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Thank You for Smoking

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  11,284 ratings  ·  711 reviews
Nick Naylor likes his job. In the neo-puritanical nineties, it's a challenge to defend the rights of smokers and a privilege to promote their liberty. Sure, it hurts a little when you're compared to Nazi war criminals, but Nick says he's just doing what it takes to pay the mortgage and put his son through Washington's elite private school St. Euthanasius. He can handle the ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published May 17th 1994)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Glenn Russell
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Christopher Buckley, you witty guy, you don’t miss a trick! For starters, the name of your main character, Nick Naylor, tobacco advocate – that’s Nick as in nicotine and Naylor as in coffin nails, an apt and colorful term for cigarettes back in the heyday of smoking and lung cancer.

Thank You For Smoking is scathing social and political satire. Thank You For Smoking is belly laugh funny. Thank You For Smoking published in 1994, right around the time medical evidence demonstrated flight attendant
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-fiction

And one of those people is Nick Naylor, chief "smokesman" for the Academy of Tobacco Studies. Though in dark moments he might refer to himself as a washed-out, forty-year-old snake-oil vendor who on the Karma food chain is somewhere between a sea slug and eel shit, ole Nick enjoys his job "lying for a living," and making sure the public keeps on smoking. He's good at it. And it may just cost him his life.

Though this was not Buckley's firs
Joe Valdez
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
Looking for a light read between my 2,400 page journey through post-apocalyptic America in Stephen King's The Stand and Robert McCammon's Swan Song, I picked up Christopher Buckley's 1994 political satire Thank You For Smoking, a title that appears on King's Reading List For Writers. The novel deals with the shameless exploits of a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, whose product was killing between 435,000 and 475,000 Americans per year (depending on whose expert was testifying), but the book i ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Brilliant satire of the Tobacco industry. Nick Naylor comes off as an actual person throughout. Well written, incredible characters and funny as hell. Recommended to all who like a little bite to their humor.
Anne Zappa
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is political satire at its best.
This book reminded me so much of George Carlin & Bill Hicks. Following is a profane thingy I wrote. Read at your own risk. Judge me all you want. I'm gross & wicked, so that's how it comes out.

A ciggies rant:

I envy that fucking Cuban Cigar. He's grubby, stout, unattractive, but that fucker gets to last. He gets circumcised before he's even lit into this world, before an affluent ruffian of a human takes the first drag. Ha, his life ain't perfect, but at
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
When it comes to naming our best contemporary satirists, the default response usually (and accurately) settles on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The Onion, too, and certainly anything Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It; In the Loop; Veep) creates. But I never hear Christopher Buckley's name mentioned, which is a shame. He's made a career out of skewering various American power structures – the stock market, the justice system, the State Department, etc. – and I'm glad that I finally got around ...more
Book Concierge
A political satire skewering the tobacco, alcohol and gun lobbyists, the media, and the politicians who all have a role in public policy regarding these “legal vices.”

Nick Naylor is the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, an organization funded entirely by the big tobacco producers. As such, he is frequently vilified, and the target of threats. His boss, BR, and his chief rival at the Academy, Jeanette (who happens to be the boss’s “main squeeze”) seem to be trying to angle him o
Katy Noyes
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smokin'! One of the funniest books I've read in a long time.

I saw this on a library shelf and remembered how much I'd enjoyed the film a few years ago. The book is definitely worth reading too.

Very dark humour, it's the sort of funny that might make you spit out your tea. Who would have thought that lung cancer, gun death and fetal alcohol syndrome could be so hilarious...

Nick Naylor is Big Tobacco's spokesman - the man whose job it is to make them look good, to suck up criticism and spin it int
Jun 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Buckley has a very dry sense of humor. A good example is the name of the main character, Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for the tabacco industry. "Nick" for nicotine and "Naylor" for coffin nails. a euphemism for cigarettes. The other lobbyists featured in the book are for alcohol and guns (firearms). The three main lobbyists in the book are anti-ATF.

To me, Nick is a modern-day Scrooge. Not many people remember that at the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is said to keep Christmas better than anyone.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I saw the film in the theatre in the spring and really liked it a lot, so of course, I picked up the book. It was smartly written and had the same tone as the film, which is always great. The movie dealt more with Nick and his family, especially his son, while in the book, they where in it for like one, maybe two chapters, out of thirty. they hardly made a dent. He dealt more in the book with his job as a spokes person for a pro-tobacco company and his relationship in the MOD (Merchants of Death ...more
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: that-was-funny
Funny little biting political satire on the nonsense that goes on in Washington (and Hollywood, to a lesser extent); the money that changes hands, the souls that are sold, the amoral deals that are made, the shrieking hysterical harpies on each side of a divisive issue (smoking, in this case) that are convinced they just want what's best for the American public.

