Cover Image: Has Anyone Seen My Toes?

Has Anyone Seen My Toes?

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Published by Simon & Schuster on September 6, 2022

The fear of dementia probably strikes most people as they age, at least those who have a mind they would miss if they lost it. On the theory that humor conquers fear, Has Anyone Seen My Toes? could be a therapeutic read for older readers who wonder whether they should end their lives before they forget the combination to the gun safe.

The nameless protagonist is a writer. He’s staying in a small community in South Carolina, the location of his disastrous movie about patriotic prostitutes during the Revolutionary War (a movie that still sells well in hotel pay-for-views). He’s gained weight during the pandemic. In fact, he put on so much weight he can’t see his toes when he stands on the scale and his I-phone no longer recognizes him (he believes the phone is fat shaming him).

The protagonist’s behavior is becoming increasingly erratic. His wife complains when he sits in the dark at night, prepared to shoot moles that are ruining his yard (he suspects her of siding with the moles). He has started a screenplay that turns out to a version of the movie The Eagle Has Landed, substituting Roosevelt for Churchill. He is certain that he has seen attack ads in an election for coroner, but his inability to recall his conversations about the ads with the candidates suggests that he is suffering from the onset of dementia.

On the other hand, a different sort of mental disturbance might be to blame, one that counts paranoia among its symptoms. The writer is convinced that Putin is trying to sway the coroner’s election and that only he can thwart Putin’s dastardly plan. At the same time, he’s certain that the mortician running against Putin’s favored candidate has been burying people alive. It’s no surprise that the writer visits a psychiatrist before the story ends.

Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is a novel of digressions that magically add up to a plot. The progtagonist is always looking things up. We learn obscure details about Gone with the Wind, Carl Reiner, and celebrity deaths. We learn that Donald Sutherland’s tongue is periodically ravaged by parasites. We learn the etymology of several fun but useless words. We learn about writers who committed suicide. We learn the many reasons why the protagonist (like me) has never been able to force himself to finish reading Proust’s unbearably dull Remembrance of Things Past (or whatever they’re calling it these days).

It might not be politically correct to build a comedy around dementia (or any other disease) but Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is awfully funny. And no spoilers here, but maybe the writer’s problem isn’t quite what it seems. In any event, confronting the fear of dementia with humor might be the best approach to mental health, given the failure of expensive but profitable drugs like Aduhelm.

While the novel’s focus is on the fear of dementia, its humor is wide-ranging. The writer pays $7500 a year for a concierge doctor because, for that price, the doctor won’t hassle him about his bad habits. Christopher Buckley makes fun of the South, “where people start driving at fourteen and by eighteen are competing in NASCAR.” He mocks plantation tourism and its tendency to overlook the slave quarters.

Buckley also has fun with Trump and the far right. The doctor responds to COVID by prescribing whatever drug Trump has most recently mentioned. The writer goes along with it, although he would draw the line at “injecting Clorox or shoving a lightstick up my ass.” And when the writer takes the 5-word memory test that Trump regarded as proof of his genius, he comes up with a 5-word phrase from his screenplay, possible proof that he is even more demented than the last president. Quotations from Mein Kampf illustrate how American propagandists on the right are following Hitler’s advice: tell bold lies, repeat them endlessly, appeal to emotion rather than reason, and wait for weak minds to bow to your authority.

Buckley’s political humor scores bullseyes because he aims at unmissable targets. For the most part, however, the story is apolitical. The pandemic, with its toilet paper shortages and spreading bellies, is the source of familiar humor. By giving his protagonist an addled mind, Buckley takes the story a step or two beyond the familiar, sometimes reaching toward the absurd, but he never has to reach far to get a laugh.

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I love Christopher Buckley and was so excited about this, but it just didn’t land. I tried and tried. I came back to it over and over and it didn’t work.  Sad to say this, but I had to pass. Still, I will be back to pick up whatever he does next.
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Huge fan of Christopher Buckley and this one did not disappoint! This is his own take on living through the pandemic and was his usual witty, gritty, funny style. Quick, fun read!
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To say that I am a fan of Christopher Buckley is probably a bit of an understatement.  He is one of the few writers (including the great P.J. O’Rourke) that actually makes politics fun, or rather funny, something that has been in short supply lately.  Mr. Buckley’s latest book is “Has Anyone Seen My Toes?”, his take on the pandemic and the consequences of the lockdown on people’s sanity.

