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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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2141154,496 (3.67)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 11 (next | show all)
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 |
As a journalist, I’ve struggled in some previous attempts to immerse myself in historical fiction. The problem has been especially glaring when I delve into historical periods or events that I yearn to know more about.
Perhaps my problem could be best illustrated with an analogy. To me, devouring historical fiction can sometimes be similar to sitting down at a burger joint and having the chef tell you that the juicy hamburger you’re about to enjoy is 90 percent pure beef – and 10 percent synthetic meat. Hmmm. Was that bite I just took the real thing? Or did it have a disproportionate amount of “fake stuff” blended into it? I’m starting to think that bite tasted kind of funny…
But I’m rambling. You get the idea why I approached Thomas Mallon’s novel Watergate with some hesitation. After all, I lived through the era – albeit as a teenager. My stint in journalism school was filled with class discussions about Woodward and Bernstein, dissections of their landmark tome All the President’s Men and screenings of the movie version. Many of students enrolled in journalism studies in the late 70s were there because they had become enthralled with investigative arenas dominated by characters like Deep Throat (the Washington informant – not the adult film icon.)
Despite these concerns, I loved Mallon’s book. His brilliant ability to show how tiny blunders can change the course of history kept me interested through the final chapters. The author’s vivid depictions of Nixon, John and Martha Mitchell, Rose Mary Woods and – the book’s central character – Fred LaRue, gave me a new perspective and a rekindled interest in this political tragedy.
True, I found myself continually asking “okay, is that twist what really happened?” Or wondering how much license Mallon took with the proclivities of this character or that character. But to the author’s credit, my preoccupation with avoiding fake meat took a holiday. I enjoyed reliving some of Watergate’s milestone moments – even relishing the literary license that Mallon took in imagining what some of the key players were thinking, and how they were feeling.
I’m quite sure that many historians will take issue with Mallon’s theory that Nixon had no advance knowledge of the burglary that changed history. I’m not sure I even buy this premise, and I was founder of a tiny local group called “Kids for Nixon” back in the early 70s. Please cut me some slack. I was 12 or 13 at the time!
If you’re interested in the Watergate saga, pick up Mallon’s work. And just enjoy the burger. Don’t obsess over the recipe. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Sep 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (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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