Excerpt from Lewis Libby’s Next Novel

CBS News: From 1982 until 1985, he served as director of special projects in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. It was perhaps this post that inspired him to write “The Apprentice,” his 1996 thriller that takes place in 1903 Japan.

BREAKING NEWS ITEM: Libby, inspired by the turn of events while serving as Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, has decided to return to novel-writing. Return of the Reluctant has obtained an early excerpt of Mr. Libby’s next novel, tentatively titled The Yesman.

Synopsis: It is the winter of 2005 and an anal retentive yesman, not above lying and obstructing justice, finds himself plunged headlong into the world of unemployment and possible prison time in this gritty new thriller from Lewis Libby.


I stood in the dole line, lusting after my ex-boss’s cherubic head. It was all I had left. The vicious scowls he gave reporters had always excited me. But I knew that my ex-boss had a lot more going on than a bum ticker. That’s why I took the bullet. That’s why I was breathing in asbestos from the cracked tiles below. It was the kind of devotion that most people don’t understand. Because corruption’s a bit like an afternoon cookie: warm, comforting yet somehow sinful if you have more than one. Me? I wanted the whole jar. Can you crucify a man for having a large appetite?

The least my boss could have done is let me kiss him: the way that LBJ was always fond of kissing Sam Rayburn’s head. And now I was here, waiting for a measly unemployment check, surrounded by smelly people who were scaring the hell out of me. My ex-boss wouldn’t write me a letter of recommendation. But then he had always rebuffed my advances. That’s why I crossed the line in the end. Now I was standing in one.

This was one of many reasons why I had started using crutches. Perhaps people would feel sorry for me. I was a victim, after all. Perhaps they’d understand that, despite my despicability, I was a wounded man. In need of a cookie. Or maybe a hug.

You work in this town long enough and you find that everyone needs a cookie in the end. And not just a harmless oatmeal one, but maybe a chocolate fudge-striped cookie loaded with additives that isn’t all that good for you.

Well, as my ex-boss always told me, sometimes you have to live a little. Sometimes you have to cross the line.

Sometimes you have to eat a lot of cookies.

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