world in which even domestic cooperation seems increasingly fantastical.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Apr 30 2012

The Chinese aspects of “They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?” are disappointing.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Mar 19 2012

There are a few sags and predictable twists, but overall this is a well-built addition to Buckley’s oeuvre.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Moynihan on May 04 2012

Unlike so many other satirists of Beltway culture, Buckley is both deeply informed and deeply funny.

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Book Reporter

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Magras on May 16 2012

...since when have satirists been reluctant to offend? It comes with the territory. Lapses aside, this is an enjoyable work. And it’s hard to dislike a novel that features a Navy communications ship called the Rumsfeld.

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Washington Times

Below average
Reviewed by John Greenya on Aug 24 2012

His humor is still broad, but less so, and there are many genuinely funny scenes and observations.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Rowan Kaiser on May 14 2012

Although They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? isn’t particularly subversive, or especially funny, it still has an old-fashioned charm.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Jess Walter on May 03 2012

...“They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?” begins to lag as it drifts further from Bird, bouncing from Beijing to Washington, from meeting to television chat-fest to one-sided phone conversation.

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Deirdre Donahue on May 02 2012

As usual, Buckley ties up all his loose ends in a clever conclusion and leaves the satisfied reader amused and informed about Tibet, China, media manipulation, and the weird workings of our own government.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Jan Stuart on May 06 2012

If Christopher Buckley's waggishly amusing new novel, "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?," enjoys even a smidgen of the success accorded those Robert Ludlum books, legislative insiders may soon be ascribing the Beijing scandal to the machinations of Buckley's protagonist...

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by Carlo Wolff on May 27 2012

Mr. Buckley's narrative sets up parallels between the corridors of power and the various bedrooms Bird occupies, and his dialogue never fails to amuse. Neither does his grasp of the underlying conflict that gives this satire its drive.

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Look At OKC

Excellent
Reviewed by Kay Dyer on May 06 2012

And as the title might suggest, there is a lot of humor to be digested.

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Mike Glenn on May 05 2012

But Buckley is that rare combination — a brilliant satirist of the first-order and a laugh-out-loud funny writer.

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Tulsa World

Excellent
Reviewed by Hephzibah Anderson on Jul 15 2012

Buckley has produced a superbly paced novel whose hilarity is often in the details.

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Time Out New York

Excellent
Reviewed by Timothy Bracy on Jun 06 2012

Lesser writers might take this story in a needlessly misanthropic direction, but Buckley has an appealingly humane way of getting tough points across.

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Herald Scotland

Excellent
Reviewed by Alastair Mabbott on Jul 21 2012

There are few real belly-laughs here, but Buckley is consistently amusing, and knows the inner workings of Washington well enough to allow his yarn to become ever more complex and ridiculous while still remaining rooted in the real world.

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The American Conservative

Excellent
Reviewed by Scott Galupo on Sep 01 2012

Christopher Buckley has given us something else: a sprightly cocktail of satire that nonetheless delivers sobering truths.

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My Entertainment World

Below average
Reviewed by Borah Coburn on Jul 04 2012

I wasn’t an enormous fan—the unrelenting cynicism thing was tough for me...

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Commentary

Excellent
Reviewed by D. Meyers on Jun 04 2012

Without any sermonizing at all, Buckley offers a serene and alluring image of anti-politics — the life of religion, which gives meaning to human conduct.

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Kingsport Times-News

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeremy Harkavy on May 08 2012

His [the author's] latest work is filled with the kind of colorful characters and sidesplitting dialogue that made the earlier novels, including "Thank You for Smoking" and "Florence of Arabia," a pleasure to read.

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BookPeople's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Joe T. on May 07 2012

To say that I enjoyed this book would be selling it short. Though I had some minor problems with the ending, it holds up as my favorite book by Buckley since Thank You For Smoking...

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The Garfield Book Review

Good
May 13 2012

This is a hilarious, deftly written novel that’s even smarter and wryer than it appears.

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DL Morrese

Below average
Reviewed by D. Morrese on Jul 26 2012

This is the first Christopher Buckley novel I’ve read, and I can’t say it impressed me a lot.

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Reader Rating for They Eat Puppies, Don't They?
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 149 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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