Review of Thomas Mallon's "Watergate" in the Dallas Morning News

So I’ve reviewed Thomas Mallon’s new novel Watergate in the Dallas Morning News today, and it can be found here:
Janet Maslin reviewed the same book this week in the daily NY Times book reviews, and I thought her gushy, over-the-top paean to it was embarrassing and suspect: There were some lively moments in the novel, but she made it sound like the next best thing since flush toilets. Of course, we all know the adage about opinions, and that’s what book reviews essentially are. But still. I tend to flinch when seeing gushy book reviews. One I remember a couple years back: Jonathan Lethem raved about Lorrie Moore’s novel A Gate at the Stairs (2009) in the Sunday edition of the NY Times. So I read it, and felt cheated by Lethem. Then again, every industry probably has its share of brown-nosing. I’ve known other reviewers who have confessed to me they’ve raved about this or that book because the writer is a friend of theirs or a friend-of-a-friend, or some such reason. The lesson is? It pays to suck up.

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