September 2, 2003

Purple Words on a Grey Background

Excerpt from a review of Tim Sandlin's recent novel "Honey Don't:"

"As Hillary Clinton's memoir, 'Living History', rides the crest of a publicity wave near the top of the bestseller lists, along comes Tim Sandlin's 'Honey Don't', a sleek torpedo of a novel which unabashedly satirizes the hazards of Presidential oral sex. There are no cigars, stained dresses, or debates about the word 'is,' but there is a deadly sex scene which includes a cast-iron flamingo, a jealous boyfriend, and thong underwear wrapped around the President's ankles as he's running from said boyfriend and the aforementioned flamingo smacks his head 'with a sound like a shovel coming down on a day-old wedding cake.' Oops.

"Not that 'Honey Don't' will torpedo any holes in Hillary's hyper-speed hull, but for an unvarnished look at sex and politics, it is undoubtedly the more interesting read. Depending on how you look at it, it's also the funnier of the two books. Also depending on your view (wide-eyed naiveté or squinty skepticism), the novel could be truer and more sincere.

"'Honey Don't' pulls no punches, takes no prisoners, and busts every gut with well-earned laughter. If you like your books loud and fast—like a pinball hitting all the buzzers—then this is the one for you.

"'Honey Don't' opens with a brief episode of phrenology—funny phrenology, at that—and how many novels can stake that claim? As a flight attendant/amateur phrenologist feels the bumps on journalist RC Nash's 'philoprogenic' skull, she informs him, 'You are a man of great destiny.' Nash is burned out, and the only destiny he can see on the horizon is a lifetime of writing more celebrity puff pieces on Tom Cruise's latest divorce or J-Lo's clandestine breast surgery."

"For all its raunchy sex, blazing bullets and political vulgarities, 'Honey Don't' is, at heart, about love in its most romantic form. Though Sandlin comes at it with a cockeyed cynicism, there's ultimately something very tender at the core of the book. When someone asks Honey why she's with Jimmy, she gets misty-eyed and says, 'When I met Jimmy he could pour a beer down his throat without swallowing. I thought that was sexy.' Sweet, huh?

"Sandlin writes with a breezy efficiency which makes 'Honey Don't' one of the fastest entertainments of this literary season. Fans of the author's previous Wyoming-based comedies will applaud the new direction he's taken, while first-time Sandlin readers will be won over in less time than it takes to say 'phrenology.'"


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