"Strongly reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen and Tom Robbins, this sixth satirical novel by the ribald, irreverent Sandlin takes leave of GroVont, Wyo. (setting of Sandlin's GroVont trilogy), to visit a mismatched cast of oddball denizens of Washington, D.C. Returning in the wee hours of the morning from a botched assignment in Europe, Daily News journalist RC Nash shares a cab from Dulles Airport with Jimmy Sebastiano, a dim-witted Mafia bagman couriering $656,000 to his boss, Rat's Ass Olivetti, the godfather of Philadelphia. Jimmy sneaks into his Foggy Bottom pad the back way to avoid two federal agents parked out front and catches his mistress, ex-Texas high school cheerleader Honey DuPont, having sex with the president. The startled president trips on his thong bikini and dies instantly when he strikes his head on an ornamental iron flamingo. Sneaking the corpse out in a beanbag chair, they take it to the house of Honey's ex-high school flame, Farlow Stubbs, a gay Redskins defensive back, and put it in his freezer. Looking to land an interview with Farlow, RC stumbles upon the corpse; meanwhile, Mafia hit men come looking for Jimmy, who still has the mob's money. Wacky subplots feature a pubertal grandson of the Mafia boss who has a crush on Honey; the ex-first lady (a former Jazzercise instructor from Wisconsin); the devious White House chief of staff; the boneheaded v-p (now president); a cadre of assorted Feds; RC's former editor; her lover (an adulterous senator); and a cast of other Washington types caught up in the zany chase. This madcap farce is a surefire bet to have readers laughing out loud. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc." - Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.) 

"With the completion of his Grovont Trilogy (Social Blunders, 1995), Sandlin brings his gifts for anarchic plotting and over-the-top characterizations to Washington, D.C., in a novel set sometime in the near future. Veteran journalist R. C. Nash has been assigned to the fluff patrol, but instead of covering Tom Cruise's fifth divorce, he opts to interview a Spanish terrorist. That decision costs him his job, but he doesn't have much time for moping. He has inadvertently stumbled on the biggest story of his career--lusty U.S. President Franklin, in bed with a sexy Texan named Honey, is discovered and then chased by her boyfriend, a lowlife Mafioso named Jimmy; then the president's feet become entangled in his thong underwear, and he hits his head on an iron flamingo. Pretty soon, Honey, Jimmy, and R. C. are on the run with a beanbag chair that contains the president's body, while the government tries to cover up. Sandlin celebrates the comeuppance of dumbbells and the triumph of love in a funny and fast-paced novel."  - Booklist (Joanne Wilkinson © American Library Association. All rights reserved)

"The death of a U.S. President easily comes to mind as the heart of numerous Washington novels, but never has it been used as outrageously and hilariously as in this sixth comic novel from Sandlin (Skipped Parts). Honey, a savvy Texas girl with a weakness for older guys, offers sexual consolation to a raunchy President on the prowl. Her Mafia-connected boyfriend interrupts the scene, and the POTUS croaks. What to do? Naturally, Honey and Jimmy try to get away with it, recruiting and otherwise comporting with a persistent reporter, Secret Service agents, a Redskins third-stringer, and other essential characters who populate Sandlin's wacky Washington. For a writer who made his name embellishing Western themes with his special brand of zaniness, Sandlin shows a deft touch with urban themes like rampant power plays, sexy situations, and stupidities of the highest order. Anyone new to his work may be a little wary as the satire comes on fairly strong, but fans will welcome the irreverent, mocking send-up with groans, chuckles, and an outright belly laugh or two. For most public library collections in search of the literary equivalents of South Park." -Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. - Barbara Conaty - Library Journal (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

