The Republican Right is in control, U.S. troops are fighting in a quagmire overseas, the presidential race is on, and recreational drugs are involved. The year, though, is not 1972 but 2004. And our Gonzo correspondent is not Hunter S. Thompson, but novelist Elliott, who appears to be more broke, more disenfranchised, more self-doubting, and probably less talented than his iconic predecessor. With paper-thin credentials from the Believer
magazine, Elliott starts his coverage in Iowa in July 2003. From there he follows the Democratic candidates through, mostly, the swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, and points beyond, taking his narrative all the way through John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. This is a book for political junkies, who will have to get through the author's distractions--loneliness, women problems, a troubled childhood. But Elliott gives us a fresh, ground-level read on the candidates, the media coverage, and the election process itself. Admirably, Elliott--as alienated from the process as he might seem--gets what's at stake here when he says simply, "People have a responsibility to pay attention." Alan MooresCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Stephen Elliott is one of the most versatile and gifted young writers we have. His fiction is wrenching, raw, and unsafe. His political writing, on the other hand, is savvy, loose, very funny and -- truly -- full of rare insights. Also: he is quite hairy."
- Dave Eggers