Ronald Chevalier
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a witty piece of social satire. The main character Nic Naylor (Nic=nicotine and Naylor= nailing closed a coffin?) is both despicable and endearing as he is the lead spokesperson for big tobacco. His two closest friends are Polly (the lead spokesperson for beer, wine and spirits) and Bobby Jay (spokesperson for the gun lobby). Bobby Jay is a Vietnam vet who lost his hand in the war and sports a hook . . . Yes, a hook. Calling themselves the Mod Squad (Merchants of Death), they meet in the ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since I watched the movie a couple of years ago. Thank You For Smoking is one of the most cynical, devilishly funny satires I’ve ever read. It was written over a decade ago, when anti-smoking legislation–banning smoking in restaurants, etc.–rolled through after studies started to definitively prove the link between smoking and a host of physical ailments. The story is narrated by Nick Naylor, a spokesman for the tobacco lobby, as he tries to delay t ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Satire, thy name is Buckley. Smoking opens the door on what could only be labeled Despicable Jobs and the People That Live Them, taking Washington lobbyists to task for their support of hideous business interests. Buckley thrives on humorous insights about cultural idiocies. Here he creates characters straight from the world of Carl Hiaasen, goofy and eccentric cretins one prays are only found in fiction, but are suspiciously close to the power-elite making the news on a daily basis. You have to ...more
Will Drickey
it is with a heavy heart that i must report to you that the movie is just,,, SO much better
Nate Williams
Me earlier today on the phone with my friend Alex: I want to get better at literary criticism :)

Me now: damb this book suchs! Conservatives aren’t funny :)
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very fun to read. I wish the relationship between Nick and his son Joey was expanded on more like it is in the movie but I do like the few moments he has in the book.
Travis McClain
May 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
As you may recall, one of my 2009 reading goals is to get to some of the books that have been the basis for some of my favorite films. Thank You for Smoking was adapted and directed by Jason Reitman in 2004, and quickly became one of my top twenty favorite films of all time thanks largely to the sardonic humor and Aaron Eckhart's irresistibly charming portrayal of lead character Nick Naylor. It's always difficult coming to a written work after seeing the film version of it, because of two things ...more
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, am-lit
As I continue my long strange voyage through Chris Buckley's assembled work, I was surprised at how underwhelmed I was by Thank You for Smoking. Perhaps it steams from the fact that I watched the Jason Reitman film first, or from the fact that I've become used to his more mature style. Whatever the case, while I read, and chuckled and enjoyed Thank You for Smoking this might well be the first Buckley book I feel no temptation to read again.

With a plot that scatters like buckshot and a main chara
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cassy by: Allison
Shelves: books-in-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I may have made a mistake with this novel, because I actually saw the movie first, having forgotten that I had the book unread on my shelves. I suspect I might've given the book 4 stars instead of 3 if I'd come to it de novo, but surely such tragedies cannot rule our pitiable lives.

In any case, it is a funny, enjoyable book, if perhaps a little bit dated. Published in 1994, it is heavily reliant upon the 'anti-political correctness' humor trope that was ubiquitous at the time. That's not a fatal
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Adam C. Zern offers his thoughts . . .

"Christopher Buckley takes a really interesting and unique idea, a novel about a "merchant of death" or tobacco company spokesmen, and doesn't do much with it. The first 100 pages of the book are worth reading, including a very funny and original twist in the story in which the main character, Nick Naylor, is kidnapped by supposed anti-tobacco fanatics. Nick is nearly assassinated by having nicotine patches placed all over his body. However, after that surp
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
okay, i have to be honest here; i watch the movie first so the entire book is like an open spoiler to me. i know the storyline, i can imagine what Nick Naylor and other characters exactly looked like... and after reading the entire book; i like the movie more

i have to admit that it's hard to have a non-biased opinion towards the book. of course, the satirical way of portraying The Big Tobacco is hilarious, but i feel like the movie were exceeding the 'hilarious-form' while the book is 'just hila
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
In a word: underwhelming. It was funny, but it felt like sit-com funny when you know exactly what the jokes will be about as soon as i.e.) Jerry Seinfeld gets to the dentist/buys an old car/gets a new girlfriend. In fact, in the end I thought that Buckley left good material out and missed a few potential jabs. All in all it was unsatisfying. I only laughed out loud once (and I was alone, driving up to DC, so I had ample opportunity to snort/laugh obnoxiously). I loved Boomsday and I hoped this w ...more
Carlos Reyes
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is one of those oddities, that ended on my list because I read about it on a forum about funny books. And I'm glad to have read it, because Nick Naylor the protagonist has so many traits that made me feel so empathic with his situation from the opening lines to the very ending.

I really liked the gags, the pace of the book, but the characters save for Nick are a little stale, I also love the 90's references when still had cigarettes advertising, who would have thought that 20+ years af
C. Scott
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh god I loved this book! I had seen the movie a few years ago and remembered liking it, but I wasn't dying to dive into the book necessarily. I'm glad I did. This book was hilarious and breezy - just great stuff. I immediately went and bought another of Buckley's books when I was about halfway through this one. I loved the Nick Naylor character and would jump at the opportunity to spend more time with him in sequel after sequel.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Funny, but too caustic. Everything was so sarcastic I had a hard time accepting even the truth in that book. It was full of irony-- I could just picture the author rubbing his hands together like a mad scientist going "You won't expect THIS, suckers!" The ending was cliche, but not, because it ended the way we all expect it to, but it still had that ironic ... taste. Not satisfying, but not bad either. Read for a good laugh.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hilarious satire of lobbyists for tobacco, alcohol and firearms. Full of witticisms, some of which made me laugh out loud. The main character is 40 year old Nick, VP at the Academy of Tobacco Studies, who finds ways to fight anti-smoking groups so he can "pay the mortgage". I find Buckley's books very visual- as I read I can see how the scenes would play out on a movie screen as a dark comedy.
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: default
An excellent satire, full of funny moments. It lets you thinking how easy it is to manipulate people, especially in the lobby world of advertisement, so yes, it has a clear political message.
I also watched the movie, whose screenwriter was the same author. Very funny, too.
I recommend both for an easy and good laugh.
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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.

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