Advise and Consent
Written by: Allen Drury
Narrated by: Allan Robertson
Length: 33 hrs and 17 mins
Series: Advise and Consent, Book 1
Publisher: ListenUp Audiobooks
When I was a teen in the 1970’s, and reading everything I could get my hands on, my mother suggested Advise and Consent by Allan Drury. I did not pick it up until I was 53 years old and my mother had been gone twenty-seven years. Mom, you were right. It is a fantastic book and well worth reading over and over.
The audiobook, narrated by Allan Robertson, is over 33 hours long. I was very impressed by the end of the first hour. Allan Robertson does a fantastic job narrating this book. His cast of characters range from the President to Senators from multiple states and regions to women. It was easy to hear which character was speaking. Mr. Robertson gave them individual, recognizable and authentic voices. No easy task with a book that involves so many characters.
The book itself, written in 1959, is a political thriller. It is also a very accurate look at how things get done in Washington behind the scene. The author gets it right how most of the work is done in committee and caucus meetings. Before the bill ever hits the full Senate, it has already gone through countless hours of negotiation. While this may sound boring, Drury makes it suspenseful and exciting.
The main plot of the story is the Senate deciding whether or not to confirm the President’s candidate for Secretary of State. Of all the cabinet positions, Secretary of State is the most visible and career enhancing. Several main characters are opposed to the nominee from the beginning, either through personal conflicts or ideological ones. When allegations arise that the nominee has communist sympathies (remember this is 1959 and there was still a very real Cold War with the USSR), the majority party is faced with the choice of doing what their party leader, the President, wants or doing what they feel is right for the country. Backroom deals and blackmail soon become the currency of securing the needed votes. It is still very relevant to the reader in 2016. The USSR may be gone into the history books, but the threats, perceived or real, to our country still exist.
The writing is excellent. One of my favorite quotes so far is, "who will do what and why, all the web of interlocking interests and desires and ambitions and arrangements that always lies behind the simple ultimate, final statement, 'The Senate voted today-." I love this one because it is so true. By the time the news reports what the Senate voted on, so much has happened to create those words. Another great quote is when the President is thinking about his mistake in supporting a Senator who is dishonest and power hungry. The President thinks, “He suspects he has created a baby Moloch who will continue to demand sacrifices.”
I highly recommend Advise and Consent. The audio version with the narrator’s excellent job on creating the characters is perfect. I just purchased the second book (Kindle and audio versions) in the series.
Story (Plot) 5
Production Quality 5
Attention Holding 5
I received Advise and Consent provided from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for a fair review.