Well, this was perfectly entertaining and really fun. Never heard of the author, but love me a well done satire and at only 148 pages, this was an easy selection to check out. Now that (oh so magnanimous and community minded) I’ve created a GR listing for it and posted a review for it, maybe more people will be able to discover it for themselves.
Ok, so you know that thing everyone always says about money, how it’s all so evil. Well, the actual quote refers not to the money itself, but to the love of money…greed at its purest form, that’s the evil thing. But, apparently, irresistible. And so in the all too distant past of 1991 two random middle ageish men named Jamie and Bill hear the siren call of the love of the money and for it they pretty much blow up their respective quiet and comfortable lives. They don’t want enough money, they want excessive copious amounts of it, the sort of mad cash that lets you get away with whatever you want. But they are not sure about how to get there, so they manage to both get swindled out of their savings and into buying a 51% stakes at small town newspaper. Now they’ve nowhere to live, no money, no experience in publishing a newspaper, a tough competition from a much larger local newspaper and a single perky employee named Rachel is the only bonus to come out of the entire deal. They’ll need a miracle to make this work and, shy of a miracle, a bucketload of creative fictions. That’s right, fake news before modern times popularized it.
And from there on, the team is on a roll. By any means necessary steamrolling that rainbow until they get to their pot of proverbial gold. Through a series of wild inventions and wacky theories about advertising, politics, economics and social psychology, Bill and Jamie and Rachel are pursuing their dreams like someone’s chasing them and it’s a very fun ride. It fact, the sheer preposterousness of their scams, the way they consistently up their game and, most importantly, the things they get away with…is what makes it such a diverting delight.
Their adventures, especially as one of them goes for a political office in an absolutely epic manner of essentially presenting himself as the worst possible candidate for the job…and wins…all too eerily highlight the basic stupidity and ignorance of the general populace and satirize the society that, then as now, is tragically gullible and easily manipulated and never, ever as smart as it thinks itself to be.
And because presumably some might think that the plot of the novel goes too far outside of the realm of believable and plausible, the author oh so cleverly ends it in November 2016, the US election to be precise, as if to remind the readers that no matter how insane, inane and impossible fiction might be, the truth will always find a way to outdo it. Indeed, we live in a time significantly stranger than fiction, depressingly so, and this might just be a book to take your mind off…your mind, if only for a short while.
Fun read, quite clever and humorous, works well as a satire. Recommended.
by NetGalley review