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Wet Work

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  221 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Charlie Becker, a defense contractor in control of America's biggest conglomerates, unleashes his own private army of experts on the job when his granddaughter, Tasha, dies of a drug overdose. Reprint.
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Knopf
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Lori
Turns out Buckley can ably handle genres other than his trademark satire. Admittedly, though, snark plays a pretty solid role in this "thriller" (as it's billed).

Wet Work is a bloody, tongue-often-firmly-in-cheek revenge story. Many of the characters are just as over the top as any of my Buckley faves. The bad guys are sympathetic, the good guys (aka the government) are bumbling and the action never stops.

Fun, quick read.

Jane
Good early novel, Buckley combines action with his trademark humor. His ability to capture speech -- especially the cadence of his former employer, the first President Bush -- brings light wit to an otherwise dark and disturbing premise.
MacK
Dec 23, 2013 MacK rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: am-lit
I was surprised to find the emotionality train being driven so recklessly by another of my favorite authors: Christopher Buckley. A sharp-witted satirist, Buckley has a score of books that skewer political hot potatoes [health policy in Thank You For Smoking, social security in Boomsday, the mid-east in Florence of Arabia]. Each book has chortle worthy moments and a combative core that forces your intellect to challenge preconceived notions.

So when I spotted one of his earliest novels, Wet Work,
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Sandy
After reading several of Buckley’s political satires, this one came as a bit of a surprise. It’s the story of a self-made billionaire whose smotheringly protective love for his granddaughter, a budding stage actress, can’t save her from a cocaine overdose. Knowing she wasn’t a drug user, he sees past the “evidence” and goes on a crusade of revenge, mowing down the entire chain of those who supplied the cocaine. A subplot with a DEA agent melds nicely with the main story. Towards the end of the b ...more
Gordon
Not equal to any of his other books I've read. This is a violent mystery without the strength of a Matt Helm. In places it is funny because Buckley has an unfailing eye and an excellent ear for idiocy, and the bureaucracy put in place by the Great Communicator to deal with our war on drugs is nothing if not funny. Buckley obviously feels that drugs are a problem. Like Twain, another satirist who lost his sense of humor, Buckley creates a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court with his main ch ...more
DWGibb
Saw Christopher Buckley interviewed on TV. Very amused and amusing man. Son of Buckley Jr. Wet work is a term used by gangsters for up close and personal hits, presumably referring to the resulting spatter. Hence the title.

Extravagantly wealthy man loses his beloved granddaughter to an overdose of cocaine. Decides to liquidate those key individuals who were responsible and works his way up the food chain to the top dealer. Final showdown takes place near the source of the Amazon River.

Off-handed
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Nancy
Like his father, William F. Buckley, this author is so gifted that he couldn't really write a bad book, but this just doesn't have the wit and verve of his more successful political satires.

The senior Buckley wrote clever and engrossing spy novels inspired by his own experience in the CIA. Wet Work suffers in comparison to those, as well as the younger Buckley's other work. In fairness, if this book was written by someone else I probably would have given it another star, but I expect so much of
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Phillip
Buckley writes more than his fantastic satire. This fiction is very good. About a man who spends his fortune to track down the 'murderers' of his only granddaughter--killed by drug use. I thought it a great read.(and see my review of Maximilian and Juarez).
Arlene
I really love this guy's work.

I really thought this was going to be a slow moving book. and it was only in the beginning.. and then it all came together amazingly. the last 200 pages, I couldn't put it down. loved loved loved this book! :)
Adam
Nov 30, 2007 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
Interesting revenge book. A bit of Tom Clancy with a sense of humor (and some of Buckley's satire on DC, which is always good).

And interesting to have a book in which you couldn't really say there's a good guy.
Angie
Not his best. I prefer when he writes more about the government. But still a great book.
Joe Faust
Thriller that comes off the rails at the end.
grundoon
I love Christopher Buckley. Apparently I do not love early Christopher Buckley. Or at least not when I was in the mood for his what-I-thought-was-trademark humor. Admittedly it does eventually make a bit of a low key appearance, and there's nothing particularly wrong with this work... it's simply a story of uber-rich man attempting to exact revenge, neither its theme nor somewhat disjointed presentation able to hold my interest.
Zakariah Johnson
As the title suggests, WET WORK is darker than Buckley's other books, but then so is the subject matter: the chain of victims and suppliers in the cocaine trade from the final user in NYC back to the peasant who picks the leaf on the slopes of the Andes. The book's depiction of the international drug trade is up there with Don Winslow's THE POWER OF THE DOG in terms of realism and research. Buckley's characteristic wit and humor is evident throughout, but given what it depicts there are fewer la ...more
Molly Elder
Because my husband brought this one home from the library and the title sounded uninviting, I was reluctant to pick it up. Once I did, however, it was very difficult to put down. The plot is interesting with many twists and turns, and the good guys are sometimes the bad guys and visa-verse.
Also, the ending is a really great touch.
One thing that I liked most about this novel is the reality that it exposed about the United States managing its image at the cost of real moral resolve. Also, the book
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Suleman Ali
Wet Works follows a powerful yet shady criminal overlord as he seek revenge for the death of his granddaughter... leading him across America and eventually, south to Latin America.

Though still funny throughout, this wasnt one of Buckley's better books, maybe because it moved away from his natural home of American politics. It didnt really stick out in any special way and though enjoyable, didnt have me turning page after page like his other works.

Not bad, but nothing special either.
Jessica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
i just love him! i can see where he started the political satire. i love what he's done with his current books but it was nice to understand the progression.
melissa
eh, not my favorite cfb book but it's nice to know how far he's come as an author.
Stevan
Aug 22, 2012 Stevan added it
Excellent.
Hunter S. Thompson, Harold Robbins would be proud.
Tyler
Oct 02, 2012 Tyler added it
Typical crazy Chris Buckley. Just like his dad, but sillier.
Jake
Apr 16, 2013 Jake rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: um
For his early work, this is great Christopher Buckley.
Glen
An exciting read - a different take than his normal work
Kevin Mintus
Kevin Mintus marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
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Christopher Buckley graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1976. He shipped out in the Merchant Marine and at age 24 became managing editor of Esquire magazine. At age 29, he became chief speechwriter to the Vice President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Since 1989 he has been founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes Life magazine.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Good
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More about Christopher Buckley...
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