Cover image for Dog bites man, city shocked! : a novel
Dog bites man, city shocked! : a novel
Duffy, James, 1934-
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Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2001]

Physical Description:
302 pages ; 24 cm
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Dog Bites Man is a witty, tongue-in-cheek saga detailing the House-That-Jack-Built downfall of Eldon Hoagland, an innocent Columbia University professor who has become New York City's good-government mayor. The hilarious spiral begins when Hoagland, after an evening of drinking with his old Princeton roommate, staggers out of a Fifth Avenue apartment house, steps on a dog relieving itself alongside the mayor's car, and gets badly bitten. His cop-bodyguards shoot the dog and in the process terrorize Genc Serreqi -- an illegal Albanian stud who walks the dog (in addition to more intimate chores) for Sue Nation Brandberg, a former Native American beauty queen and socialite widow of a billionaire -- and he flees the scene. The mayor's bodyguards attempt to cover up their involvement in the shooting, but Scoop Rice, an eager young reporter for a muckraking Manhattan weekly, investigates and exposes the canine slaying. Then extreme animal activists, aided and abetted by every other interest group with a grievance against the mayor, tie up the city (not to mention air traffic around the world) in a monumental demonstration. Also offering encouragement are the rabid, newly amalgamated daily Post-News and the state's first woman governor, Randilynn Randy Randy Foote, who nurses an ancient grudge against the mayor and hastens his political demise. In Dog Bites Man, novelist James Duffy mixes it up in a lively tale of American politics in which rich movers and shakers, politically correct crusaders and scandal-hungry media types conspire to bring down a New York City mayor. All the hazards of American public life are on hilarious display here, in the freshest novel of mannersand most outrageous political satire of the year.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In a broad political satire that reflects the tone though not the text of today's tabloid headlines, we are told of the meteoric rise and equally abrupt fall of a political career. Eldon Hoagland, highly regarded Columbia professor of political science, is seduced by the praise of powerful friends to run for mayor of New York. The birth of his candidacy, his successful run, and the first 18 months of his administration all happen in 30 pages--and the rest of the novel focuses on his downfall. Was it deep corruption, drug use, or sexual impropriety that brought him down? No, after indulging in too much scotch at an old friend's apartment, the mayor steps on a dog as he leaves; dog bites mayor, bodyguard shoots dog, and now are sown the seeds of the mayor's downfall. To follow his decline requires the reader to pursue an incredibly tangled and exaggerated send-up of politicians, muckrakers, animal activists, and their ilk, all with enough truth to make us wonder about the world we live in. --Danise Hoover

Publisher's Weekly Review

Retired attorney Duffy author of seven Reuben Frost mystery novels under the pseudonym Haughton Murphy delivers a droll spoof of New York (city and state) political and social pretensions. Running against a Republican so disreputable that even Randilynn Foote, the somewhat shaky incumbent Republican governor, withholds her endorsement, Eldon Hoagland, a political science professor at Columbia, is elected mayor of New York City on the Democratic ticket. After a rather credible first year and a half in office, the highly intoxicated mayor departs a boozy reunion at the Fifth Avenue digs of his old Princeton roomie and is attacked and bitten after stepping on the leg of a pit bull urinating at the curb. His bodyguards shoot the animal as the dog's walker a hunky Albanian with an expired green card flees across Fifth Avenue into the bushes of Central Park. With no witnesses, the mayor decides to keep the incident mum. The dog's socially prominent owner, Sue Nation Brandberg, the mid-50-something Native American widow of a philanthropic billionaire, can't report the shooting to the authorities because of her houseboy lover's illegal status. Sue enlists the aid of the sleazy publisher of a British-owned tabloid newspaper to track down the culprits. When the story breaks, animal rights crusaders and the clergy join the fray. His Honor admits the truth, and all hell breaks loose. The governor, who resents Hoagland her former Columbia professor because he once gave her a B-minus, seizes the opportunity for revenge, only to discover that vengeance can be a two-edged sword. This erudite comedy of errors is the equivalent of Damon Runyon in white tie and tails. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved