originally posted elsewhere: October 4, 2009
tl;dr: Average output from Christopher Buckley...
I still read every new book written by Christopher Buckley, hoping that he will produce a third volume on par with his two all-time best satiric masterpieces, Thank You for Smoking and God is My Broker. Unfortunately, I found Supreme Courtship to be just average output for Mr. Buckley, on par with his last book Boomsday.
Supreme Courtship targets a number of present-day American ills: the TV-driven, celebrity-driven culture and the blurring of the lines between reality TV, fiction and substantive real life; the American voter, who wants to have his/her cake and not pay for it; the dysfunctional federal government with its power-hungry two-faced politicians and rulers-for-life; and the Supreme Court, which is all too often looked upon to settle important matters, but which in reality can twist any legal argument to achieve whatever means it wishes.
While these are all ripe targets, perhaps they are overly ripe. In choosing to lampoon them, Mr. Buckley does not have to work too hard or produce any subtlety in his satire. In trying to deduce what makes my favorite two Buckley books so good, that is what I have decided upon: the satirical target needs to be a worthy one, but not one that is so obvious that many of the jokes seem familiar upon reading them, or cause one to say "yes, of course" or "I could have written that".
I remain hopeful that Mr. Buckley will keep at his craft, and will produce another epic American satirical masterpiece worthy of bestowing upon him the honorific title of "a modern day Mark Twain". Supreme Courtship isn't it, but hopefully there's more to come.