Our protagonist is a screenwriter, famous for a pornographic Revolutionary War movie (not his fault, he believes), living in South Carolina happily (at first) with his second wife.  However, he is not doing well with the pandemic, being a bit of a hypochondriac and taking bad advice from his (very expensive) internet doctor.  Like most of us, he has put on a couple of pounds (thanks to the appropriately named Hippo King fast food chain), unlike most of us he starts to worry about losing his mind, with good reason:  his phone has turned against him, he begins to write a screenplay set in WW II about the Nazis kidnapping FDR from a Jewish local plantation (with flaming pigs as a distraction), and worst of all he sees the Kremlin interfering in the local coroner’s election. His wife Peaches is worried about him, getting him to go see a psychologist which only confirms in his mind that he is suffering from dementia.  We also have the “Oaf Keepers” worried about statues being taken down, an obsession about the etymology of certain words (mayonnaise?), increasingly hostile ads in the coroner’s race, increasingly distracting Google rabbit holes, and a suicide attempt involving a belt of sausages.  In other words, typical Buckley craziness.

Once again, this book made me laugh at times, smile at others.  The story just gets more and more insane, until we are unsure about what’s real, and what is imaginary.  This is not Mr. Buckley’s best work, I realized that I miss the more overt political overtones that you can find in his other books.  But still something to make us smile in these uncertain times.

I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. Thank you!
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Both hilarious and relatable, this novel follows a screenwriter through the quarantine period of covid-19. Like so many others, he’s been self-medicating with alcohol and bad eating decisions. But his expensive MAGA concierge doctor has a pill for all that ails him. 

Unfortunately both his wife, Peaches, and he begin to suspect that his erratic behavior and memory issues are indicative of dementia, so he rushes to finish his screenplay before the inevitable.

Christopher Buckley is far more forgiving and affectionate toward the American south than I can sometimes be, and having lost a family member to a form of dementia, I don’t always find jokes about it funny, but I can understand fears associated with it. Buckley does accurately capture a point in time, though in some ways, it’s still too fresh. But I do reiterate how very funny portions of this book are. #HasAnyoneSeenMyToes #NetGalley
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I have been reading some heavier material of late, so I decided that some satire from Christo Buckley would be a nice break. The question is whether "Has Anyone Seen My Toes?" is absurd or does it simply reflect the absurdity of our times? Sadly, I think it is mostly the later.

If you are looking for a comedic send-up of the hard to satirize world of politics in the age of Trump during a pandemic, you will enjoy this novel. The funniest parts to me were the way the main character just suddenly shifts from seeming normal person into bizarre conspiracy theories and beliefs, this captures the feel of life today, and his obsessive need to learn and relate etymological factoids was also quite funny. I enjoyed the absurd screenplay dialog aspects less. It sort of took me out of the story and it wasn't my kind of humor. If you are interested in screenwriting and entertainment I think you will enjoy it more.

All in all a silly romp with not much of a plot but lots of humor. You have to laugh or you will cry, right?
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for gifting me a digital ARC of the latest novel by Christopher Buckley - 3 stars!

During the COVID pandemic, a screenwriter is living in a coastal SC town with his second wife, Peaches.  He's overweight because he can't stop driving through the fast-food chain, Hippo King.  His concierge doctor gives him speed to help with his appetite, although it doesn't work.  He's writing a new screenplay about a Nazi plot to kidnap FDR.  He becomes obsessed with a local election for coroner and begins imagining both candidates have nefarious activities.  Then a psychiatrist thinks he may have dementia.  It's all too much for him.

It was all a bit too much for me as well.  I really liked some of the humorous/satirical portions but I lost interest in the screenplay he was trying to write and found myself skimming those portions.  The humor got overshadowed by the rambling stream of consciousness thoughts.
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I have had Christopher Buckley on my “Want to Read” list for several years. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for allowing me to read an advanced copy of his last, and my first, book by him.
Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is a laugh-out-loud satire of life in America during the Covid years. The story is told by an unidentified aging screen writer who has moved to the low country with his beloved second wife, Peaches. How apropos! Her name alone drips Southern charm. Said screen writer is plagued by pandemic weight gain, the progress of his new movie where Nazis kidnap FDR from the South Carolina coast, the local race for county coroner and whether he is developing dementia. In the meantime, his writing is distracted due to going down numerous rabbit holes on Google. Oh, my.
I found Buckley’s writing style and vocabulary exceptional. I think it must be very crowded inside his mind—to master satire, history and etymology while crafting hysterically clever stories must be taxing. But he seems to do it effortlessly. And I loved his satirical depiction of the low country, a place near and dear to my heart.
I can’t wait to read my next Buckley book, and I’ve recommended this one to many of my friends.
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Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is a humor book about the South. I was expecting a more erudite and classier (but still funny) Dave Barry. What I got was feeling trapped in a brain so weird it made me feel normal—and I have ADHD.

