Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Review: Little Green Men, by Christopher Buckley

John Banion is a well-known, well-regarded TV pundit. He's like - who's the moderator of Meet the Press? David Gregory? - he's like David Gregory, only more widely known. He's like Bill O'Reilly, only less of a right wing wacko. Like Chris Matthews, with less caffeine? Anyway, you get the picture.

John Banion is Mister D.C., hob-nobbing with all the important political figures and rich WASP-y denizens of the District, inviting the President himself over for Saturday dinner (even after he held the man's feet to the fire the week before on his TV show). In short, he's enormously rich, enormously well-regarded among his cohort, enormously successful.

And then he gets abducted (and probed) by aliens. Twice.

Okay, so he doesn't really get abducted by aliens, but he certainly believes that he does. As do all abductees. In fact, the Majestic 12 program - long believed to be "a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of President Truman to investigate UFO activity in the aftermath of the Roswell incident, and an important part of the UFO conspiracy theory of an ongoing government cover up of UFO information" (thank you Wikipedia) - is actually a small group of people within the government who are responsible for perpetuating the myth that the United States has not only been repeatedly visited by UFOs but is also in possession of UFO technology, which it could potentially employ against the Soviet Union (or other aggressors) if it so chooses. (Did you get all that?) Nathan Scrubbs, Majestic 12 underling in charge of operating the computer that runs the abduction algorithm for determining which overweight, overwrought farmer's wife should be abducted next, decides he's had enough of his life of obscurity and fudges some computer results such that Banion is chosen for a CE-IV (Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind). Two abductions later, Banion becomes a very vocal spokesman for the phenomenon of alien abduction, and all manner of mayhem ensues.

The concept was amusing. Some of the writing was pretty funny. Buckley sure has a thing for middle-aged dudes and hot/younger women who are drawn to them for reasons unknown, if I may be so bold as to draw a pattern from just reading 2 of his books. I still kind of felt like I was reading Hiaasen transplanted out of the Everglades, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the two have a very similar style, I think. Overall, not the most hilarious thing I've ever read, but entertaining enough.


MC Squared said...

So confused until the last paragraph, where I decided to look at the post title. Book review!! It all makes sense now.

susan said...

Ha. I know my titles are sometimes tangentially related at best, but other times they are indeed informative. ;)