THE WOODY by Peter Lefcourt

THE WOODY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Picaresque political farce from screenwriter Lefcourt (Abbreviating Ernie, 1997, etc.), featuring a crusty, thoroughly incompetent but roguishly charming antihero, Vermont Senator Woodrow Wilson (—Woody—) White—a failure at everything but survival. Woody White was once notorious on Capitol Hill as a man with a —zipper problem,— that is, a compulsive seducer for whom sex with lobbyists, aides, and on the rarest occasions, his trophy-bride Daphne, is one more way of feeling loved. So why, in his vigorous fifth decade, does he find himself impotent with the beauteous Evelyn Brandwynne, a lobbyist representing condom manufacturers? Woody’s not worried about his reelection campaign—his overpaid consultants have summed up his trivial two- term career with a winning slogan: —Woody White—he’s there!— His wife’s affair with a female Finnish figure skater doesn’t thrill him, but he’s willing to ignore that as long as she’ll wear that special dress that catches Clinton’s eye at White House receptions. His previous wives only want their slice of the $1.2 million advance he got from Random House to sign his name on a ghostwritten autobiography. Trent Lott wants cash, and Woody’s support on bills Woody can’t even remember, much less understand, in exchange for forgetting about the damage Woody did when, drunk on expensive wine, he rammed Lott’s Ford Explorer in the Senate parking lot. If this weren’t enough, one of Woody’s major campaign contributors, the Vermont Maple Syrup Distributors Association, is a front for mobsters who name themselves after US presidents. Using his characteristic combination of breezy charisma and dumb luck, Woody manages to survive an ethics investigation, a genuinely worthy political opponent, and other foibles, imbroglios, and potential disasters, discovering, to his delight, that a peculiar procedure involving tape, shaving cream, and Brandwynne in a starched nurse’s uniform cures impotence better than Viagra. Campy, name-dropping, warts-and-gall send-up of Capitol Hill, with enough insider sleaze to make us wonder how Lefcourt did his research, and with whom.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1998
ISBN: 0-684-85393-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1998




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