"Subtlety doesn't seem to suit Tim Sandlin. Take his new novel, "Honey Don't." It's a crowded funhouse of a satirical political thriller, stuffed to the gills with broadly comic situations and even broader characters.  Wyoming writer Sandlin is the author of such novels as "Sorrow Floats" (the basis for a cable movie starring Rosanna Arquette), "Western Swing" and "Skipped Parts."  Previous books have caused reviewers to compare Sandlin to writers like Jack Kerouac and Tom Robbins. In interviews, Sandlin has said he thinks — and hopes — that his style is similar to Larry McMurtry's.   "Honey Don't," however, draws an obvious comparison to another writer of comic thrillers: Carl Hiaasen. The two share a gleeful affection for over-the-top plots and wacky characters.  RC Nash is a reporter for a fictional Washington, D.C., newspaper. RC's a good reporter, but he's on the skids — relegated to the status of celebrity-puff-piece writer, then fired and dumped by his girlfriend.  RC yearns for the big story that will redeem him. He finds it by stumbling on the makings of a genuine scandal: the president of the United States is caught dallying with a sexy young Texan named Honey.  Not only that: Honey's no-good mobster boyfriend Jimmy finds them and chases the naked president out of bed. The politician hits his head in the ensuing scuffle and dies.  Honey and Jimmy hide the body by enlisting the help of Farlow Stubbs, Honey's old high-school sweetheart. Farlow is still Honey's frequent savior (she tends to get in hot water). He's also a sweet-tempered, deeply closeted gay man who happens to play for the Redskins.  As these things so often do, the body of the leader of the free world soon ends up frozen solid, but in two pieces. The slowly thawing dead president, the fugitives, the helpful Farlow and RC (who's scammed his way into the proceedings) eventually hole up in a tastefully decorated love-nest that Farlow has secretly built in the Redskins stadium.  Honey hopes to escape to New Zealand. The deeply stupid Jimmy, meanwhile, demands safe passage to Hawaii, which he understands is another country. Farlow just wants to help Honey; RC wants his story — and to explore some nascent feelings for Honey.  Meanwhile, the gangsters who until recently had employed Jimmy are not happy. When he whacked the president, Jimmy had been carrying a fortune in ill-gotten gains, and the gangsters would like it back.  Also meanwhile, the White House springs into action following the presidential disappearance. One of the players on this end of things is the first lady, who gave up a promising career as an aerobics instructor to marry the future president.  Another is the chief of staff, a creep named Claude Hammer who harbors secret fantasies about the first lady. And then there's the vice president, an amiable cocaine addict who's looking forward to getting the top job because he's heard it's a good way to meet babes.  That's just the bare bones of the plot of "Honey Don't." There's so much going on here that it's barely possible to keep things straight. And you'll need a scorecard to keep all the characters in order — there are a million supporting players in addition to those already mentioned.  True, no one from this gigantic cast is memorable enough to stick in the head for long. On the other hand, there's that hellzapoppin' plot. Nobody could ever accuse "Honey Don't" of being sluggish." - Adam Woog (Seattle Times)

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"Tim Sandlin's novels are always sardonic, often hilarious exposés of the world at large -- by way of Wyoming. In Honey Don't, the plot is shaped with a nod to the crime field, filled with sharp-witted political parody and an abundance of laughs. The novel follows the travails of RC Nash, a burned-out journalist whose attempt at rediscovering the idealism of his youth leads him to interview a terrorist in Paris instead of covering a major celebrity's fifth divorce. Canned from his job as a result, RC sniffs out an even bigger story in Washington when the U.S. president goes missing after spending time with his latest mistress, Honey. RC soon discovers that the president has been accidentally killed and that his corpse is being shuttled about while the feds follow in a comedy of errors. Sandlin clearly enjoys himself as he writes -- in a style reminiscent of Kinky Friedman and Tom Robbins -- and his own levity underscores the novel throughout as he turns his mighty talents to satirizing politics, the media, and mobsters. A clever blend of insight, farce, and slapstick mayhem, Honey Don't is a madcap romp full of some of the most diverting characters, circumstances, and one-liners you're likely to stumble over from D.C. to Wyoming." - Tom Piccirilli (Barnes & Noble)

