Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs: A Journey Through the Deep State

Books on Tape. Mar. 2023. 7:01 hrs. ISBN 9780593591901. $66.50. POL SCI
Essayist, screenwriter, and New York magazine feature writer Howley (Thrown) delivers a fascinating exploration of the secretive world of the deep state. Howley delves into murky government conspiracies, providing a meticulously researched account and a captivating, suspense-filled narrative. The author’s ability to blend factual information with engaging storytelling will keep listeners engrossed from start to finish. Nikki Massoud’s narration is exceptional. Her voice is confident and nuanced, and her character differentiation enhances the audio experience, allowing listeners to fully engage with the many personalities in the text. Whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and John Kiriakou are mentioned, but the bulk of the story focuses on Reality Winner, a former NSA linguist and translator. Winner’s arrest and imprisonment for mailing five printed pages of classified information is compared to the punishment for much larger breaches made by more famous people such as David Petraeus.
VERDICT Grimly witty but also deeply unnerving, listeners will be on the edge of their seats. This is a winner for public libraries.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing