A Book Review for U – The Secret Man

As I stated in my initial posting, I wrote numerous reviews and as I intimated, to break the monotony and to the chagrin of some administrators, I would occasionally write a farcical review. This is such a review, based on the fictional A Book Review for U show. Here is one of my favorites from that show. Enjoy.

THE SECRET MAN by Bob Woodward

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to a special edition of Book Review 4 U. Today we will be reviewing the new book by Bob Woodward entitled The Secret Man. Woodward, you may recall, along with Carl Bernstein, both reporters for the Washington Post, helped lead the expose of the Watergate scandal and associated misdeeds, which startled many readers with their revealing and concise reporting during those trying times. This duo collaborated on many best selling books of this period including the best selling All the Presidents Men which, you may recall was later made into a movie. I’m sure you all remember that Woodward was assisted in these endeavors by inside information from an inscrutable source. This mysterious individual was eventually given the nickname Deep Throat. The identity of Deep Throat, which has been widely speculated upon for years, was recently revealed in a Vanity Fair article last month as former FBI second in command Mark Felt and the book The Secret Man, which was rushed to the press shortly after, confirms Felt’s identity as Deep Throat.

“With us this fine Saturday morning is our usual panel members ET and Pamela Anderson. ET of course is our resident Science Fiction expert and Pamela doesn’t know that much about books but she sure is nice to look at, right ET. Gimme three! That a boy! The gentleman in the middle is of course ET’s long time interpreter Hailey Comet and last but not least is our two guest panel members, Film Actress, Lind Lovelace, who of course was known for her starring role in the pornographic movie Deep Throat and is sometimes referred to as Deep Throat herself and another lady who some consider an expert on deep throat affairs, Monica Lewinski. So good to see you again Monica. Have you been behaving yourself lately?”

“So good to see you again too Bill. You know I have a penchant for powerful men but I am working on it. I’m presently attending weekly meeting at Sex Addicts anonymous. In disguise of course.”

“Well Monica, you just blew it there, er, your identity I mean. You are after all on TV. Well just remember to get your dresses cleaned.

“I of course I am your host, If you don’t recognize me, my name is William Jefferson Clinton. I used to work for the government and I know something about scandals.

“As usual I’ll read the fly leaf of the book, giving everybody a feeling for the book and then we’ll have a usual comment from our resident Epinionator Mr. Daumco. After that we’ll open things up for discussion by our panel. Sorry ET but this one isn’t your favorite, Science Fiction either, but it is a good book, isn’t it?

“What’s that. You haven‘t read it yet but you‘ll read it on the commercial break. Hailey, why does he keep doing that? Never mind.”

“Well, Bill. I want you to know that I read it and it only took me four days. It is a short book you know? Only two hundred twenty pages.”

“Good for you Pam. I knew I could count on you. Now straighten up. That‘s it, now throw your shoulders back. Ahhh, I love it when you wear those low cut tops.”

“Here is what the dust jacket says, in part”

“In Washington DC, where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat – the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972 – remained hidden for 33 years. Now Woodward tells the story of his long complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic former No 2 man in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon.”

“The Secret Man chronicles the story in intimate detail, from Woodward‘s first, chance encounter with Felt in the Nixon White House, to there covert middle-of-the-night meeting in an underground parking garage, to the aftermath of Watergate and decades beyond, until Felt finally step[ped forward at the age of 91 to unmask himself as Deep Throat.”

“The Secret Man reveals the struggles of a patriotic career FBI man, an admirer of J. Edgar Hoover, the Bureau‘s legendary director. After Hoovers death, Mark Felt found himself in the crossfire of one of Washington‘s historic contests as Nixon and and his men tried to dominate the Bureau and cover up the crime of the administration.”

“The fly jacket is rather verbose, so we‘re going to leave it there and join Mr. Daumco on the phone to get his analysis. Good morning Mr. D, I hope everything is fine for you back in Arizona.”

“Thank you Bill. As the saying goes everything is ’Peaches’. It’s still quite early here, the sun just came up, so it’s fairly nice out right now. You know, In Phoenix we have no earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis or snow but we sure do have HEAT. Speaking of heat, I‘m really impressed with your guests today. I’ll bet they can generate some heat of their own and Pam, I love your top today, if that‘s what it is. Didn‘t you wear that on the Howard Stern show?”

“Why Mr. D what a great memory you have. Yes I did wear it for awhile. I’m impressed you remember.”

“Ok Mr. D, we need to move along. What is your analysis of Deep Throat”

“Which one?”

“The book, The Secret Man by Bob Woodward.”

