I haven’t read the other reader reviews on goodreads, yet, but I suspect there are not many who think this is an actually good novel. Don’t get me wrong: there’s lots to like here, but it is a really good first draft, not a finished work. Oh sure, trashing Newsweek is great fun, and Newsweek deserved to be trashed. And picking out the various characters (Nishant Patel = Fareed Zakaria, Sanders Berman = Jon Meacham, Michael Healey = Michael Isikoff, Michael Hastings = … Michael Hastings) is a nice pastime. And it was good to be reminded that basically the entire mainstream media were in favor of the war on Iraq, until two years later when they all seemed to forget that they were for it and the war had become a “mistake” and had been “incompetently mismanaged”. And who wouldn’t get perverse pleasure seeing Fareed Zakaria portrayed as the attention seeking media whore that he is?
But this was a novel seriously in need of some editing. Did we really need the long porn sequences of A.E. Peoria in Thailand? What was the point of that? For pages it went on, when a paragraph or two, at most, would have served just as well.
But it’s a pretty entertaining book if you skim the irrelevant parts and read the rest.