October 15, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

All the Presidents' Pets

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Mo Rocca
publisher
Crown
genre
Nonfiction

There’s a fine line between whimsical comic fantasy and strenuous silliness. Rocca, late of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, crosses that line, then keeps going. And then keeps going some more. The setup of All the Presidents’ Pets — that he, Mo Rocca, ”serious” reporter, has been given a degrading assignment to cover presidential pooch Barney, only to uncover a startling secret — portends yet another not-so-subtle stab at media superficiality. The wackiness flies thick and fast (intelligent animals! interspecies conspiracies! stale Matrix references!), but Rocca can’t quite bring his skit-deep, shaggy-talking-dog story to heel.

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