In his second novel, the host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition paints a detailed portrait of Chicago politics, beginning with the sudden death of the mayor. The focus quickly shifts to Indian vice-mayor Sunny Roopini, who must assuage a traumatized electorate while laying down a few paving stones for the mayor's successor. Matters are further complicated when the police discover deadly amounts of liquid nicotine on the late mayor's pizza, a revelation that inspires a mayoral staffer to leap from his apartment window. Roopini's brief interim mayorship proves to be a minefield of favors, accommodations and downright extortion—the latter by a U.S. Attorney determined to dig up any ethical hiccup he can. The suffocating political life is enough to beckon Roopini toward retirement (particularly with his two daughters on the cusp of adulthood), but the city doesn't seem willing to let him go. The proceedings can be fascinating, but Simon is too attached to his (admittedly impressive) descriptive powers, dragging the narrative through a swamp of mannerisms, fashion sketches, culinary processes and (especially) political maneuvering. Politics junkies will get off on the detail, but readers with less than a passing interest in the sausage-making that goes on at City Hall may be frustrated. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
When the mayor of Chicago is mysteriously murdered while eating pizza, 48th Ward alderman Sunny Roopini becomes acting mayor. A recent widower, Sonny struggles to keep his teenage daughters and restaurant under control. The revelations that come in the wake of the mayor’s death are perhaps more than he can handle. To add to the chaos are a collection of subplots, each worthy of its own novel: an alderman revealed to be gay, another revealed to be on the take, and a third in love with a drug dealer. Fans of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” will recognize Simon’s charm and love of all things Chicago. His characters are all fascinating and complex. However, there are a few too many to keep track of, and the political details and intrigues occasionally threaten to overshadow the sweet and affecting story of Roopini’s grief and growth. --Marta Segal Block --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Good old Chicago style politics. The author captures the machinations of the characters who run a city the olf fashioned political way.Published 18 months ago by Sops
Interesting story of Chicago politics and corruption that is nearly as real as the current game played by the machine today.Published on June 28, 2013 by Eugene M. Long,Jr.,M.D
Scott Simon's characters are so much like what Chicago politicians have proven to be through the years, that the story could actually be real. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Theresa A. Prater
The story line is good Chicago fun but the writing belabors every element. Over description becomes a distraction and drugery to read. Editorial staff really dropped the ball here. Read morePublished on August 18, 2012 by seattle_sunshine
Windy City takes place over a 3 day period, following Alderman Roopini, the Vice-Mayor, from the time the Mayor is found dead until the council's election of a new interim mayor. Read morePublished on July 17, 2011 by D. C. Palter
Scott Simon has created a bit of a roman a clef with WINDY CITY. Beloved African-American mayor dies face down in the remnants of his prosciutto and artichoke pizza. Read morePublished on April 10, 2011 by Jim Tenuto
I will say that the book got off to a good start--the murder of the mayor of Chicago. Quite an interesting way to begin. Read morePublished on April 2, 2011 by Loves to Read
Although there is a murder involved this is not really a crime book. It follows the acting interim mayor for a few days as he works hard trying to herd cats and keep his fellow... Read morePublished on February 28, 2011 by Bonner '62
Who knew that Scott Simon was anything but a pretty face on the radio?
Who knew that Chicago politics could be, well, a good read? Read more