By Megan Harlan
Updated August 23, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

John Farley, a Time magazine writer, shares a lot with the quick-quipping narrator of his satirical first novel, Thurgood Brinkman (both are thirtyish, African-American, and Harvard grads). Thurgood is miserably ensconced at a flashy newspaper when his crush on a beautiful black feminist columnist leads to a career-making opportunity to report on the Gulf War. Along the way, Thurgood smartly and caustically sounds off on everything from lesbian cybersex to interracial dating. My Favorite War is an engaging story, but it’s dulled by Farley’s overuse of comedy — most of the characters, including Thurgood, are given smart-alecky short shrift. B