"Clever parody" The Cactus Caucus by Steve Meissner #political

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The Cactus Caucus

Written by Steve Meissner

Genre(s): Political Fiction

Bill Leña couldn’t make it in Brooklyn, Nogales or Tucson. Now this adobe store-front lawyer must survive a brief stint in the Arizona Legislature, where money talks, craziness stalks, and wing-nuts make the law.

If he wants to keep breathing the desert air he needs to placate border drug smugglers, Brooklyn wise-guys and pissed-off boyfriends, while out-maneuvering the gaggle of lobbyists, power-brokers and elected leaders who comprise Arizona’s Palace of Political Pinheads.

For more than 30 years Steve Meissner has watched Arizona politics as an award-winning journalist, bureaucrat and briefly as a legislative staffer. Now he offers some inside truth on how the Chorizo is made in this crazy but loveable state. 

Roy McCarthy's Review

Clever parody, sloppy presentation

The first thing I had to do with this book was try to ignore the appalling formatting for Kindle. Hopefully this is something the author has in hand. There’s no surer way to lose readers.

But otherwise this is an enjoyable read. Written in the first person, a small-time lawyer finds himself parachuted into his deceased uncle’s seat in the Arizona House of Representatives. He is quickly told by the Republican party leaders to just shut up and do exactly as he is told, no more or less.

The author has clear knowledge of the way the House operates. In the wider aspect this is a parody of how democracy works, at least in Arizona. In the detail the House is populated by a zoo of individuals looking after their own interests. The caricatures are larger than life and maybe (I cannot possibly tell) the author has a score or two to settle.

Meanwhile the newest member, the protagonist, is under family pressure to head off a piece of legislation that seems certain to be passed without further comment.

Nicely written with pertinent quotes heading each chapter and cute cactus-and-hat separators. A great pity my lasting impression is the sloppy presentation.

Disclaimer: Book provided by the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.