Bad Publicity

Bad Publicity

A Novel

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In the twilight of the Reagan era, as prospects appear brighter than ever for a Democratic restoration, the lawyers, lobbyists, advisers and socialites of Washington are looking ahead -- but over their shoulders, too. With good reason.
Charlie Dingleman, a former congressman, has gotten a tantalizing job offer that could rescue him from the drudgery of lawyering. But he's being shadowed by an increasingly unsavory rumor started by Judith Grust, a young associate at Charlie's firm. Judith has a few dark secrets of her own, like one she shares with Hank Morriday, a lazy, shiftless welfare policy expert. That helps to drive Hank into the orbit of Candy Romulade, a P.R. executive paralyzed by a dwindling client list. Then Candy signs up a veteran local anchorman, who has a very peculiar view of the world.
As these men and women collide in a lusty, mad scramble, their savage ambitions and reversals of fortune test the idea that there's no such thing as bad publicity. The result, Bad Publicity, is a pitch-perfect, often poignant novel in the classic Swiftian mold.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743247801 | 
  • March 2005
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Chapter One

By September of 1987 Charles Dingleman had become the sort of person who muttered obscenities when the supermarket line moved too slowly. He complained so often about so many little things that people in his law firm rolled their eyes and his young second wife said that he had become tiresome. Charlie, as everyone called him, had not been the same since he'd lost his seat in Congress three years before. He could still be charming, especially when he wore his wide smile and sincere stare, and he liked to tell clients that serving six years as the servant of a half-million Pennsylvanians was his proudest accomplishment. But no... see more

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