A review of Little Green Men, by Christopher Buckley
@@@@@ (5 out of 5)
Perhaps it requires a rarefied sense of humor to appreciate Christopher Buckley, but you wouldn’t know it from the sales figures on his books. Anyone who can write a book with endlessly eccentric characters named Sir Reginald Pigg-Vigorish, Col. Roscoe J. Murfletit, General Tunklebunker, and Deputy FBI Director Bargenberfer may be reaching the pre-adolescent in me, but he makes me laugh, dammit, and I’m not going to apologize for it, so there!
In Little Green Men, not only does Buckley make me chuckle and wheeze with immoderate glee, but he also solves the mystery of the UFOs! Could anyone possibly wish for more?
Like so many of Buckley’s satirical novels, Little Green Men tells the story of a hapless (though in this case willing) victim of the absurd circumstances surrounding him — circumstances caused in large part by a witless supporting cast with names such as those listed in the opening paragraph of this review. Buckley’s antihero here is John Oliver Banion, a pompous Sunday-morning public affairs television talk show host with a pedigree that looks just a little bit like Christopher Buckley’s (including Yale, of course!). In fact, Buckley is never better than when skewering People Like Us, and he does it with such skill that I can almost imagine him cackling in the background as he types away.
One fine day John O. Banion is slicing into the rough on his exclusive country club golf course when he is abducted and “probed” by aliens — not Little Green Men, actually, but silver ones whom UFO taxonomists call Tall Nordics. The action that radiates from this inexplicable event is far too complicated, and far too unlikely — not to mention funny — to sum up, so I’ll leave it to you when you read this beautifully crafted little book.
Little Green Men is the fourth of the nine satirical novels Christopher Buckley has published since 1986. I’ve read most of them and reviewed two in this blog. You can see my previous reviews by clicking on these titles: The White House Mess and They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? I also found Boomsday and Supreme Courtship hilarious, though I read them before starting this blog.