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Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley
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Thank You for Smoking (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Christopher Buckley

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1,447285,181 (3.86)35
Member:jclyde
Title:Thank You for Smoking
Authors:Christopher Buckley
Info:Random House (1994), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley (1994)

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» See also 35 mentions

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I saw the movie when it hit theaters years ago. Picked up the book at a sale a few months ago - enjoyed the movie, enjoyed the book. It's been so long since I saw the movie that I can't recall if the full plot followed closely, but regardless the book is hilarious and the satire is really well-done. Only two complaints - one plot thread was so apparent, I hope somehow it was made obvious as some type of satire in of itself and the second - for a paperback and a later printing at that, I was surprised to see so many typos. ( )
  Sean191 | Mar 26, 2014 |
This just didn't catch my attention. I read about half of it and skimmed the rest. Not a style of writing that I enjoy, and the people were all kind of jerks. Also not compelled by the story, which didn't really pick up until right before I started to skim. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
Corporate book written by Corporate yonk, all the same interesting though I like my Books to expose things from a more left wing point of view. ( )
1 vote wonderperson | Mar 31, 2013 |
Good, not great. a light read that never made me laugh out loud, but has some funny moments. ( )
1 vote evanroskos | Mar 30, 2013 |
"Thank You for Smoking" is probably the book that introduced many readers to the fantastic imagination of satirical novelist Christopher Buckley. Aside from rather glowing reviews, the book was turned into a fairly prominent movie with a cast loaded with popular and well regarded Hollywood actors.

This allowed people to experience Buckley's rather unique sensibility, as the famous son of the noted conservative William F. Buckley again explored the political world in which he was raised. Here, he considers the bizarre world of hired mouthpieces for special interests groups -- the people whose job it is to offer favorable comments to newspaper reporters and on television news shows, especially in tough situations.

Instead of turning attention to a common, but dry, policy institute, Buckley instead creates Nick Naylor, a highly skilled talking head for the cigarette companies. As the paid representative of a rather despised, but ridiculously profitable, industry, Naylor is forced to explain away scientific studies linking smoking to disease and death. In fact, some of his closest friends are the spokespeople for other hated industries, alcohol and firearms, which Buckley inimitably describes as the MOD Squad -- the Merchants of Death.

Despite others gunning for him, even within the cigarette institute, Naylor eventually attracts the whole-hearted (and deep-pocketed) support of one of the tobacco titans. However, Naylor's increased visibility makes him a growing target, from reporters, government bureaucrats, and anti-smoking activists.

In addition to imagining increasingly ridiculous situations and witty dialogue, Buckley demonstrates his great skills by turning a punching bag into a sympathetic, at times even likable, person. Underneath this enjoyable novel, it seems clear that Buckley has a soft spot in his heart for such public mouthpieces, perhaps for their generally underappreciated or unrecognized skill set. ( )
  ALincolnNut | Feb 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
How often have you heard about flacks from the tobacco industry smoothly insisting that there's still no proven connection between smoking and disease, and asked yourself in outrage, "How can they live with themselves?" Well, Christopher Buckley supplies some answers in his savagely funny new satirical farce, "Thank You for Smoking," a novel so timely that you have to wonder if Mr. Buckley has been orchestrating recent events in tobacco-land, among them a full-page ad in The New York Times on Tuesday that was sponsored by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and called for "an informed debate" instead of a ban on smoking.

Mr. Buckley's fictional protagonist is Nick Naylor, chief spokesman for the Washington-based Academy of Tobacco Studies. He lives blithely enough with the knowledge that he works for an industry that kills 1,200 human beings a day: "More than 400,000 a year! And approaching the half-million mark."

But, as he says to one audience of "health professionals," "It's always been my closely held belief that with an issue as complex as ours, what we need is not more talking about each other, but more talking to each other." After all, the right to smoke is an issue of freedom, and "if we go tampering with the bedrock principles that our Founding Fathers laid down, many of whom, you'll recall, were themselves tobacco farmers, just for the sake of indulging a lot of frankly unscientific speculation, then we're placing at risk not only our own freedoms, but those of our children, and our children's children." . . .
 
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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.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812976525, Paperback)

"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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Nick Naylor, chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, undertakes a media blitz to defend the rights of smokers, a job that has unexpected repercussions when he is targeted by someone out to prove just how hazardous smoking can be.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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