Landfall: Book summary and reviews of Landfall by Thomas Mallon

Landfall by Thomas Mallon X
Landfall by Thomas Mallon
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2019
    496 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Set during the tumultuous middle of the George W. Bush years - amid the twin catastrophes of the Iraq insurgency and Hurricane Katrina - Landfall brings Thomas Mallon's cavalcade of contemporary American politics to a vivid and emotional climax.

The president at the novel's center possesses a personality whose high-speed alternations between charm and petulance, resoluteness and self-pity, continually energize and mystify the panoply of characters around him. They include his acerbic, crafty mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush; his desperately correct and eager-to-please secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice; the gnomic and manipulative Donald Rumsfeld; foreign leaders from Tony Blair to Vladimir Putin; and the caustic one-woman chorus of Ann Richards, Bush's predecessor as governor of Texas. A gallery of political and media figures, from the widowed Nancy Reagan to the philandering John Edwards to the brilliantly contrarian Christopher Hitchens, bring the novel and the era to life.

The story is deepened and driven by a love affair between two West Texans, Ross Weatherall and Allison O'Connor, whose destinies have been affixed to Bush's since they were teenagers in the 1970s. The true believer and the skeptic who end up exchanging ideological places in a romantic and political drama that unfolds in locations from New Orleans to Baghdad and during the parties, press conferences, and state funerals of Washington, D.C.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Marvelously detailed, often darkly funny, as informative as it is entertaining. Mallon may well be the 21st century's Anthony Trollope." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Mallon's latest fictional portrayal of the American political scene is impressively detailed and enticingly readable." - Booklist

"This novel makes a fascinating flesh-and-blood spectacle out of moments now relegated to history." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Thomas Mallon Author Biography

Photo: William Bodenschatz

Thomas Mallon is the author of a number of novels including Henry and Clara, DeweyDefeats Truman, Two Moons; In Fact and Bandbox, a collection of essays; and the nonfiction books Stolen Words, A Book of One's Own, and Mrs. Paine's Garage. A frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and other magazines, and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at George Washington University, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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