The author is what we used to call a worrywart. He is obsessed about details constantly. Do you want to spend a few hours in his head? I sure don’t. I admit this is the first book in years that I had to skim the last 80% just to finish it. Just yuck all around. 2 optimistic stars that the author will seek some therapy. Wow!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.
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Has Anyone Seen My Toes by Christopher Buckley is social and political satire set in coastal South Carolina during the pandemic. I found it strange that the author changed the names of several of the towns.  Why?  To protect the innocent?!?!  Ha!  I grew up in the area, so I recognized most of the towns even with their names slightly altered.
Unlike one of my other reviewer friends I did like the big words with definitions and origins of the words.  Buckley's writing reminds me of of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio or James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I understand that this author got a Thurber Award and I can definitely see the potential but the fat shaming overshadowed the very funny satire of living during Covid.  

Funny line - People who live in summer houses shouldn't throw swallows.
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Definitely not for me. The main character was insufferable and not in a fun satirical way, just in an annoying way. I’m still not sure if Hippo King is Dairy Queen or what but jeeze the food sounded disgusting.
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I loved this book!  Christopher Buckley does it again, giving us his satirical look at the world in the form of a quick moving, hilarious story. Great characters (caricatures?) and like most of his book, the plot was secondary to the humor and the satire. A quick, laugh out loud read. Highly recommended

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced reader copy.
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Disclaimer: Received this as an advance reader copy via Netgalley and Simon & Schuster (Thank you!!!)

Clever snarkiness abounds with this newest :Christopher Buckley novel. I waited a bit to write this review because this is one of those books that you'll find yourself giggling over long after you've finished it. 

Many books provide immediate satisfaction once you're done reading them, then they flitter away like leaves in the wind.  This book will stick with you. I find myself smiling just thinking about all the ridiculousness this book had to offer, be it the MAGA loving concierge doctor who prescribes Lysolaquine to the Hippoburger loving protagonist, the writing of the kooky 'Heimlich's Maneuver' screenplay or the hysterical take on a local coroner's race. And truth be told, I let out a little squeal of glee when Squid Lee Biscuit was briefly mentioned (if you haven't read Make Russia Great Again, make a note to do so!).
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Christopher Buckley does it again!  Characters in whom you are interested and a great storyline make for some laugh out loud, head shaking moments!
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Christopher Buckley’s new novel Has Anyone Seen My Toes? is a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride from the first uproarious page to the last, about a somewhat-retired, Yankee-transplanted-to-South Carolina screenwriter weathering life during the pandemic. How’s he handling daily life? Well, that’s the wildly entertaining story Christopher Buckley creates. It pays off exuberantly and is a boon for the reader. 

Meet the main character standing on his weight scale and not being able to see his toes, due to his considerable weight gain during the pandemic. That’s page one, and the wild rumpus continues with his non-stop, mind-spinning ruminations, plus visits to Hippo King for Hippomongous Burgers and mountain- sized Mudshakes - to manic inspirations for a heartwarming new movie about Nazis kidnapping FDR, and his paranoia over snakes out to get him, and his fretting that Putin is interfering with the election for the local coroner’s office. Bring in a concierge doctor with new and dubious prescriptions to battle his bulge. The pace of the main character’s mental gyrations races along, causing endless comic scenes, headaches for his wife Peaches, and hilarious detours such as his passion for words in the English language of Carthaginian origin, or his ticking anxiety over the meandering route of his shipment of toilet paper, and his obsessing over whether Donald Sutherland is too feeble to star in his script. 

While succeeding in comic writing, Christopher Buckley excels in several genres as well. It feels effortless, and it’s hard to imagine one mind with such a wealth of talent and creativity. Even his recent review of a non-fiction book was brimming with spot-on satire and absurdities, while keeping the writing on track to seriously convey his point. In our current times of widespread angst and divisions, Has Anyone Seen My Toes? offers, for some, a delightful vacation. I laughed out loud too many times to count. But sum them up along with his superb vocabulary and writing style, and the book was a marvelous literary trip. 

