There's a punch line here somewhere.
Despite the title, the book suggests that the author would have been surprised (not to mention disappointed and outraged) by the recent Rudd resurrection.
Walsh's argument is essentially that Rudd failed miserably in his (first) term as prime minister and is so hated by a large majority of his caucus colleagues that any idea of a successful comeback is purely a media myth (fed by a small core of Ruddsters).
Walsh's book is written with passion and purpose.
Her anger with Rudd, his caucus supporters and media "enablers" is sustained and undisguised, at times it borders on the hysterical.
The book is in the form of a diary over the period of Gillard's term as prime minister (2010 - 2013) and it retains a strong sense of immedicacy and veracity.
While Walsh clearly dislikes Rudd intensely, and is dismissive of his first prime ministership, her real targets are those (all too numerous) journalists and commentators who enabled Rudd to pursue his long-term strategy of exploiting Gillard's mistakes, including through his 'fake it till you make it' and 'momentum' tactics (the idea promoted repeatedly and relentlessly that things are swinging Rudd's way in caucus).
Walsh is thorough in recounting all the wrong pronouncements made by journalists and commentators over the past three years. It's very entertaining.
One problem with Walsh's thesis about caucus plotters and media enablers is that it downplays the mistakes made by Gillard and her government.
Related to this problem is the convolutions Walsh has to engage into to try and argue that opinion polls don't, or shouldn't, matter. They're annoying, but in a democracy public opinion is always going to matter.
A Rudd supporter would find this denial of the importance of polls deeply ironic, given the much professed claim of Gillard's supporters that Rudd was in freefall in the polls when he was deposed in June 2010.
A second problem is that she is not convincing on the idea that this was all somehow unusual or unprecedented.
There is little analysis in the book on the exceptional nature of the past three years.
It is, of course, exceptional in the sense that no first-term PM has been deposed by his own party and (eventually) returned to the Lodge by the same party room.
But we have always had leadership contests and they have often been bitter, prolonged and destructive.
It maybe that the Rudd-Gillard battle was more bitter and destructive - but the evidence is just not there in this book.
These leadership contests have all been played out through the media, via backgrounding by caucus supporters and the proponents themselves.
Similarly, Gillard was unfairly pursued over the AWU matter but so was Keating over that piggery.
But the bigger point here is that Gillard and her government (particularly Swan and Conroy) gave Rudd and his loyal band of plotters (mostly second raters who wouldn't get within cooee of a half decent ministry) far too much material to work with.
Walsh, for instance, doesn't give enough attention to the media reform, mining tax and surplus fiascos that damaged Gillard.
Moreover, Gillard was never good enough to overcome the perception that she was disloyal and stabbed Rudd in the back, her claims that she was a reluctant draftee don't strike most people as credible.
This perception was probably inevitable given her role as Rudd's loyal deputy. It matters how you get the job.
Gillard is a politician, she has long been regarded as an ambitious and ruthless. She did deals to get pre-selected and deals to become deputy leader - just like everyone else does. She organised the numbers to take the deputy position off Jenny Macklin back in 2010.
The efforts by Walsh and other Gillard fans to gloss over this reality just doesn't wash.
The deals that Gillard did to stay PM after the 2010 election only added, dramatically, to the negative public perceptions of her and consequently to her political problems.
The carbon tax deal with the Greens and some independents saw her break an election promise and directly began her slide in the polls in 2011, a slide she never really recovered from.
Walsh tries to absolve Gillard on this carbon tax lie point, but not credibly in my view. If it wasn't a lie, it was bloody awful politics and very poorly handled.
Similarly, Gillard's 'pragmatic' ditching of her agreement with Andrew Wilkie on pokies reform played into negative public perceptions of Gillard.
In addition, the Gillard Government, like most governments, could not resist the damage that time and public disappointments do.
Walsh is much more interesting on the media side of the argument.
Mostly, we know what she recounts so vividly. The cosy relationships between journalists and politicians, the obsession with leadership issues, the failure to present realistic assessments of Rudd's support and so on.
It all paints a very bad portrait of the state of political reporting in this country.
If you despair of that reporting, Walsh's book will give you plenty of ammunition and confirm your worst fears.
Walsh writes from the perspective of a long-term Canberra Press Gallery journalist dismayed by the performance of many of her colleagues in the national capital and elswhere.
She is not afraid to name the bad performers and the bad performances and repeatedly hits the target.
The question that is more interesting is why has commentary deteriorated so much?
If it has. I'm not particularly convinced.
Again, Walsh's account is short on analysis.
I would have liked to see her go more into an examination of the impact of 24 hour TV news channels, the ubiquity of media advisers and the permanent campaigning approach, and the adoption of Fox style business models by commercial radio stations.
Walsh is a bit confusing on this stuff.
She condemns the political commentators who never visit Canberra, or fly in and fly out, and then suggests the abolition of the Canberra Press Gallery.
She is also unnecessarily dismissive of so-called amateur commentators (people like me I guess) but then points out the times when social media and bloggers provided an important corrective to the herd mentality of the press gallery (eg the treatment of Gillard's misogyny speech).
Paradoxically, Walsh herself writes like one of these amateurs, her book reads like an extended blog rant - passsioned, colourful, funny etc with a clear point of view.
Paradoxically, also, that is the real strength of this enjoyable book.