One of the funniest, cruelest, and most savagely revealing books about American life ever written, The Magic Christian has been called Terry Southern's masterpiece. Guy Grand is an eccentric billionaire — the last of the big spenders — determined to create disorder in the material world and willing to spare no expense to do it. Leading a life full of practical jokes and madcap schemes, his ultimate goal is to prove his theory that there is nothing so degrading or so distasteful that someone won't do it for money. In Guy Grand's world, everyone has a price, and he is all too willing to pay it. A satire of America's obsession with bigness, toughness, money, TV, guns, and sex, The Magic Christian is a hilarious and wickedly original novel from a true comic genius.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
***Warning - Spoilers abound****
It's not a horrible book, but really is pretty tame and predictable. The author seems to line up the right targets, generally looking to scratch off the paper-thin veener of class and respectability paraded around in 1950's American culture (like the affectations of gourmands, dog shows, and safari hunters; the self-seriousness and self-importance of TV and movie dramas; and the supposed luxury and exclusivity of huge cars and expensive cruises). However, the schemes that the author comes up with feel mostly like just one ham-handed misfire after another.
The big tricks are just kind of obvious and stupid. As an example, there is a lot to smack away at with the pretensions of 1950s gourmands (and their current-day "foodie" equivalents), but I fail to see how eating sloppily and then running around a restaurant screaming is much of an indictment of anyone other than the perpetrator. As another example, yes, people who...
I expected a clever satire and instead wasted my time and money on a mean spirited, sometimes downright cruel, one trick pony. The premise wore thin quickly, with supporting characters' involvement leading nowhere. I didn't so much as crack a smile, much less laugh, and fail to see how anyone could enjoy this book. If I could give it less than one star, I would. Do yourself a favor and pass this one up.
Very timely allegory (from the 60's) about a billionaire mogul running amok with the media - just because he can. Get it?
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