I am grateful to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Christopher Buckley for early access and the joy in reading this book. This opinion is all my own.
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Leave it to Christopher Buckley to pull it off. I don't know of many authors that could write a funny pandemic story. 

"Has Anyone Seen My Toes?"  How many of us can relate to packing on a few pounds during lockdown? That's a lot of hands in the air.  
So our satire writer has written a clever, entertaining, and funny story about a screenwriter struggling to finish his farce of a story about the Nazi's planning to kidnap FDR on American soil. It's ridiculously  crazy and totally entertaining. 

So, this whole Covid thing is putting a strain on our narrator's already fragile mental state. He is anxious and coping by stuffing his face with Hippo Burgers. He is also a bit of a hypochondriac but thank goodness for the great doctor ( translation quack) he "sees" online. She is more than willing to prescribe whatever he needs.  And is he the only one that sees what's going on in the local coroner's race? The Ruskies are interfering in our elections again. Is he the only one willing to do something about it?  Hilarity ensues.

It takes a special kind of talent to write smart, grown up satire.  It also takes talent to write a decent review of good satire.  I liked "Has Anyone Seen My Toes?" a lot. It tickled my funny bone. I'll shut up now.
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Interesting read wasn't sure if I could read a novel surrounding 2020.  I enjoyed this one, not sure why but I read it in an afternoon in the summer heat.  Characters and plotting were enjoyable and entertaining despite the "pandemic" backdrop.
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Did Christopher Buckley have a bet with someone about how many “big words” he could cram into his 288 page novel?   I think I have a pretty large vocabulary, but I was thankful for the Kindle dictionary function as I read this.  So here’s a big word for Buckley - sesquipedalian, meaning long winded.  Here’s another -  pleonasm, meaning using more words than necessary.  
I’ve enjoyed his previous novels, but this one came across as bloated, tired and stupid.     There  are glimpses of humor and they made me long for the snarky, dark humor of Thank You For Smoking or Make Russia Great Again.  
The story takes place during the pandemic, when the narrator, an aging nameless screenwriter, decides to write a screenplay about a Nazi attempt to kidnap FDR.  The same screenwriter who decides the pandemic is the perfect time to finally read Proust.  He’s also worming his way into the contest of the two men running as county coroner.  In rare moments of sanity, he worries he’s developing Alzheimer’s.  But the reason is much more plebeian.  
In yoga, there’s a phrase called monkey brain.  It’s when your brain refuses to be quieted and veers in multiple directions.   The main character has a definite case of monkey brain.  One thought leads to another, he’s often found googling into deeper and deeper rabbit holes.  All of these interesting tidbits find their way into the story, BTW. It’s like a rabid case of stream of consciousness.   
By the end, my only thought was how Buckley would bring this to a conclusion.  The humor was not enough to make up for the meandering plot.  
My thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book.
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Did not finish this book.  Buckley’s humor can always see a bit self-involved, but he can often overcome that;.  Not so this time.  Best of luck.
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Covid isolation is driving Christopher Buckley's unnamed protagonist crazy. Literally. To the point he thinks he might have early onset dementia -- certainly his wife Peaches believes it, because he's driving her crazy with all of his antics.

With little else to do, he takes deep dives down the rabbit holes of his imagination, aided by the internet, researching his latest screenplay about a Nazi plot to kidnap FDR during WWII, imaginary muckraking in the campaign for the local coroner's office, words of Carthaginian origin, moles devouring his prized tomato patch, and all sorts of other silliness.

Yes, this is Christopher Buckley, and you can just imagine him writing this book during his own Covid isolation, taking these deep dives down these rabbit holes, documenting it for us with a healthy of comedy (or perhaps an unhealthy dose of fractured facetiousness).

So lots of fun, especially if this is exactly what you know to expect of Buckley. Hit or miss, for sure, but mostly hit for me. Somewhat scattershot, as befits the central conceit of filling up an endless amount of time by taking sometimes random roads down streams of consciousness.

It's close to 4.5 stars for me, but I'm going to go with 4 rather than 5 because the book ultimately does not deliver on the promise of satirizing the big Covid quarantine of 2020. It does humorously albeit narrowly examine its impact on one eccentric isolate, but I was hoping for a broader send-up of what was one of the biggest events of our lives.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for giving me a chance to read and review this book in advance.
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