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Little Green Men: A Novel
ISBN 0679452931 / 9780679452935 / 0-679-45293-1
Publisher Random House
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In Christopher Buckley's hilarious fourth novel, Washington, D.C., is naturally enough a place of sex, lies, and videotape. Unfortunately for Little Green Men's pundit protagonist, John Oliver Banion, it is also the HQ of Majestic Twelve, a very, very covert government project. Since "that golden Cold War summer of 1947," MJ-12 has had a single mission--to convince taxpayers that space invaders are constantly lurking below what's left of the ozone layer. "A country convinced that little green men were hovering over the rooftops was inclined to vote yea for big weapons and space programs," the author thoughtfully explains.
But one disgruntled operative wants out. Nathan Scrubbs is fed up to the back teeth with the art of alien abduction--not to mention his cover as a Social Security flunky--so when his request for a transfer is quashed, he drunkenly decides to take it out on ubiquitous ultra-prig Banion, who happens to be on TV at the time. The ensuing high-tech kidnap, at Maryland's Burning Bush Country Club, is only one of the thousands of convulsively funny scenes in Little Green Men. Not that the novel isn't a skewed morality play of some sort: as Banion comes to believe in Tall Nordics and Short Ugly Grays, he is quickly removed from every A-list in town. But oddly enough, social and political disaster turns out to be as liberating as the finest alien probe. Let's just say that long before Banion and Scrubbs have a close encounter at the Millennium Man March on Washington, this Beltway barrel of monkeys attains a truly extraplanetary level of amusement. --Kerry Fried [via]