You’ll only have to wait until February to add WATERGATE by Thomas Mallon to your bookshelves. It’s a remarkable retelling of the Watergate scandal, as seen through a kaleidoscope of its colorful perpetrators and investigators.
For all the monumental documentation that Watergate generated—uncountable volumes of committee records, court transcripts, and memoirs—it falls at last to a novelist to perform the work of inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal’s greatest mysteries (who did erase those eighteen-and-a-half minutes of tape?) and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety. In Watergate, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew before now. Praised by Christopher Hitchens for his “splendid evocation of Washington,” Mallon achieves with Watergate a scope and historical intimacy that surpasses even what he attained in his previous novels, and turns a “third-rate burglary” into a tumultuous, first-rate entertainment.
Early praise for Watergate is already coming in:
“Mallon, astute and nimble, continues his scintillating, morally inquisitive journey through crises great and absurd in American politics by taking on Watergate…Mallon himself is deliciously witty. But it is his political fluency and unstinting empathy that transform the Watergate debacle into a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow.” –Booklist, starred review
“Revisiting the history of the ’70s with our favorite cast of characters…While billed as a novel, this book reads more like a documentary of a fascinating yet unlamented time.” –Kirkus<
“If ever a historical event was worthy of a comic novel, it’s Watergate, and Mallon, with several outstanding historical novels to his credit (most recently, Fellow Travelers), has the skills to write it. What a cast of characters we meet!…Mallon writes with such swagger that it all seems new again. A sure winner, for its subject and Mallon’s proven track record as a historical novelist, and because it’s good.” –Library Journal
Watergate by Thomas Mallon [978-0-307-37872-9: Pantheon]