Review: They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?

Strictly speaking, the most likeable character in They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? is probably the Premier of China, and that’s by a nose.  It’s an interesting trick to write a thriller where there’s no one to root for, and Christopher Buckley pulls it off nicely.  The whole thing has the antic, grotesque feel of an Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiaasen novel, but without the good guys.  But even in a world without good guys, there are worse guys.

Despite the fact that everyone’s compromised somehow here, Buckley keeps things light and dynamic.  Things move right along and he shifts the point of view around enough to both keep the reader guessing and to give an idea of the scope of the plot. That plot circles around a set of defense contractors trying to drum up business by manufacturing a threat from China, while the various factions of both governments jockey for position around the faux threat.

Buckley does a nice job showing that even PR threats can have devastating repercussions and that once a rumor picks up a certain amount of speed, no single person or group can steer it.  The multiple perspectives help bring that home well.

It’s a lot of fun and a fast read.


Comments are closed.