Time's Mark Halperin has it "confirmed by sources" that the anonymous author behind O: A Presidential Novel is Mark Salter, the former right hand man to John McCain. He's been hiding in Maine, writing this thing!

Page Six first pointed the finger at Salter last week, but now that Mark Halperin claims he's been "confirmed by sources," it has, say, a 40% chance of being correct. Which is good enough for us! Salter refuses to comment.

Salter was a top adviser to John McCain for years and years, through his 2008 presidential campaign. He's written other books — John McCain's five books, specifically. He shaped McCain's "Maverick" persona, which was never really the case and now is definitely not the case. They may still be friends, but Salter no longer works for him.

Anyway, how have the reviews for this anonymous novel about Obama's lead-up to the 2012 election been? The Times' Michiko Kakutani, for one, did her usual thing where she renders a harsh verdict in the very first paragraph:

Well, now we know why the author of this much gossiped about, heavily marketed new book wanted to remain anonymous: "O: A Presidential Novel" is a thoroughly lackadaisical performance - trite, implausible and decidedly unfunny.

We've been reading it here and it... moves along quickly? He really hates Arianna Huffington, a.k.a. "Bianca Stefani" in the book, which is fine.

[Image via AP]