Picks and Pans Review: Overdrive

updated 09/26/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by William F. Buckley Jr.

When portions of this book appeared in The New Yorker, other writers eagerly rushed into print with parodies. It is almost irresistible. Buckley says this is what he did in one week, including lots of reminiscences and elaborations. He lives in a big house overlooking Long Island Sound. He writes his syndicated newspaper column, plays his harpsichord, edits and publishes his magazine (National Review), takes Ron Reagan Jr. and his wife sailing, goes to the theater (Nicholas Nickleby), entertains the famous. He eats all sorts of delicacies including a "perfect chicken sandwich...with a glass of cool white wine," makes speeches, appears on TV, negotiates with editors about his spy novels, endorses others' books, writes to his son Christopher, tells a marvelous story about a man who compared Buckley "with [one-time Nazi Foreign Minister] Ribbentrop, and saying among other choice items, that I made my living by lying and cheating." Buckley indulges himself at great length and though his energy is impressive, the book is excessive. Less self-confident men would be embarrassed to flaunt themselves so openly, but Buckley is obviously never shy. If you like the man, you'll love the book. Overdrive is fun to read, and Buckley is having a heck of a good time. (Doubleday, $16.95)

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