Has anyone seen my toes? A novel

Christopher Buckley, 1952-

Book - 2022

During the pandemic, an aging screenwriter is holed up in a coastal South Carolina town with his beloved second wife, Peaches. He's been binge-eating for a year and developed a notable rapport with the local fast-food chain Hippo King. He struggles to work on a ludicrous screenplay about a Nazi attempt to kidnap FDR and, naturally, an article for Etymology Today on English words of Carthaginian origin. He thinks he has Covid. His wife thinks he is losing his mind. In short, your typical pan...demic worries. Things were going from bad to worse even before his doctor suggested a battery of brain tests. He knows what that means: dementia! But even in these scary times, there are plenty of things to distract him. His iPhone is fat-shaming him. He's been trying to read Proust and thinks the French novelist missed his true calling as a parfumier. And he's discovered nefarious Russian influence on the local coroner's race. Why is Putin so keen to control who decides who died peacefully and who by foul play in Pimento County? Could it be the local military base?--

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Subjects
Genres
Humorous fiction
Published
New York : Simon & Schuster [2022]
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
270 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781982198046
1982198044
Main Author
Christopher Buckley, 1952- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* If you were thinking of someone to write a comic novel set during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's likely Buckley's name would come to mind. After all, he's never exactly shied away from treating serious themes in comic or satiric ways: the exploitation of smokers in Thank You For Smoking (1994), for example, or the Trump administration in Make Russia Great Again (2020). Here, the novel focuses on an overweight South Carolina screenwriter whose new screenplay, about a Nazi plot to kidnap FDR, is going poorly, mostly because he's constantly distracted by the local race for coroner, which, he discovers, is being disrupted by Russian influence. In fact, there is a plethora of distractions that keep him from his work: word origins, concerns about his weight (expressed by his doctor), anti-vaxxers (including his doctor), Proust, a certain brand of fast food, and the list goes on. In fact, he's so distracted that sometimes he says things that might make you wonder (his wife certainly does) about whether he's losing his mind. This is one of Buckley's funniest books—there's a big laugh on nearly every page, often more than one—and, perhaps unexpectedly, it's also one of his most compassionate. A delight, with bite. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Hunkering down on the South Carolina coast during the pandemic, an aging screenwriter gorges on fast food while working feverishly on a screenplay about a Nazi plan to kidnap FDR and an article on English words of Carthaginian origin, prompting his alarmed doctor to order a battery of brain tests. Meanwhile, why are the Russians so concerned about the local coroner's race? From the Thurber Prize-winning Buckley; with a 75,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Humorist Buckley (Make Russia Great Again) follows, in his funny if silly latest, a ruminating screenwriter in South Carolina. The unnamed narrator is wary of snakes and alligator-filled waters, and hopes to repair his reputation after Hollywood producers turned his screenplay about "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion into a pornographic folly. His new project, which he hopes to make into a blockbuster, features a good-hearted Nazi who kidnaps and befriends FDR. But the screenwriter distracts himself with down the rabbit hole Google searches about writers who committed suicide and deceased cast members of The Russians Are Coming. He's also obsessed with a local burger joint. As his second wife busies herself with estate auctions that include such rare items as Kirk Douglas's loincloth from Spartacus and Honor Blackman's brassiere in Goldfinger, the screenwriter gets caught up by the local race for county coroner, convinced one of the candidates is bent on premature burials and nefarious campaign tactics, perhaps with Russian intervention. Then there's his pricey concierge doctor, plying him with medications that may be undermining his ability to think clearly. Buckley gets some good gags out of the Nazi/FDR screenplay's fate, though tangential threads such as the coroner's race are left open-ended. Still, this amounts to a laugh-out-loud take on the writerly life. (Aug.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An aging screenwriter in coastal South Carolina deals with stress from the pandemic by binge-eating and believing there’s a nefarious Russian influence on the local coroner’s race, in the new novel from the best-selling author of Thank You for Smoking.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An aging screenwriter in coastal South Carolina deals with stress from the pandemic by binge-eating and believing there's a nefarious Russian influence on the local coroner's race.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From the bestselling author of Thank You for Smoking and Make Russia Great Again comes a comic tour de force, the story of one man’s spiraling journey through lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.During the pandemic, an aging screenwriter is holed up in a coastal South Carolina town with his beloved second wife, Peaches. He’s been binge-eating for a year and developed a notable rapport with the local fast-food chain Hippo King. He struggles to work—on a ludicrous screenplay about a Nazi attempt to kidnap FDR and, naturally, an article for Etymology Today on English words of Carthaginian origin. He’s told Peaches so often about the origins of the world mayonnaise that she’s developed an aversion to using the condiment. He thinks he has Covid. His wife thinks he is losing his mind. In short, your typical pandemic worries. Things were going from bad to worse even before his doctor suggested a battery of brain tests. He knows what that means: dementia!But even in these scary times, there are plenty of things to distract him. His iPhone is fat-shaming him. He’s been trying to read Proust and thinks the French novelist missed his true calling as a parfumier. And he’s discovered nefarious Russian influence on the local coroner’s race. Why is Putin so keen to control who decides who died peacefully and who by foul play in Pimento County? Could it be the local military base?Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is a hilarious romp through a time that has been anything but funny.