Historical fiction can both be entertaining and frustrating. While it's enjoyable to read about real people in a fictional context, you also feel that the author is just giving you his or her view of them, which may not have much basis in fact. Thomas Mallon, who also wrote a novel about Watergate, takes Ronald Reagan and his circle as his subject for "Finale." Part of its appeal is all the famous people showing up, from Christopher Hitchens to Richard Nixon, from Jimmy Carter to Bette Davis. Yet Mallon doesn't really get past the surface with any of these characters, nor give much a sense of the political climate of the 1980s. It's also about 100 pages too long. "All the Houses" is a better novel about the period.
this book is good
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