August 29, 1988 12:00 PM

by G.B. Trudeau

This book illustrates why Trudeau so often seems like a horse who won the Kentucky Derby 10 years ago and has long since lost his speed and sense of the track, yet insists on racing anyway. A selection of Doonesbury strips from the last year, the book contains flashes of the wicked, focused satirist who once was. In a series on real estate mogul Donald Trump’s coy approach to politics, for instance, Trudeau shows Trump at a press conference discussing his ambitions for public office. A reporter asks, “Do you think you’d have any rapport at all with voters of modest means?” “Are you kidding? I’ve spent my whole life working with people of modest means!” Trump answers. “Uh…in what capacity?” “Evicting them! I’ve seen how these people live!” Far too many of these Doonesburys, however, belabor such one-joke notions as the “harmonic convergence” and reincarnation, or hypocritical, defensive put-downs of concern about money—the sort of thing you’d expect to hear if they ever started a Yuppies Anonymous. The title comes from Trudeau’s seemingly unending series of strips about President Reagan as a stuttering Max Headroom figure, which manages to suggest insensitivity to speech defects as well as a general dearth of imagination. (Holt, paper, $5.95)

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