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Extended Audio Sample The Running Mate, by Joe Klein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (151 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Klein Narrator: John Bedford Lloyd Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Hailed as “astonishingly powerful” by the New York Times, and “written perfectly” by the Washington Post, Joe Klein’s #1 bestseller, Primary Colors, was the most-talked-about political novel of the past century. Now acclaimed journalist and author Joe Klein returns with another brilliant and slyly subversive novel set in the gladiatorial arena he knows so well: politics in modern-day America.

US senator Charlie Martin is a hot political property, dashing, honorable, irreverent—and a decorated Vietnam veteran. The Running Mate follows this brash hero on a wild, exhilarating ride through the minefields of politics as usual.

But as Charlie quickly learns, combat is a cakewalk compared with the battles waged by free men in pursuit of glory and power. For Charlie’s political star is beginning to wane: a bid for the presidency ends in failure; a young campaign volunteer’s father decks him—in front of the cameras; a well-kept secret from Charlie’s Vietnam days is revealed; and a woman has entered his life—one who loves him but is appalled by his life’s work.

Suddenly Charlie must confront the two greatest challenges of his life—a political opponent who has no scruples and a dazzling, unconventional woman who may force him to choose between love and politics. Charlie’s dilemma is one that has come to haunt contemporary American politics: Is it possible to be a good politician and a good man?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Klein sustains the mastery of storytelling mechanics that he demonstrated in Primary Colors…If this reporter has more novels in him, let them come.”


  • “It has many of the virtues of its predecessor: lively characters, well-constructed scenes, better than serviceable prose, and, of course, impressive verisimilitude.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “You can't say Klein lacks chutzpah!…Fans of Primary Colors will love this book’s raffish authenticity. But the canvas is vaster—the Vietnam chapter is as evocative as the American ones—the story sprawls Tom Wolfe-ishly, and Klein is not just scoring points, he’s a moralist hunting big game.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “An authoritative account of a hotly contested political campaign…The Running Mate reinforces the notion that a gifted new political novelist has arrived on the scene. Joe Klein is a genuinely good writer: smart, stylish, funny, and always brightly observant…A novel that is both convincing and entertaining.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “A sizzlingly good look at politics as only an insider can provide, and once again, one of the best parts is deciding who the true-life counterparts of the fictitious characters are…Recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Frederick Bingham | 11/29/2013

    " I could not get interested in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alicia | 7/17/2013

    " Not as good as Primary Colors but a decent fluffy political read to distract myself from this election season. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Beth | 6/3/2013

    " Ugh...only the third book in a lifetime of reading that I could not finish. Halfway through I stillo had not idea what the plot was and didn't care about the characters. I can't even sell this book at a garage sale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Beth | 4/18/2013

    " Not the politically driven novel I expected, which was a nice surprise. Charlie Martin was, in fact, a senator but this is really a love and life story. I liked it more than I thought I would. "

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