By Suzanne Ruta
Updated March 10, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Novelists elevate gossip to an art. Journalists reduce politics to gossip. Weiss’ first novel neatly splices these two approaches into funny, fast-paced political satire. Narrator Jack Gold is a former civil liberties lawyer with a gift for snappy one-liners: ”I got fired for being bored. It’s an occupational hazard of working on the left.” He falls in love with the daughter of the Democratic candidate for governor of New York and gets conned, for a while, into doing dirty tricks for this phony elder statesman. Weiss’ hero, part nebbish, part cad, doesn’t coalesce; but his minor characters — pols, flacks, New York glitterati — are brilliantly hateful composites. Imagine grafting Kissinger’s politics onto a Kennedy physique! There’s lots of well-oiled sex-in bathtubs, in Central Park, in a department store fitting room — and the narrative patter is hip, knowing, and inventive. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo perfectly catches the mood of the country right now: cynical, disgusted, and ultimately passive. A

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