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When his older, dimmer, blacksheep brother, Bub, falls overboard into the waters of the Gulf Stream, Percy Billings, the suave, handsome son of a respected Florida governor, takes over Bub's candidacy for governor, but Percy soon discovers that Bub may not only not be dead, but he may also be much cleverer than he had supposed, in a subversive political satire. 10,000 first printing.
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S. V. Date is Tallahassee bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post in Florida. This is his fifth novel.From Publishers Weekly:
After skewering Big Tobacco (Smokeout) and the Disney empire (Deep Water), lefty journalist Date takes on Florida Republican election dramas past and present, vying with fellow Sunshine State satirists like Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen in this thoroughly over-the-top novel of political intrigue. A gubernatorial candidate dies in what appears to be a fishing accident and is replaced by a former governor's son, Bub Billings, a George W.-like clown who "can't read a TelePrompTer" but surges ahead in the polls anyway. When the GOP bosses find out Bub has a mind of his own, particularly on environmental matters, he gets pushed off a yacht (appropriately named Soft Money) and is replaced by his envious, conniving younger brother, Percy. Murphy Moran, a down-on-his-luck political consultant enlisted by the Democrats to get incriminating photos of Bub frolicking with half-clad "Victory Hostesses" on the Soft Money, ends up fishing him out of the water instead. The two then piece together the convoluted GOP plot and try to get the information to the proper authorities. Other characters include the slatternly secretary of state, Clarissa Highstreet, a dead ringer for Katherine Harris; conflicted state finance director Toni Johnson, who helps Murphy and Bud by exposing some major GOP corruption; and eco-friendly vigilante Randy Romer. Along with the politicians, big business (especially a shady company called Petron), a gullible media and a clueless electorate get what's coming to them in this timely farce. Though at moments alarmingly sexist, it should have Michael Moore fans cackling with recognition and glee.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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