His new novel, Funny Boys, is due out this month.
For the Wall Street Journal, he named five "favorite works about ambition, political and otherwise."
The oldest title on Adler's list:
The Red and the BlackRead about the other books that Adler tagged.
One has to work hard and long to find a novel more perceptive about the complex nature of ambition than this book by the French author Henri Beyle, writing under the nom de plume Stendhal. Julien Sorel, of peasant origins, burning with post-Napoleonic hero worship, reaches for upward mobility through the favors of his two formidable mistresses, who help propel him to great heights of power and influence. When one of the women, obsessed with Sorel and inflamed with unrequited love, tries to topple him from his perch, he plots her murder. Like any great novel, "The Red and the Black" echoes down the years -- especially today, when political ambition rages among the red and the blue.
Visit Warren Adler's website.