November 13, 2005

Senator Boxer's novel.

Wait a sec, I'm distracted by that incredibly bad illustration. Okay, I've made it past that and will now read this NYT book review, written by Ana Marie Cox, about a novel by Senator Boxer (with help!), about Supreme Court appointments. This ought to be interesting....
Senator Barbara Boxer's new political-thriller-cum-romance-novel hinges on a Supreme Court nomination battle: the president's selection is a tight-lipped, right-wing ideologue; the Democrats are certain she will "help turn back the clock" on court decisions. With a Republican majority, a confirmation looks all but certain.

Boxer, a California Democrat who was elected senator in 1992 after 10 years in the House, is clearly following the dictum to "write what you know." But any novel with even a hint of autobiography is likely to carry a whiff of revenge fantasy. So it is instructive, if not surprising, that the protagonist of Boxer's fictional universe, Ellen Fischer, herself a plucky senator from California, winds up defeating the nomination. How she succeeds is a secret worth keeping - though hopeful Democrats need not rush to the bookstores for strategic advice: Fischer's tactics are too far-fetched to be of much use beyond the hectically imagined pages of "A Time to Run."
Please feel free to spoil the story in the comments! It's a thriller, so, what? Sex? Murder? I don't read thrillers so I have no idea what sort of hijinks would make an appropriate, publishable story here.

Anyway, I note that Boxer has exchanged her job-related surname for another, throwing in the letter "c" so it wouldn't be so face-slammingly obvious. Presumably, the image of fishing (for information?) appealed to her more than the head-punching evoked by her actual name. The nominee's name, by the way, is Frida Hernandez. Imagine the brainstorming that went into selecting that. Most of the book is the story of "Fischer's" life. She has two boyfriends to choose from: Josh Fischer and Greg Hunter. Hunter, eh? Hunter becomes a right-winger, wouldn't you know?

IN THE COMMENTS: The plot is recounted. Don't you want to know what Boxer's fantasy of defeating a Supreme Court nominee looks like?

21 comments:

Troy said...

Hopefully Boxer's literary career is brief.

Hunter and Fischer? feh.

wildaboutharrie said...

Hysterical. I almost have to read that book. Almost. The possibility that there's sex in it scares me.

I've heard there's some...interesting...sex in one of Libby's novels. Has anyone read his fiction?

erp said...

NYT reviewed this book? Every time you think the Times has hit bottom, they fool you by finding a still lower bottom.

Troy said...

As long as the Boxer character doesn't have "comfort sex" with Brent Few , the gray-haired Senator from MS who lost his family home in a natural disaster or drunken sex with Bernie Franklin, the gay representative from Mass., after sharing too many drinks and late night stories at a Dem party retreat and forgetting themselves for a few regretful moments.

Some people should just stay away from any whiff of autobiographical writing and sex hijinks.

Stephen Colbert was joking about sex in Libby's book last week -- something about little girls and/or animals? Disgusting I know -- especially if the quote Colbert used is true and not dummied up for the show.

Dave said...

Links to reviews on Reason.com and the LA Times can be found here.

(Linking to my own blog only because it's directly on topic.)

Ann Althouse said...

Erp: "NYT reviewed this book?" I think they saw is a great raw material for a humorist they chose to review it.

Troy: LOL. And yes, that thing about sex with bears was in Libby's book.

Menlo Bob said...

I don't suppose any of her sex partners sports the name Rodham? (hint: think Tony)

Dave Schuler said...

Boxer's bodice-ripper? I'm afraid INDC Journal's prospective parodies of it have spoiled it for me.

First part
Second part
Third part

miklos rosza said...

Do you think Barbara Boxer actually wrote it? It sounds stupid enough, but a lot of "names" don't write their own books.

Remember "Postcards from the Edge"?

knoxgirl said...

Somehow, a book in which the *exciting climax* is a senator blocking a supreme court nomination doesn't sound too thrilling. Even if it wasn't written by an actual senator, which is pretty boring in itself.

Daryl Herbert said...

Is anyone else reminded of Saddam Hussein?

Is that unfair?

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wildaboutharrie said...

Dave S, excellent, thanks!

Jacob said...

I bet the judge had an abortion.

Ann Althouse said...

Jacob: That sounds so perfectly pulpy it must be true. And Hunter's the father, right? And he probably paid for it and forced her into it or something. Is that how these things go?

Glenn Howes said...

Do you remember the Saturday Night Live with Steve Forbes, where Forbes had written a novel book about presidential candidate Teve Torbes?

Jacob said...

Well, it was a good guess but wrong. I pieced together what happened by using the "Search Inside" feature on amazon.

The allegations weren't abortion, it was child abuse. The documents were faked to try to get Boxer's alter ego to bring the charges to the floor instead of doing a filibuster. As Hernandez said: "my views on abortion, gun control, and environ- mental regulation might have been considered too far right, even by some moderate Republicans. And if, as expected, you led the charge against me-especially if you had launched a filibuster-I was done for." Of course the documents would be proven false, Fischer would be disagreed and Hernandez would get tons o' votes. When Fischer confronts Hernandez with this, she withdraws.

Of course the idea that, politically, moderate Republicans would go along with the filibuster of a woman hispanic is crazy. Also, from what I read, the book is terrible.

erp said...

Menlo Bob, When you say Rodham, you do mean Hillary's brother and Boxer's erstwhile son-in-law, the putative father of her grandson, don't you?

lindsey said...

I personally love this review of Boxer's novel!

"Actually, my billionaire mentor favors cocktails made from the chilled tears of children - but close enough."

Menlo Bob said...

erp: not only that but the name suggests a man of perverse action.

Ann Althouse said...

"Of course the idea that, politically, moderate Republicans would go along with the filibuster of a woman hispanic is crazy."

Conveniently, the new nominee in the end, who's the right kind of nominee in Boxer's terms, is also Hispanic and female. I read the last page of the book just now.