From Kirkus Reviews
In this briskly paced political drama set in Alabama, one man plays David to the corrupt local government's Goliath. Frank Standish is a local hero, a retired race car driver and owner of a popular local bar, The Bull. Increasingly frustrated with Mayor Cornelius' disregard for the rule of law and his overbearingly paternalistic desire to addle Fulton Springs with endlessly intrusive regulations, he finally decides to take a stand and challenge Cornelius in the next election. Much of the narrative recounts Frank's steadfast resistance to Cornelius' attempts to strengthen his grip on political power, as the incumbent aggrandizes his position at the expense of those he cynically purports to represent. A political neophyte, Frank not only battles against an entrenched, amoral administration, but also against the town's accumulated lethargy, increased by years of mistreatment. The recognizable and predictable crux of the story never loses its speedy stride ... Weber runs up and down the bandwidth of small-government advocacy: eminent domain abuse, gun control, encroachments of the environmental lobby, nanny state proscriptions (the mayor bans the use of salt), campaign finance corruption and even the legalization of marijuana. Top marks for sheer thoroughness, but readers might tire of the incessant evangelizing. An upbeat, breezy read ... could just as easily be a treatise on the virtues of limited government.
Nowadays politicians seem to work more for their own interests than those of the voters. Taxes climb, special interests bribe, small businesses die and the American dream that once glittered has gone dim. Government is now threatening our rights to smoke, eat certain foods and drink sugary sodas.
Well, maybe not everyone wants to live to see 100, especially if it means giving up the very foods, luxuries and liberties that make life worth living. That's the thesis of Matthew Weber's new novel, "The Bull," the story of a small Alabama city held hostage by a mayor and his system of "Good Old Boy" politics. That man's name is [Davenport] Cornelius, a former minister on a power trip who sells out his trusting citizens to rake in money for himself and his comrades. Frank Standish, owner of the town's favorite barbecue joint, "The Bull," has had enough. With the help of his family, patrons and the local radio DJ, he launches a grassroots campaign to end Cornelius's reign and shatter the learned helplessness paralyzing the town.
The tension between the proud, independent citizens and the dominating fat cats is established from the first sentence of the novel: "One thing about people from the South ... they do not like being told what to do." Fast-moving and provocative, "The Bull" also stands as a relevant critique of the times, an era when nanny-state politics are chipping away at the individual's pursuit of happiness. A living monument to modern political contamination, Cornelius is an infuriating villain. As the protagonist, Standish is also well developed as a local racing legend dedicated to humbly serving the very people who used to idolize him.
At its heart, however, Weber's book is about bullying. "The Bull" illustrates the empowerment of standing up for oneself and one's people against whatever or whomever is pushing them around. Sooner or later the bully has to face the music. (-W. Buchheit, "Boiling Springs Sentry" South Carolina)