Synopses & Reviews
Ben is a speechwriter on a congressman's primary election team, trying to get their man a Senate seat. Disillusionment is setting in, the candidate is grating, and Ben's funky bachelor's existence is unraveling like yesterday's election banner. He's acting out.
Using the floor for a closet, old tissues for toilet paper, he's bringing dishevelment to a high art. Ben's an indifferent housekeeper, to say the least, and his professional digs aren't any less unkempt. Their upkeep gets worse as the campaign wears on and his disaffection becomes greater. It's like a barrier he's constructing from flotsam.
Along with facing up to his candidate's failings, he's struggling against his growing affection for fellow campaign worker Calliope Berkowitz. The L word and its scary implications invade his life, so the pressure mounts to break out, make a stand, sneak away. She's a large-sized person, sucks the centers from M&Ms and favors formless clothes in which she walks around barefoot. But none of that is nearly enough to offset his utter surrender to her forthright, beguiling nature. The candidate he's working for is less than noble, but Ben has found true love amidst the bunting and his dirty socks, and it's not letting go.
David Mizneris an ex-Washington campaign worker and speechwriter turned Maine writer. He lives on Peaks Island, population: 1,000. This, his first book, is a sweet novel of young love and raunchy youth.
"A young speechwriter meets the unlikely woman of his dreams during campaign season in Mizner's sharp, very funny novel. 'I'm eating Kung Pao chicken and listening to people tell lies,' begins Ben Bergin, the sloppy but likable protagonist. 'This is where we have staff meetings, where we make decisions that get overturned by decisions made in smaller rooms.' Rep. Arnie Schechter (D.-N.Y.) is running for senator, and about the only thing that makes the campaign tolerable for Ben is the presence of Calliope Berkowitz, the beautiful, zaftig and sharp-tongued volunteer coordinator who becomes his coconspirator in office politics and outrageous wisecracks. Most of the novel deals with the slow, ambiguous simmer leading up to their boiling romance, set against the backdrop of the Schechter campaign and a politically and racially charged murder case. Mizner's take on politics ('Liberalism, I grant, could use a shave and a haircut, if not an enema...'; 'the bigger the office, the bigger the robot') are wry and trenchant (he's a former speechwriter), and Ben's odes to Calli's sex appeal are alternately raunchy and romantic. Some Clinton-related controversies seem a bit quaint in the post-9/11 political landscape, but Mizner's cutting commentary on New York politics, its attendant disillusionments and its diverse supporting cast more than compensate. A deftly handled blend of romance and politics, this is a smart and fun debut. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Campaign worker and speechwriter turned first time novelist David Mizner, writes about love and loathing on the campaign trail; a tale of young love and raunchy youth.
This novel of loving and loathing on the campaign trail tells how speechwriter Ben must deal with the disappointment of his candidate's failings and with his developing feelings for one of his fellow campaign workers.
About the Author
David Mizner is a Washington campaign worker and speechwriter turned Maine writer.