Since Tina Brown became editor of The New Yorker, Buckley has been one of the most frequent contributors to the ”Shouts & Murmurs” page, in the spirit of humorous ”casuals” by the likes of Dorothy Parker and James Thurber. But Buckley’s parodies and burlesques (of best-seller lists, summer movies, O.J. debris, etc.) don’t come near the sly whimsies and subversions of his predecessors, or his own satirical novels, like Thank You for Smoking. The best things in Wry Martinis are light personal essays — like the one about his tattoos — along with his funny and devastating reviews of novels by Tom Clancy and Pat Robertson.

Wry Martinis