Though it's a legal document, the Starr Report, published in late 1998, reads like a racy novel about the most powerful man in the world, President Bill Clinton, and a young intern, Monica Lewinsky, who's portrayed as a spoiled Beverly Hills brat performing oral sex on the president while he talked to colleagues on the telephone.
Andrew Morton, the author of Diana: Her True Story, spent several months interviewing Lewinsky after the scandal broke; the result is Monica's Story, which asserts that the picture the Starr Report paints of Lewinsky is totally incorrect. Morton believes she and the president had an emotional, mutually satisfying relationship, which, if circumstances had been different, would probably have remained secret. Although he covers much of the same territory as the Starr Report, he adds details of conversations Lewinsky and Clinton had in an attempt to show the depth of the relationship. In chapters with titles like "Grunge, Granola, and Andy" and "Terror in Room 1012," he paints a portrait of a "child-woman" who is sexually liberated but also intelligent, loving, and well mannered. "[She] could be anybody's sister," he insists, "anybody's daughter."
The book is most interesting, however, in its descriptions of the political intrigue, lies, and deception resulting from Kenneth Starr's investigation. Leading the evil band is Linda Tripp, described as a black-hearted, shameless manipulator who betrayed Lewinsky and spurred the scandal for her own personal gain (she was planning to write a book about Clinton). He also examines the media's hatred for Lewinsky--particularly that of women writers who became obsessed with her weight and body shape. "Just as the O.J. Simpson trial exposed the racial fault line running through American society," he argues, "so the Monica Lewinsky saga has spotlighted the underlying misogyny that still permeates American life." Monica's Story is gripping stuff--porn, fantasy, farce, political commentary, and tragedy all rolled into one. --Dale Kneen, Amazon.co.uk [via]