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Extended Audio Sample Watergate: A Novel Audiobook, by Thomas Mallon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 5 3.41 (17 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Mallon Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781470806743
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From one of our most esteemed historical novelists comes a remarkable retelling of the Watergate scandal, as seen through a kaleidoscope of its colorful perpetrators and investigators.

For all the monumental documentation that Watergate generated—uncountable volumes of committee records, court transcripts, and memoirs—it falls at last to a novelist to perform the work of inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal’s greatest mysteries—who did erase those eighteen-and-a-half minutes of tape?—and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety. In Watergate, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew before now. Praised by Christopher Hitchens for his “splendid evocation of Washington,” Mallon achieves with Watergate a scope and historical intimacy which surpasses even that attained in his previous novels and turns a “third-rate burglary” into tumultuous, first-rate entertainment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this stealth bull’s-eye of a political novel, Thomas Mallon invests the Watergate affair with all the glitter, glamour, suave grace, and subtlety that it doesn’t often get. His cleverly counterintuitive Watergate even has the name-dropping panache of a Hollywood tell-all...[and a] fine, boisterous historical tableau...Readers who deem the book’s liberties too free can stick to the tonnage of Watergate memoirs, transcripts, investigative, and marginalia. More fun-loving types can take Watergate as lively, witty drama.”

    New York Times

  • “The ruthless, paranoid, sometimes farcically inept architects of America’s biggest political scandal seem more colorfully real than ever in this fictional portrayal.”

    “Titles to Pick Up Now,” O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “I was thrilled, captivated, deeply moved, and wholly subsumed by the world that Tom Mallon created…The book is fever dream, wolf whistle, and history as plain and simple human longing; the book encapsulates no less than everything. I finished the last page and wept for an hour; I remain stunned forty-eight hours later. The laughter, the horror, the pathos, the tawdry drama of small people and their fatuous lusts and drives—ever falling short but, somehow, achieving a transcendental interconnectedness. Watergate is certainly a masterpiece. More importantly, it is a concurrently credible and fantastic subversion of all our perceived notions of a smugly overreported event and an underscrutinized time and place…Here, Nixon himself achieves grandeur; here, he will live as the embodiment of glorious intransigence and twisted courage.”

    James Ellroy, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Mallon, astute and nimble, continues his scintillating, morally inquisitive journey through crises great and absurd in American politics by taking on Watergate…Mallon himself is deliciously witty. But it is his political fluency and unstinting empathy that transform the Watergate debacle into a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “If ever a historical event was worthy of a comic novel, it’s Watergate, and Mallon, with several outstanding historical novels to his credit, has the skills to write it. What a cast of characters we meet!…Mallon writes with such swagger that it all seems new again. A sure winner, for its subject and Mallon’s proven track record as a historical novelist, and because it’s good.”

    Library Journal

  • “Revisiting the history of the 70s with our favorite cast of characters…While billed as a novel, this book reads more like a documentary of a fascinating yet unlamented time.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist for Fiction
  • One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 2/18/2014

    " You know you're getting old when you lived through an event that's now classified as "historical." But I digress. While I liked the premise of looking at this iconic crisis through the eyes of some of its lesser players, I found the writing clinical and dispassionate. I wanted more zing. And I wanted more details on what was fact and what imagination. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqueline | 2/18/2014

    " This book seemed oddly flat to me. The real drama came across in the Woodward book about Watergate in a way that it did not in this one, perhaps because there are too many characters in it and that makes it less possible to try and get into the depth of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dede Murphy | 2/12/2014

    " Because I lived through it, I probably enjoyed Watergate The Novel even a bit more than 3 stars. I'm not sure about what was true and what the author speculated might have happened, but it was interesting told through the eyes of a few of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/10/2014

    " I followed the Watergate hearings during the summer of '73 the way some people keep up with soap operas. Mallon's novel brings a number of the principals to life, esp. Rose Mary Wood, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Pat Nixon (to whom he gives a lover!), and Fred LaRue. Great fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa Conte | 2/10/2014

    " I was living on an Air Base in Germany during Watergate, but this brilliantly written work of fiction tied together all of the non fiction I've read on the subject. Well worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry Benfield | 1/26/2014

    " Great fictional take on Watergate. I loved the emphasis on what each person was thinking during the scandal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen Boozang | 1/21/2014

    " What a hoot! I loved remembering the various characters of this otherwise unbelievable national embarrassment. I kept a separate web page open to help keep everyone straight and learn "where they are now". Margaret Mitchell is still my favorite! Maybe someone should have paid closer attention to what she had to say, drunk or sober. It lays stuns me when smart people with every advantage do such stupid things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neha | 1/18/2014

    " fun, snappy historical fiction about watergate and nixon's peeps, quick read with random trivia about history tossed in "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorine Kritzer | 12/16/2013

    " Lots of tantalizing tidbits we didn't hear about at the time. What's fiction and what's real? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ritu Vincent | 11/22/2013

    " I really wanted to like this one, but I realized I just don't find Nixon very interesting. And aside from Alice Roosevelt, I didn't think any of the supporting characters were particularly compelling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alison | 11/17/2013

    " Uggh. Could only get 30 pages in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Brown | 10/8/2013

    " Kindle book..4.5 stars. Recommend for political junkies only..very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemary A. | 5/10/2013

    " An excellent "history" of an era for those of us who lived through it and a must read for those who did not. Best parts: Alice Roosevelt Longworth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne Criscione | 3/20/2013

    " Not usually a fan (negative on Henry and Clara) but this was a great read -- really interesting hook with Alice Longworth "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy Meinert | 8/9/2012

    " Very Interesting. I think some of this could probably be true that we never really knew. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 5/27/2012

    " library e-book Interesting to look back and speculate what is real and what may be embellished. Characters are still the same! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Naomi | 5/2/2012

    " I don't know why I read this book all the way through. It is a historical-fictional version of the break-in. Since this happened in my lifetime, I think it was to soon to accept this as a novel. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Mallon

Thomas Mallon is the author of the novels Henry and Clara, Dewey Defeats Truman, and Fellow Travelers, among others. He has been literary editor of GQ and is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the Atlantic, as well as other publications.

About the Narrator

Joe Barrett has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials. He has earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. He has narrated books by such authors as Trevanian, Brian Freeman, Don Winslow, and James W. Huston.