Brad Walker recommends two political comedies

Reader Brad Walker wrote to recommend two neglected novels, both political comedies: “Both are hilarious and utterly cynical,” he writes. “If you can enjoy Perdita Get Lost, you should have no trouble with these.”

The Smoke-filled Boudoir, by Lawrence Williams, 1965.

“I really enjoyed this in junior high. Reread a few years ago and was struck by how slight it seemed. Well, there may not be much meat on them bones, but what’s there is cherce! (Too bad we’ve lost Ted Knight – he would’ve been perfect as the candidate.)” The Owosso-Argus Press called it “a hilarious novel of high jinks and low politics.” Lawrence Williams is probably best remembered for his 1972 novel, I, James McNeill Whistler, in which he carried on from a fragment left by Whistler and filled in the rest with a fictional autobiography.

Let George Do It! by John Foster, 1957.

“More of a period piece than Boudoir, it hinges on campaign practices long superseded, but the mindset is eternal. (I saw the hero played by Sly Stallone with George done by his ‘Lords of Flatbush’ co-star Henry Winkler. Shows my age.)” Let George Do It! turns out to have impeccable street cred: “John Foster” was one of several noms de plume used by Foster Furcolo, two-term governor of Massachussetts. Furcolo later adapted the book for the stage as the comedy, “Ballots Up!,” using another alias, “Larry Sands.” “That’s what I was called when I did a little amateur boxing some years ago,” he told Time magazine when the play debuted at a Michigan summer stock theatre.

Thanks for the recommendations, Brad! They’ve got my vote (gnyuck, gnyuck, gnyuck)!

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