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Dog Days


Dog Days

Ever wonder what would happen if you dropped Carrie Bradshaw (from
"Sex and the City") in Washington, D.C. in the stifling hot days of
late summer? You'd get Ana Marie Cox's DOG DAYS, complete with the
cocktails, the gossip, and a politicized Mr. Big. Only here, Manolo
Blahniks and Jimmy Choos are replaced with BlackBerrys and cell

August is normally a time when many people are enjoying summer
vacation --- not so if you are an underpaid, overworked staffer on
a political campaign, especially in an election year.
Melanie Thorton is a late twenty-something senior staffer for a
Democratic senator from Connecticut named John Hillman (think John
Kerry), who is trying to unseat President Golden, an oafish,
oblivious leader prone to public speaking gaffs (think President
Bush). This down-and-dirty world of Beltway politics is fairly new
to Melanie, a transplant from Iowa by way of Chicago, but she's
adapting quickly. Hers is a world of endless meetings, cocktail
parties and conventions. Adding to the stress of her job is her
affair with married journalist Rick Stossel. Armed with just her
cell phone and her BlackBerry, she manages to juggle them

But when a group known as Citizens for Clear Heads (think Swift
Boat veterans) emerges with charges that Senator Hillman
participated in mind-control experiments while at Harvard, it looks
like all the campaign staffers' hard work will be for naught. To
add insult to potential injury, a local columnist hints at the
affair between Melanie and the married Rick in his daily column. If
only there was another scandal that could divert attention away
from them.

Enter Julie Wrigley, Melanie's best friend in Washington and a
brilliant political consultant. Julie gets the idea to create a
web-blog where a very anonymous (and very fictitious) web-mistress
would detail her sexual exploits with D.C.'s high (and not-so-high)
ranking officials. Thus, Capitolette is born. Julie and Melanie
hope this will divert attention away from the Rick affair. Does it
ever! The gossipy diary soon becomes a daily must-read for D.C.
denizens and has everyone in town speculating on the author's

Along with the soaring August temperatures, things begin to reach a
fever pitch; Melanie realizes she has to take it up a notch with
Capitolette and give it a public face. But how does she do that
without blowing their covers and ruining their careers? Melanie and
Julie devise what seems to them to be the perfect plan. They bring
in Heather, a buxom blonde waitress from a local watering hole
popular with political types. They will hire her to be Capitolette.
What could go wrong?

Ana Marie Cox is one of the original voices behind the popular D.C.
blog Wonkette, and she knows this landscape well. DOG DAYS is
fast-paced Chick Lit meets Woodward & Bernstein, perfect for
the regular reader of commercial women's fiction who is tired of
the usual scenarios (young woman at a fashion magazine, young woman
on a movie set, etc.) Through the travails of Melanie Thorton and
her friends, Cox proves the adage that Washington, D.C. is just
Hollywood with less attractive people.


Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on December 30, 2010

Dog Days
by Ana Marie Cox

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 1594489017
  • ISBN-13: 9781594489013