“Yes of course, sorry. Actually Bill. I’m glad you stopped reading the fly jacket because you would have given most of the book away if you had kept reading. To say that The Secret Man is laconic is like saying Phoenix is somewhat warm. For one of the biggest secrets of our times, Woodward had surprisingly little to say. The book is short! Short on information. Short on revelations. Short on words (about 40,00 I‘d guess). Short on interest. Short, Short, Short. That‘s not to say the book is totally without merit. Woodward continues to write in his ‘aw shucks‘, ‘down home’ style of writing and he does manage to give Deep Throat a face. A face of a kindly old befuddled gentleman now and the proud, confident, mildly ruthless, extremely secretive informer of the seventies.”

“Much to the authors chagrin he was unable to ascertain Felt‘s true motive‘s behind his secretive revelations before his dementia and we are subjected to his rehashing of all that has been said by his contemporaries in the past. However, we do get to see a side of Woodard that I had never suspected. That of a pushy, prodding, sometimes demanding but not ungrateful recipient of Felt’s largess. As Woodward recites the events, it seems that Felt, whatever his motives, be it personal, or resentment of the Nixon team for compromising his beloved FBI, was recalcitrant and events would not have moved forward, without Woodward’s persistence. This ultimately led to a split of these unlikely friends where Felt wouldn‘t take Woodward‘s calls and they did not talk for a period of some twenty years.”

“My feeling is that although Woodward had his book ready to go in draft form, he was taken by surprise by the sudden surprise announcement from Felt’s family and was rushed to come up with the finished manuscript. As short as the book is, it seems it was stretched by repeating things in the last third of the book. I found this repetition annoying. In summary I found the book mildly amusing and I‘m glad I read it, if for nothing else, to get a feeling for the man they called Deep Throat. Was he a hero or a traitor? My sense is that Nixon and his gang were out of control and Ship of State was dangerously listing and Felt with some help from Woodward and Bernstein were to only ones bailing the water at first. Yeah he was a hero. Wish we had some of his ilk today. He wasn’t obsequious. Nor was he a sycophant. He would have never said ‘Mr. President, it’s a slam dunk’.”

“I have mixed feelings about the book. I feel like the book was rushed for obvious reasons. The story, what there is of if is compelling but seems incomplete. I give it a rating of 3.2 Stars.”

“Great! Well thanks once again for your input Mr. D. When we return we’ll get a new viewpoint from our panel.”

_______________________________

“Welcome back folks. Now it‘s time to get our panel‘s opinion of The Secret Man. As Usual we start with ET. Hailey, What does ET think about our book.”

“Yes Pamela”

“Yes, I thought the book was a little short on specifics and tended to be redundant in order to appear to be more substantial than it was. Other than that I thought it was an average read despite that Deep Throat was my hero.”

“Thank you Pamela. That was very insightful, for you. Anybody else? Yes Monica.”

“I thought the book was wonderful. I‘ll admit I hadn‘t personally heard of Mark Felt but I was impressed. He was obviously a man of integrity, a virile, powerful man who almost single handedly brought down a President. I wish I had known him when he was young, at his peak.. I would have helped him bring the President down.”

“Thank you Monica. I‘m sure you could have been a big help to Deep Throat in bringing down the President. I think you‘ve had some experience along those lines. ET, Do you have anything to say? ET? Linda what are you doing to him?”

“Chill out Bill. He‘s cute. I used to have a teddy bear like him. Don‘t worry, he just put his finger by my mouth and pushed it in then out and so forth. He seems to like that. He‘s harmless.”

“I hate to tell you Linda but that‘s not his finger.”

“Oh?”

“So What does ET think about Deep Throat, Hailey?”

“ET says he thinks she‘s the real McCoy. Is that how you say it?”

“I don‘t suppose he has any comments about The Secret Man, the book about the other Deep Throat?”

“ET can‘t really talk right now, but I can tell you that he doesn‘t understand human politics and he‘s very happy you invited Linda here today.”

“Monica what are you doing”

“Linda said it tastes good and I was just checking it out.”

Pamela does a double take and says, “Really, it tastes good?”

“Well I want to thank the TV audience for viewing our show. We‘re going to have to leave it there for now.”

“Pamela, What are you doing?”

“Tastes like chocolate, Bill”

“No it doesn‘t, it tastes like strawberries”

“I thought it tasted minty”

“Goodbye and don‘t forget to join us next week”

July 15, 2007. Bill Clinton, Bob Woodward, Books, Deep Throat, Humor, Linda Lovelace, Mark Felt, Pam Anderson, review, satire, Secret Man, Watergate.

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