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Thank You For Smoking Paperback – May 4 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (May 4 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060976624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060976620
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,868,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

"Nick Naylor had been called many things since becoming chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies. But until now no one had actually compared him to Satan." They might as well have, though. "Gucci Goebbels," "yuppie Mephistopheles," and "death merchant" are just a few endearments Naylor has earned himself as the tobacco lobby's premier spin doctor. The hero of Thank You for Smoking does of course have his fans. His arguments against the neo-puritanical antismoking trends of the '90s have made him a repeat guest on Larry King, and the granddaddy of Winston-Salem wants him to be the anointed heir. Still, his newfound notoriety has unleashed a deluge of death threats.

Christopher Buckley's satirical gift shines in this hilarious look at the ironies of "personal freedom" and the unbearable smugness of political correctness. Bracing in its cynicism, Thank You for Smoking is a delightful meander off the beaten path of mainstream American ethics. And despite his hypertension-inducing, slander-splattered, morally bankrupt behavior--which leads one Larry King listener to describe him as "lower than whale crap"--you'll find yourself rooting for smoking's mass enabler. --Rebekah Warren

From Publishers Weekly

"Nick Naylor had been called most things since becoming chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan." So begins the adventures of this protagonist, a shamelessly slimy yuppie and PR flack par excellence for the tobacco industry. The story, such as it is, consists of Naylor's attempts to prop up his failing corporate star by expanding his defense of the evil weed. Working the airwaves, he engineers successful, hysterical appearances on Oprah and Larry King , after which he's kidnapped by anti-tobacco terrorists who attempt to murder him by plastering his body with nicotine patches. As usual, Buckley's humor is over the top, although he doesn't exactly choose tough targets (his previous novel, The White House Mess , tackled the decline and fall of the Reagan/Bush dynasty). But the blatant immorality of Big Tobacco inspires some wonderfully comic vehicles, such as the delightfully morbid M.O.D. (Merchants of Death) squad, a semi-secret weekly lunch club that consists of Naylor and fellow flacks for the NRA and the alcohol industry. The silly plot sometimes gets in the way of the funny stuff, and it's far more entertaining to watch Naylor try to maintain his fiefdom and satisfy his libido amid the madcap spin control. Buckley is a smoother, funnier and more refined heir apparent to Art Buchwald's throne, and this book cements his position as the best up-and-coming political satirist on the literary map. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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There was a thick stack of while you were outs when he got back to the Academy's office in one of the more interesting buildings on K Street, hollowed out in the middle with a ten-story atrium with balconies dripping with ivy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
There's something very smug about these parodies of Washington insiders. Even The West Wing gets tedious with its dozen storylines about whether the president should say a few words against a lobbying group. At first this book has the potential to overcome that curse. It's wry. It has a morally ambiguous main character. It has some great parodies.
Then it dies. It reminds me of Primary Colors in that it's way too enamored with the political process to really get things rolling. There's too much material about taking meetings and not enough about people. The characters are all broadly drawn, the females are vixens, the jokes aren't funny. When it gets to Hollywood the writer trots out the same old cliche about Hollywood producers wanting to throw any crap on the screen in order to sell products. Is this supposed to be funny? I suppose in the Player it was cool, but the joke has died from misuse.
Overall this is a fluff book that should have been better. The main problem is the cool cynicism. Yeah, everyone is out to get something. Yeah that's funny sometimes, but not here. When all is said and done we're left with a bunch of unlikeable characters in a stupid book.
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Format: Paperback
Nick Naylor, the protagonist of Christopher Buckley's "Thank You for Smoking," gives new definition to the term "antihero." Despite his position, he's not really a bad guy. Sure, he makes six figures a year lying through his teeth as the chief lobbyist at the Academy of Tobacco Studies in Washington, but he's not really making anybody smoke cigarettes. As he explains it, he's just moderating between two competing groups, namely the cigarette companies and the anti-smoking zealots. Besides, someone's got to pay the mortgage and his son's prep-school tuition. Even he realizes that his rationalization sounds like something a Nuremberg defendant might say ("I vas only paying ze mortgage"), but it takes a certain courage to go on TV and say there's no demonstrable link between smoking and disease. Perhaps Buckley's greatest achievement here is that he can take a guy who lies to sell cigarettes and make him into a sympathetic figure.
Nick Naylor's life provides the basis for Buckley's often hilarious look at the "neo-puritanism" of mid-nineties America and the attempts of tobacco companies to fight it. And although I hate cigarettes, I think a book like this needed to be written. Anybody who's ever been repulsed by those ridiculous "Truth" ads where a bunch of obnoxious young people harass those who make and sell cigarettes should get a good laugh at Buckley's portrayal of the sanctimonious forces of political correctness. As Nick tells Oprah Winfrey in one uproarious scene, cigarette opponents aren't above manipulating children and trying to tell everyone else how to think. And anything that takes the wind out of the sails of political correctness is fine by me.
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Format: Paperback
Ever have a job where it feels like everyone is out to get you? Even your friends? Welcome to the world of Nick Naylor - spokesman for the Tobacco Institute. His job: promote one of the deadliest products on the planet and maintain his conscience while doing so. Ironically, you find yourself hoping that good old Nick Naylor survives his trials and tribulations in the book even though he knows he backs a product that is deadly. Some of the wit of Naylor's character comes out in that all-too human pathos of "just paying the mortgage." The reason I think we cannot really hate Nick in this book is because all of us, at some point in our careers, have to become like him - at least a little bit.
This book is a very good satire, filled with many humorous moments. The dialogue is witty and keeps you involved. The story takes a very interesting (and dark) twist a little more than midway through and the ending is just perfect! It is rare to find a book that coheses so well at the beginning, middle, and end but this one did it. The characterization is just phenomenal in the book. You hate the characters you are supposed to hate and you like the characters you are supposed to like - even when the characters you are supposed to like, you really should hate! The book is populated mainly with anti-heroes and the main protagonist is certainly that (although certainly not in the style of Vonnegut or Faulkner). The book also presents a nifty way of trying to kill someone that, unfortunately, other reviewers have already revealed and they should not have. Luckily this is not a critical part of the book (insofar as knowing the method) but it does lead to some interesting consequences for the protagonist.
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Format: Paperback
Rich Baiocco
Review of Thank You For Smoking
Christopher Buckley's ear for political and social satire is in perfect pitch in his latest book Thank You for Smoking. The book follows protagonist Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for the dreaded Tobacco Industry, through run-ins with kidnappers, confrontations with Oprah, and a barrage of extremely humorous sexual exploits. Naylor is on a quest to prove to his boss, B.R, that he is worth the money they are paying him to lie and finesse the public into thinking cigarettes are not dangerous. Nick defends his moral character in the role of the mouth of the merchant of death by claiming he is doing all of this to pay the mortgage and send his son through one of Washington's most elite private schools (St. Euthanasius). The brilliance of Buckley's writing comes in the fact that the reader is not necessarily on the side of his main character at the beginning for he the defender of such an evil corporate empire. As the plot twists and turns, we find room in our sympathetic hearts for Nick, and he quickly turns from antagonist to protagonist. We see a man, who like most Americans, is doing his job and trying to make a living. In fact his only real obstacle is the moral strain his position is imparting on him lately. Believe me, as the plot elevates and Naylor faces more and more heated public ignominy we actually feel sorry for him. Though the story tends to get a bit repetitive at times Buckley's sharp wit and tight comic prose keeps the reader very much engaged. Nick associates himself with a spokesperson for the NRA and a spokesperson for the Alcohol industry. They are known amongst each other as the M.O.D squad (Merchants of Death).
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