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Watergate: A Novel by Thomas Mallon
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Watergate: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Thomas Mallon

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2241251,855 (3.64)12
Member:EscritoraSarita
Title:Watergate: A Novel
Authors:Thomas Mallon
Info:Pantheon (2012), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:ARC, read in 2012, historical fiction, washington, richard nixon, alice roosevelt, staff pick

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Watergate by Thomas Mallon (2012)

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
My expectation for the book was different than what the book provided so my review and rating are partially based on the fact that I expected black humor, and while there was some, that was not the focus or intention of the book as a whole.

Watergate was a topic of conversation and argument in my household. Nightly the news would rehash the latest details of the affair and discuss the idea of the president's impeachment. Talk shows and current affairs shows spent hours debating every angle and all the players involved.

My take on historical fiction is that it should illuminate an event or an idea, weaving a fictional tale within the facts and then at the end, it stimulates the reader to want to find out more. If I was a reader a generation removed from these events, I would find it difficult from this novel to figure out what had happened.

I was not as emotionally impacted by the book as I had hoped to be. Watergate and the president's resignation was a very emotionally affecting event. The book made it seem almost insignificant. The other thing that would muddy the water for a reader without context would be the lack of viewpoint provided by most of the major players.

Hen and story of Alice Longworth Roosevelt, Pat Nixon and Rose Woods. Alice provided the long view of history. She had spent time in the White House as a child of a President and a cousin of a President and through her memories was able to put the events into am historical context and human context. Her narration was also valuable as a Washington insider.

Pat Nixon was wonderful. You got the sense of her strength in the face of adversity and her role in bringing out the positive traits that Nixon had to offer while not short changing herself. The story of her affair was well told and really jived with the character as written. Her views on her daughters was also fascinating and in line with what I have read about them as well.

Rose Woods was the most interesting and well rounded of all. Her loyalty as an employee and friend; her faithfulness to the man as opposed to the job or office; and finally, the idea that perhaps the tape was erased due to Rose being pissed off at am insult taped in the Oval Office, had the ring of truth making the fiction seem less so.

This book is worth the time but I would suggest that if you don't have a background idea of what went on, you might miss the true emotional impact and importance of the events the book discusses. ( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book (a fictionalization of the watergate scandal). I love the watergate story and know a pretty good deal about it. My friend and I have dressed up as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward for two separate costume parties. We've visited many watergate related sites in dc. But this just made me want to reread all the president's men. It was clear that the author had extensive knowledge of not only watergate but the histories of each person and of the time period. So much so that he seemed determined to exhaustively show off this knowledge at the expense of a good, forward moving plot (even though you'd think you'd have a perfectly good one already built in). Also if I knew less about watergate, this book would have made absolutely no sense to me.

I should also add that I was so determined to liked this book that I stayed up until 3 reading it, got halfway through and decided I'd given it the benefit of the doubt and could stop. My general fatigue is not making this the best written review in the world.

It gets two stars because it was so historically accurate. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book (a fictionalization of the watergate scandal). I love the watergate story and know a pretty good deal about it. My friend and I have dressed up as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward for two separate costume parties. We've visited many watergate related sites in dc. But this just made me want to reread all the president's men. It was clear that the author had extensive knowledge of not only watergate but the histories of each person and of the time period. So much so that he seemed determined to exhaustively show off this knowledge at the expense of a good, forward moving plot (even though you'd think you'd have a perfectly good one already built in). Also if I knew less about watergate, this book would have made absolutely no sense to me.

I should also add that I was so determined to liked this book that I stayed up until 3 reading it, got halfway through and decided I'd given it the benefit of the doubt and could stop. My general fatigue is not making this the best written review in the world.

It gets two stars because it was so historically accurate. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book (a fictionalization of the watergate scandal). I love the watergate story and know a pretty good deal about it. My friend and I have dressed up as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward for two separate costume parties. We've visited many watergate related sites in dc. But this just made me want to reread all the president's men. It was clear that the author had extensive knowledge of not only watergate but the histories of each person and of the time period. So much so that he seemed determined to exhaustively show off this knowledge at the expense of a good, forward moving plot (even though you'd think you'd have a perfectly good one already built in). Also if I knew less about watergate, this book would have made absolutely no sense to me.

I should also add that I was so determined to liked this book that I stayed up until 3 reading it, got halfway through and decided I'd given it the benefit of the doubt and could stop. My general fatigue is not making this the best written review in the world.

It gets two stars because it was so historically accurate. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
The title is self-explanatory. This is a perfect novel for someone like me, who's always found the topic fascinating. The characters are fully fleshed-out, with plausible motives. I don't know how much is fictionalized and how much actually happened, particularly with the dialogue. And the biggest surprise was John Mitchell, who ends up being pretty sympathetic. I just loved this book, and will be looking for more of Mallon's work. ( )
  Lightfantastic | Nov 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A sure winner, for its subject and Mallon's proven track record as a historical novelist, and because it's good.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, David Keymer (Oct 15, 2011)
 
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A retelling of the Watergate scandal, as seen through a kaleidoscope of its colorful perpetrators and investigators.

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