You may have seen this movie – I did years ago and really loved it. But if you want to read something really fun, you’ll try the book!
Nick Naylor has one of the most challenging and unpopular jobs in the country – he is the primary spokesperson for the Academy of Tobacco Studies (a lobbying group for cigarette companies) in Washington. In other words, he is a professional spin doctor who makes his living trying to convince others that there really is no proof that cigarettes can hurt you. He is generally ok with being unpopular and brushes off his hate mail fairly callously; that is, until, during an appearance on a popular daytime TV talk show, his life is threatened by a particularly venomous caller who appears to be – and ultimately is – a true threat. How Nick gets through this calamity brings the reader through plot twists that are wickedly and absolutely fun.
The best part of this book, for me, was the writing. It is full of dark humor, sarcasm and wit. Nick meets regularly with two other spokespeople (alcohol and gun lobbies), who call themselves the “Mod” Squad – only the MOD stands for Merchants of Death. Their conversations alone are worth reading! There is so much self-deprecation and funereal humor that I laughed out loud.
It is a crazy premise for a book, really, but it works – and it works really well! Highly recommend it!