[He] wastes no time on the familiar caricatures of a sloshed, foul-mouthed chief executive and his wooden wife. His Nixons are an affectionate couple, surprisingly relaxed (she calls him “pal”) and intimate after three decades of marriage. And the president’s public awkwardness masks something more human.
“Nixon’s self-pity was a mere overlay, a kind of plastic transparency protecting the authentic anguish visible beneath,” Mr. Mallon writes. Even a cap on his teeth poignantly appears to be “infinitesimally whiter, and curiously more sincere, than the rest of his smile.”
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
For 20 years I've been nursing an idea for a White House novel that begins on Aug. 8, 1974, the night the historical Richard Nixon announced his resignation. I feel newly encouraged by news of Thomas Mallon's new novel, Watergate. In a review, Janet Maslin describes Mallon's refreshing portrait of the Nixons: