A NovelBook - 2007
An ambitious, roguish young presidential candidate . . . a lifetime of inconvenient secrets . . . a decision to save a candidacy--all at a fatal cost: These are the provocative threads that master storyteller William F. Buckley Jr. weaves into this gripping yet surprisingly empathetic political novel.
The Rake brings together Buckley's keen political insight and his tale-spinning craft to tell the story of a candidate on the rise and the dark shadows cast behind him. As Reuben Castle, the prototypical child of the sixties, coasts through his early life on a cloud of easy charisma, he leaves behind more skeletons than Arlington: a highly questionable Vietnam record, an abandoned wife, and worse. Yet two decades later, just as his dreams are within reach, he learns that his personal history is about to become his political epitaph--unless he takes the direst of measures to protect himself.
With a blend of satire and suspense, Buckley offers an archly pointed portrait of a familiar icon. A novel by the defining conservative of our times, about a figure bearing an unmistakable resemblance to the defining liberal of our times, The Rake is a welcome new masterpiece, and Buckley's most winning, and provocative, novel in years.