Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

PDF Download Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

PDF Download Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

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Thank You for Smoking: A Novel, by Christopher Buckley

Nobody blows smoke like Nick Naylor. He’s a spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies–in other words, a flack for cigarette companies, paid to promote their product on talk and news shows. The problem? He’s so good at his job, so effortlessly unethical, that he’s become a target for both anti-tobacco terrorists and for the FBI. In a country where half the people want to outlaw pleasure and the other want to sell you a disease, what will become of the original Puff Daddy?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Sales Rank: #339266 in eBooks
  • Published on: 2010-09-01
  • Released on: 2010-09-01
  • Format: Kindle eBook

Amazon.com Review
“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

From Publishers Weekly
“Nick Naylor had been called most things since becoming chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan.” So begins the adventures of this protagonist, a shamelessly slimy yuppie and PR flack par excellence for the tobacco industry. The story, such as it is, consists of Naylor’s attempts to prop up his failing corporate star by expanding his defense of the evil weed. Working the airwaves, he engineers successful, hysterical appearances on Oprah and Larry King , after which he’s kidnapped by anti-tobacco terrorists who attempt to murder him by plastering his body with nicotine patches. As usual, Buckley’s humor is over the top, although he doesn’t exactly choose tough targets (his previous novel, The White House Mess , tackled the decline and fall of the Reagan/Bush dynasty). But the blatant immorality of Big Tobacco inspires some wonderfully comic vehicles, such as the delightfully morbid M.O.D. (Merchants of Death) squad, a semi-secret weekly lunch club that consists of Naylor and fellow flacks for the NRA and the alcohol industry. The silly plot sometimes gets in the way of the funny stuff, and it’s far more entertaining to watch Naylor try to maintain his fiefdom and satisfy his libido amid the madcap spin control. Buckley is a smoother, funnier and more refined heir apparent to Art Buchwald’s throne, and this book cements his position as the best up-and-coming political satirist on the literary map. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Since the titles of so many books are mysterious or ironic, it is pleasant to come upon one that says exactly what it means. Nick Naylor is chief spokesperson for the Academy of Tobacco Studies and as such has the dubious honor of defending and promoting the rights of smokers at a time when they are accorded the same treatment lepers once were. Like most good romps, this one is sportive and whimsical on the surface, but it manages to let loose a roundhouse punch at the advertising industry and the vacuum at the heart of power. At one point, the joke wears a little thin and imminent tedium threatens, but thanks to the author’s inventiveness, the novel’s earlier zest is soon recovered, and the plot starts spinning merrily along once again. Buckley’s prose is well behaved and his dialog brisk and lifelike. All in all, an amiable and worthwhile work from the author of the best-selling The Whitehouse Mess (Random, 1986) who is now an editor at Forbes FYI magazine.
– A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Most helpful customer reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful.
Great satire, so-so thriller
By Wheelchair Assassin
Nick Naylor, the protagonist of Christopher Buckley’s “Thank You for Smoking,” gives new definition to the term “antihero.” Despite his position, he’s not really a bad guy. Sure, he makes six figures a year lying through his teeth as the chief lobbyist at the Academy of Tobacco Studies in Washington, but he’s not really making anybody smoke cigarettes. As he explains it, he’s just moderating between two competing groups, namely the cigarette companies and the anti-smoking zealots. Besides, someone’s got to pay the mortgage and his son’s prep-school tuition. Even he realizes that his rationalization sounds like something a Nuremberg defendant might say (“I vas only paying ze mortgage”), but it takes a certain courage to go on TV and say there’s no demonstrable link between smoking and disease. Perhaps Buckley’s greatest achievement here is that he can take a guy who lies to sell cigarettes and make him into a sympathetic figure.
Nick Naylor’s life provides the basis for Buckley’s often hilarious look at the “neo-puritanism” of mid-nineties America and the attempts of tobacco companies to fight it. And although I hate cigarettes, I think a book like this needed to be written. Anybody who’s ever been repulsed by those ridiculous “Truth” ads where a bunch of obnoxious young people harass those who make and sell cigarettes should get a good laugh at Buckley’s portrayal of the sanctimonious forces of political correctness. As Nick tells Oprah Winfrey in one uproarious scene, cigarette opponents aren’t above manipulating children and trying to tell everyone else how to think. And anything that takes the wind out of the sails of political correctness is fine by me.
Much of the book’s humor comes from Nick’s lunch meetings with his friends in the Mod (an acronym for “Merchants of Death”) Squad. Composed of Nick, alcohol lobbyist Polly Bailey, and one-armed gun advocate Bobby Jay Bliss, the Mod Squad is sort of a combination support group and mutual admiration society. In the presence of their own, the three death merchants can work on their PR strategies, discuss their latest misfortunes at the hands of the neo-puritans, and compare just how much death they’ve caused and how hated they are. In one particularly humorous scene, Polly and Bobby Jay are saying how much hate mail they get, and Nick just scoffs and says, “HATE mail? ALL of my mail is hate mail.”
Of course, even satires need plots, so Buckley throws in some intrigue regarding a plot to have Nick killed. When a team of killers kidnaps Nick and covers him in nicotine patches, Nick finds himself suspected by the FBI of having done the deed himself as a PR stunt. In an effort to clear his name, Nick eventually traces the attempt on his life to a conspiracy in the upper levels of the tobacco lobby. Although this plot had possibilities, it felt somewhat underdeveloped to me. At a mere 272 pages, “Thank You for Smoking” isn’t quite long enough to function effectively as both a satire and a thriller. The plot’s pretty interesting, I just would’ve like to see a little more space devoted to it.
Still, this book is worth a read. It’s fast-paced, well written, and remarkably perceptive. More than once I found myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. If an avid non-smoker like myself can find himself rooting for a tobacco lobbyist, than anyone can.

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful.
Worth inhaling
By Eric J. Lyman
I would have never guessed that I would even consider reading a book about a PR man for the tobacco industry … and I certainly could have never imagined that if I did, I’d enjoy it so much!
I picked up Thank You For Smoking at the suggestion of a friend, and was pulled into the narrative immediately. The story is so tightly and entertainingly written that I practically inhaled it (pun intended), taking less than a day to finish the book’s nearly 300 pages even though for the most part I had to read it a few pages at a time while working at a conference.
Author Christopher Buckley pulled off the seemingly impossible here: making a despicable protagonist like Nick Naylor seem sympathetic. I won’t go into the way Mr. Buckley does it, but it is definitely worth finding out for yourself.
My only complaint is that the ending to the story wraps up a little too neatly, a little too much like Hollywood. It’s a weakness, but not a serious enough of a weakness to cloud the value of this original and clever book.

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
Funny satire with a real bite on just about everyone
By Craig Matteson
Christopher Buckley knows how to write satire that has a delicious bite along with the laughs. Nick Naylor, our protagonist, is a highly paid consultant for the tobacco lobby that is thinking about cutting back expenses because of their shrinking market and lack of success on the Hill. So, Nick decides on a plan to go on the offensive for the public mind and breath. Unfortunately for Nick, his new public notoriety brings attention from some folks who have a rather aggressive passion against smoking.

This book takes on everyone. Lawmakers, lawyers, lobbyists, amoral businessmen who don’t care what they sell as long as they get rich, activists who are motivated by a lot other than their stated cause, media types, and the public. We all get it in ways that will make you say ouch and still find a laugh.

Good novel that has held up well.

See all 155 customer reviews…

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