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Former Nixon and Reagan speechwriter Gavin debuts with the story of a political campaign filled with zany characters and impossible predicaments, all set in the apocryphal Sixth district of a southern state.

Horny representative T. Claude “Buzzer” LeBrand has a heart attack after his dreamboat girlfriend sends him a letter at his apartment, the silly woman, and Buzzer collapses onto an escalator heading down and down. The dimwitted Buzzer isn’t even dead yet—he’s comatose—when the diabolical machinations of Washington begin the scramble to fill his seat. Those who will move and shake in the aftermath include his wife, Georgie, a 36-year-old cheerleader cum soccer mom; Bobbie Ricky Diddie, the young ex-QB who last lost an election to Buzzer; Holy Joe Wholey, who thinks it’s God’s will to have a Christian in the seat; Bo Beaumont, of the famous BigBo and BigJumBo chain stores, who thinks that Wittgenstein must be a professor at a local college—these and a host of other lively political caricatures decorate the field that amasses around the effort to tip power up north. Soon the race is on—Bobby Rickie, Georgie LeBrand, Susan Weinstein (a self-described “pushy Marxist New York Jew lesbo babe”), and Holy Joe, who wants to put the Ten Commandments into the Constitution. From there, it’s all about who sleeps with whom, long talks to master the arts of euphemism and evasion, and strategy debates on who should debate whom, while all the while Buzzer lies quietly in bed and no one looks like a particularly good candidate. Gavin’s narrator (“Well, wouldn’t you know it” and “Well, one good thing . . . ”) sounds a little too often like the voiceover from The Dukes of Hazzard, but generally this is a rollicking exploration of a democracy that might never do well by the poor Sixth district.

Built for fun.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31283-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003