My theater STILL isn’t playing the independent movie Thank You For Smoking, but during my trip to Puerto Vallarta I did get a chance to read the book that it’s adapted from.
The book centers around Nick Naylor, the chief spokesman for a tobacco lobbyist group cleverly named the Academy Of Tobacco Studies. His job is simply convincing more people to smoke and he is very good at it. However, because of his ability to easily be unethical and convincing he has become a target for anti-tobacco terrorists and is under investigation from the FBI.
The writing is very clean and spare and works well for the sharp satire of the book. Almost all the characters are fleshed out and work great together, except for Nick’s son who only appears once or twice (thankfully) and significantly slows the books down when he does. The plot, writing, and characters are all very funny and while I wasn’t laughing out loud on every page it did keep me intrigued throughout.
I finished it in two days (it’s a bit under 300 pages) and it definitely increased my interest in the movie adaptation and other books by the author, Christopher Buckley. It’s certainly a book I could see myself reading again in the future.
So, all things considered, I would definitely recommend this book. Not only is it informative about the way lobbyist groups operate, it’s also sharp and witty.