From the former governor, a no-holds-barred account of Chris Christie's rise to power through the bare-knuckle politics of New Jersey and his insights about Donald Trump from inside the president's inner circle.
The most pitiful recurring motif in Christie’s inadvertently comic tale of self-delusion is the repeated insistence that he and 'my friend Donald' are personal equals. What he wants us to believe is that 'my unique kinship with the president' was the mutual regard of the twin titans of what the subtitle of his memoir calls 'in-your-face politics' ... In truth, Christie comes across in Let Me Finish more like a naive ingenue being trifled with by a cynical lothario, a Cécile to Trump’s Valmont who still, after being cruelly exploited and abandoned, does not understand the nature of his dangerous liaison ... It takes a heroic lack of self-awareness on Christie’s part not to see that he functioned purely as a test of Trump’s absolute power ... In an authoritarian regime, Christie’s delusion that he could be a peer of the Trump realm had to be crushed. The great leader has no peers.
Let Me Finish is a superficial and ungainly book that tries to cover so many bases at once — it’s a series of attacks and justifications, it’s a master class in sucking up and kicking down, it’s a potted memoir, it’s a stab at political rehabilitation — that reading it is like watching an octopus try to play the bagpipes ... An alternative title for this unintentionally poignant book might have been, You Used to Really Like Me, Remember? ... Christie saves his real fire in this book — which was written by a ghostwriter named Ellis Henican — for Bannon, the one-time chief executive of Trump’s campaign ... If you skim through Let Me Finish riffling the book like a deck of cards, nearly all you will see is Christie saying, in so many words, I told you so ... Christie’s sense of being right at every moment is wearying. Like a fan that blows for too long, his grille fills with dust ... As a literary performance, this book is nylon, not wool or silk ... Trump himself comes off rather well in this book ... Is Let Me Finish a plea to be let back in, at a high level, to Trump’s administration? ... Do voters want him back? This self-serving book doesn’t make the most appealing case.
...if you are looking for introspection or deep thoughts, look elsewhere. This is a big, loud book by a man with a full head of steam, stories to tell and scores to settle ... References to the Lost Transition recur often and dominate toward the end as Christie pile-drives the point ... by the end of the book, we are accustomed to hearing how much Christie mattered to Trump ... As in all autobiographies, the author himself is center stage. But even here, on a stage he has built for himself, Christie finds he must share the spotlight with Donald Trump ... Let us hit pause and note here that the early portions of Christie's memoir are pretty standard autobiographical material ... After several of these chapters, Christie is just getting warmed up, but he can probably sense he has gone on too long without getting back to Trump.