"Set in the very near future, Honey Don't features a hit list that runs the gamut: from a goatish President dying in flagrante, to an aging Don appalled by modern manners; from a certifiably stupid mafia bagman fleeing both the Secret Service and the mob with $656,000 of dirty money in a locked attach case and the President's head in a carry-all, to a coke-snorting, blow-dried VP who has suddenly caught the brass ring. Circling them are conniving White House staffers, corrupt politicos, sleazy journalists, and rancid pro-football coaches-all adding up to a DC three-ring circus.   And in the center ring is the eponymous Honey, one of those Texas women cursed with a given name that condemns her to a lifetime of cheerleadering. But this daddy's little girl is a free spirit in full rebellion, and her take on life-offbeat but on target-is the heart and soul of this antic tale. And, as always with Sandlin, it's the women who have the last laugh." -  Penguin Putnam

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

"Oh my God, Tim Sandlin has been set loose in the Literary Chinashop again, breaking all the sacred shibboleths, racking up the laughs as if his novel were a montage of Chevy Chase pratfalls on Saturday Night Live or Bowling for Columbine created by a bunch of outlaw hobbits coked up on meth amphetamines.  Imagine The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight meets Catch 22 at a matinee showing of Analyze That . . . as directed by Damon Runyon.  If Richard Brautigan had written Bonfire of Vanities it might have evolved into Honey Don't.     This book certainly answers once and for all:  Why are we in Iraq?  Imagine Sadam Hussein and George W. Bush cast in a feature film by Russ Meyers acted in by that lovable Spinal Tap gang with guest appearances by the Monty Python crew.  Tim Sandlin is so off the normal wall in this wonderful travesty that maybe you have to take him seriously.  I mean, the whole novel is crazy . .. like a fox.  It's a heartbreaking work of staggering lunacy. . . hence parental guidance is advised. " - John Nichols (Writer of Milagro Beanfield War, Conjugal Bliss, Magic Journey, and others.)

 "OK, so the madcap plot is silly enough for a Hollywood comedy, something like a cross between Weekend at Bernie's and Wag the Dog. You've got your inconveniently dead body, your pretty girl, your two-bit hoods, your evil politicians. And, of course, your hapless hero, a recently dumped and fired journalist hoping to get the girl, ditch the body, appease the cops, avoid the crooks, sell the story and win a Pulitzer. But trying to describe a Tim Sandlin novel in terms of plot is not only pointless, it's practically impossible.  Sandlin inhabits a bizarre land of comic genius somewhere between the manic glee of Tom Robbins and the sharply funny cynicism of Carl Hiaasen. In Honey Don't, he aims his stun-gun at institutions ranging from the government to the Mafia to . . . Texas. The secret to the novel's success is Sandlin's knack for blending his wacky humor with an obvious affection for even the most minor characters—from a schizophrenic black poet ruined by critic Jonathan Yardley to the president's reptilian chief of staff.  The title character, Honey, is one of countless little blonde girls whose daddies give them cute "food" names, thereby ensuring they'll never be taken seriously. But Honey has a lot more going on upstairs than people realize. When her high-strung, dim-bulb mobster boyfriend, Jimmy, comes home and catches her with a naked man, and the naked man bangs his head on a plastic flamingo and dies while trying to escape Jimmy's wrath—and then, oops, the naked dead man turns out to be the president of the United States—Honey maintains her perky composure. She and Jimmy drag their awkward problem to Honey's sweet ex-boyfriend, Farlow Stubbs, a gay football player who's made a second career out of rescuing Honey from various wrong men.  They hide the body in Farlow's freezer, but it's soon discovered by RC Nash, the aforementioned reporter. They lock Nash in the sauna with a copy of Out magazine. Then things start to get really wild. Forget the details; just know that, like Honey, Tim Sandlin's readers end up getting a sweet deal." - Bookpage.com - Becky Ohlsen  

"As Hillary Clinton's memoir, Living History, rides the crest of a publicity wave near the top of the bestseller lists, along comes Tim Sandlin's Honey Don't, a sleek torpedo of a novel which unabashedly satirizes the hazards of Presidential oral sex. There are no cigars, stained dresses or debates about the word "is," but there is a deadly sex scene which includes a cast-iron flamingo, a jealous boyfriend and thong underwear wrapped around the President's ankles as he's running from said boyfriend and the aforementioned flamingo smacks his head "with a sound like a shovel coming down on a day-old wedding cake." Oops.
Not that Honey Don't will torpedo any holes in Hillary's hull, but for an unvarnished look at sex and politics, it is undoubtedly the more interesting read. Depending on how you look at it, it's also the funnier of the two books. Also depending on your view (wide-eyed naiveté or squinty skepticism), the novel could be truer and more sincere.
Honey Don't pulls no punches, takes no prisoners and busts every gut with well-earned laughter. If you like your books loud and fast -- like a pinball hitting all the buzzers -- this is the one for you. It's the kind of raucous, screwball story which might have been penned by a committee comprised of Mel Brooks, Art Buchwald, Carl Hiassen and the Farrelly Brothers. Instead, it goes that committee one better: it's written by Tim Sandlin (Sex and Sunsets, Skipped Parts) whose previous novels turned sex on its ear in Wyoming. Sandlin has a small but loyal fan club of readers; Honey Don't could be the breakout book to earn him a larger audience. This time around, Sandlin moves his libidinous circus east to the nation's capitol. The ringmistress is the eponymous Honey DuPont … but don't judge the book by the name:
Texas men just love strapping their daughter to names that force them into a lifetime of being Daddy's Little Girl. In Honey's senior class, back at Odessa Permian High, there had been three Missys, two Sugars, a Candy, a Brandy, a Pumpkin, an actual Baby, and countless PeggyMaryDebbieAlliePammyCindy Sues -- enough Bleepy Sues to start a volleyball team. Nobody takes a woman named Sugar or Pumpkin seriously, and that is exactly why so many West Texas crackers name their daughters after high-caloric food. Honeys make wonderful cheerleaders, but what happens to them after the prom?
While I can't say for sure what happens to those other sweet little ole thangs from Texas, but the story's Honey winds up in a whole heap of trouble after she fellates POTUS which leads to his untimely death caused by Honey's boyfriend, Jimmy Sebastiano, which ultimately leads to the aforementioned chief executive's head in a duffel bag while Jimmy and Honey are on the run from the Secret Service and the Mafia. Honey is a cool, confident character who plays her femininity for all it's worth. She drips sex like most people drip water when they emerge from the shower. Kissing her is something akin to a religious experience: It was good -- soft, sweet, fresh as clean air. No bells or whistles, but it must have been romantic, because RC found himself nauseous. Is it any wonder she caught the eye of President Charles Franklin and snagged his horndog libido during a late-night encounter in Starbucks? Soon, the Prez is ducking the Secret Service and doing the wild thing with Honey at her apartment. That's when Jimmy, an inept Mafia bagman, bursts in and things go bad with the cast-iron flamingo. The two spend the rest of the novel on the run from the law and the mob who are trying to collect the $656,000 of dirty money Jimmy's carrying around in a briefcase. Through a series of plot twists and kinks, Jimmy and Honey are joined by burned-out reporter RC Nash and Farlow Stubbs, a gay defensive back for the Redskins. The periphery of the novel is crowded with characters from Central Casting's Department of Quirk.

For all its raunchy sex, blazing bullets and political vulgarities, Honey Don't is, at heart, about sweet, romantic love. Though Sandlin comes at it with a cockeyed cynicism, there's ultimately something very tender at the core of the book. Sandlin writes with a breezy efficiency which makes Honey Don't one of the fastest entertainments of this literary season. Fans of the author's previous Wyoming-based comedies will applaud the new direction he's taken, while first-time Sandlin readers will be won over in less time than it takes to say Oval Office."
- David Abrams is a January Magazine contributing editor. He has written for Esquire, Glimmer Train Stories, The Greensboro Review, The Readerville Journal and other literary magazines.