Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't Mess with Travis: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Don't Mess with Travis: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't Mess with Travis: A Novel

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A cowboy governor finds himself the accidental leader of Texas's right-wing revolution in this irreverent, entertaining debut novel.

Written with the comedic mastery of Christopher Buckley, Don't Mess with Travis tells the story of Ben Travis, a no-name Texas senator who becomes governor after a late-night accident takes the lives of the men ahead of him in the chain of com
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published May 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't Mess with Travis, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't Mess with Travis

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Holly Herda
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, political
First of all, I'll make it clear that I'm not a native Texan. However, after spending some time there, I grew quite fond of the place and people, which is why I read this book. And it didn't disappoint. Despite the hilariously accurate political satire, this books reads almost like a political thriller at times, albeit with a large dose of humor. You will be unable to resist cheering on Governor Ben Travis and his three loyal advisers/partners in crime(a black, conservative, shoe-obsessed profes ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Look, this book isn't very good. I mean, it's really really really bad. It's supposed to be satirical in part, but much of the satire is heavy-handed and unlike the best of that genre, really really petty. As bad as it is, it was still a fun read. I also got the feeling that the author knew how bad it was and wrote rolling his eyes the entire time. He also has quite a sharp eye for creating some interesting characters. (Even if those characters have to be fleshed out in some pretty bad writing. ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I picked this up at the library because of the title. My hubby is named Travis and I thought it would be interesting.

I like some political satire, but definitely not this one. I thought it was really bad. Perhaps the only person I would recommend this to was a really conservative native Texan and only if I hated the person.
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WOW! It has been a spell since I have grabbed a novel that hooked me in so well that I just could not put it down until I was finished. A must read for everyone especially with the political and economic season that we are in. I would like to give this a Sixth Star hands down. I will be keeping an eye open for Bob Smiley's future works as they are sure to delight and intrigue as well.
Dec 15, 2016 added it
Shelves: finished
High Junks
Cloak and dagger

Although published in 2012 there are parts that sound like they were pulled from this year's 2016 political campaigns

Benjamin Spurlock
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bob Smiley serves up a bit of political satire that avoids the bitter bite of modern politics by making his characters so surprisingly likeable. Let it be known- Ben Travis most definitely earned my vote.
Jim Wilson
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Since I am a sucker for political novels I found this i9nteresting. Wish the author would have carried it out to its logical conclusion. Does get a little preachy from a conservative point of view as part of the exposition. Fun stuff.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a hoot! Those of a conservative bent will laugh their **s off. The rare liberal with a sense of humor will surely get a chuckle or two. Its always fun when pin of humor pops the left's balloon.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very fun book, particularly for people who love Texas. Fortunately, I happen to be one of those people.
Bonnie Green
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the funniest book I've read in a decade. Smiley has a great talent for crafting highly improbably situations with just enough truth behind them to make them hilariously relatable.
Nov 20, 2012 marked it as didn-t-bother-to-finish
The cover drew me in. The story sounded good, but it just had too much political jargon for me to stomach.
Jason Reese
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Definitely a guilty pleasure. This is by no means a great work of literature, but it is a ripping yarn.
Stephen Boiko
rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2015
rated it it was ok
Oct 22, 2012
Jammi Finlayson
rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2012
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Thoroughly engaging and plenty of laugh out loud moments.
Karissa Sonneborn
rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2015
rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2012
rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2012
rated it liked it
Jun 04, 2013
rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2014
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Pat Fahrenthold
rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2012
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2012
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2014
rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 18, 2017
Jeremy Blachman
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Bob Smiley began his writing career as a research assistant to the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr. In 2008, he wrote the sports memoir Follow the Roar, chronicling his journey around the globe as he followed Tiger Woods for every hole of an entire season.

His latest project is the satiric novel Don't Mess with Travis, now out from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press.

Don't Mess with Travis h
More about Bob Smiley...