Thank You For Smoking by Christopher Buckley

This is a great satirical look at the tobacco industry. The humor is sly and subtle which is the best kind of satire. I needed some humor and this book provided a light touch, with great characters and a controversial topic to boot. I didn’t see the movie so I had no pre-conceived notions heading into the story.

Nick Naylor is on the chopping block. He needs to come up with the next brilliant idea to get cigarettes back into the hands and lungs of the public. He has a shady boss who emerged from the world of vending machines and would like nothing better to rid himself of Nick.

Nick conferences with his social group, the Merchants of Death or MOD Squad as they call themselves. The other two in the squad are the reps for the firearms industry and the alcohol industry. He does an end around on his boss and goes directly to the head man in the tobacco industry, a man known as The Captain. He falls in love with Nick and his ideas and Nick is off to the races.

However, a lot of people want Nick gone. There is the Tumbleweed Man – long representing the rugged smoker and now suing the industry that made him famous as he dies of lung cancer; Nick’s overheated co-worker and lover of his boss, Jeanette; his boss BR; and a host of unnamed individuals who call in to the talk shows on which Nick appears to threaten his life.

Nick survives a close call and from that point on, a cat and mouse game erupts as Nick tries to figure out who tried to kill him and the FBI tries to pin it on Nick, suspecting that it was all a publicity stunt.

This is a great little read. Satirical, topical and with some really great writing. I enjoyed it and will keep my eyes peeled for more by this author.


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