HAYMAKER by Adam Schuitema

HAYMAKER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Libertarians decide to take over the town of Haymaker on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but the locals have a decidedly different opinion about the wisdom of this move.

The Freedom Congress, a libertarian organization of six members, has been looking for a congenial place to settle where they can put their political philosophy into action. After much study they choose Haymaker for its all-American flavor, its lax zoning laws and what they perceive as a culture amenable to libertarianism. The leader of the group is Gorman Tate, a ponytailed, charismatic figure who tends to stay in the background when they and some sympathetic followers move to Freedom Springs, as they dub their corner of Haymaker. Much more directly involved in Haymaker politics is Josef Novak, a Freedom Congress member who winds up running for mayor. While the local community is scarcely welcoming, there is nevertheless a variety of attitudes toward the newcomers ranging from begrudging respect to utter hostility. The hostility comes from Donnie Sarver, a young man who owns a towing business and whose dislike of the libertarian contingent borders on the xenophobic. Ironically, Haymaker prides itself on its independent past, for it arose from a tumultuous culture of lumbermen, “gamblers, prostitutes, and miscellaneous roughnecks”—each September the town celebrates this past in “Boomtown Days”—but this romanticized history can’t really accommodate what the townspeople perceive as a very real threat to their future.

Thoughtful fiction with an unusual political twist on the theme of insiders vs. outsiders.

Pub Date: April 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-87580-719-5
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Switchgrass Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2015




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