A novel for those who love one-liners, outrageous characters and loopy plots.
Jeffrey Peckerman has a beef—plenty of them, in fact, but his initial one involves what he views as an unfair offsides call at his 11-year-old daughter’s soccer game. The ref who makes the questionable call is Philip Horkman, owner of a pet store incongruously called The Wine Shop (because his in-laws, the Wines, funded his business venture). And thus begins one of the strangest buddy novels of this or any century. The hapless characters begin a hate-hate relationship that literally takes them around the globe, starting with an escaped lemur, an insulin pump and the misapprehension that Peckerman and Horkman are members of al-Qaeda trying to blow up the George Washington Bridge. To escape, they make their way onto a cruise ship about to leave New York harbor, only to discover that it’s clothing optional. Horkman starts to fall in love with a nun (after all, she’s not wearing her habit) and plunges overboard to save her when she’s swept away in a storm. From here events get even goofier, as the two opponents land in Cuba (and co-lead a revolution), then go to Mozambique (and are captured by pirates), thence to Yemen (where they are rescued by the Mossad), afterwards to Beijing (and lead a protest in Tiananmen Square), and finally to California, where they meet Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention and where Horkman, despite being a Democrat, is nominated for president. (Later, Peckerman becomes the Democratic nominee, but his obscenity-laced speeches are the despair of his handlers.) Throughout their romp around the world they’re constantly at each other’s throats, either literally or metaphorically, Horkman’s prissiness playing off of Peckerman’s crude cynicism.
An antidote, if one is needed, to gritty urban realism.