A roaring political novel about an unlikely U.S. Senate candidate in Nevada.
Debut author Avrashow presents the story of rock singer Tyler Sloan’s quest to become a politician. Sloan, the son of a former governor of California, is world-famous for his music, and although he may not be able to hit the high notes like he used to, he still commands quite an audience. Following the death of one of Nevada’s senators, there’s a special election with two major candidates: a Republican who flails whenever she has to go off-script, and a Democrat who puts people to sleep with his long-winded speeches. If there were ever room for an independent in American politics, it’s in this race. But why would Sloan bother to get involved? Because, as he says, “Washington is poisoned with hyper-partisan B.S. Nothing gets done. Nothing.” But the question driving the novel isn’t whether Sloan can do away with the “hyper-partisan B.S.”—it’s whether he can convince voters that he’s the man for the job. Hurdles arise as his campaign progresses, not the least of which is the existence of a sex tape featuring Sloan and a political opponent. Readers may find, though, that rooting for Sloan isn’t particularly satisfying. As a wealthy, famous entertainer who’d “met three presidents before his twenty-first birthday,” he’s hardly an everyman—nor does it seem likely that he could relate to one. What instead gives the book its intrigue are the many details that candidates must face in such a campaign. Sloan gets a primer on handshaking, for example, and how the pasts of his own staff members can sometimes prove to be more hindrance than help. However, the political tough guy speak can feel clichéd (“You knew that enviro whack job would demand further studies in Congress on our gaming bill!”), and the final outcome of the book is somewhat predictable. That said, the journey there will force readers to take a hard look at what it takes to get elected.
This novel’s protagonist may not be the most relatable, but his story offers an informative take on modern political madness.