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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Political Novels by Anonymous

As marketing strategies go, it's a chancy one: Gin up excitement for a book by declining to name the author. It worked for Primary Colors, a best-selling critically acclaimed novel about Bill Clinton's 1992 run for the White House (later revealed to have been written by the journalist Joe Klein.) Secrecy did not work so well for O: A Presidential Novel, a peek inside Barack Obama's 2012 campaign. The author of O is described on the book flap as "someone who has been in the room with Barack Obama," Michiko Kakutani wrote in her Times review, "but given the novel's many inane implausibilities, the reader can't help but think that the writer was either a lousy observer or that the room was really enormous--a hotel ballroom perhaps, or maybe a convention center."

Tina Jordan, The New York Times Book Review, December 8, 2019

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