By Joey Goebel
MacAdam Cage, Hardcover, 9781596922792, 350pp.
Publication Date: July 14, 2008
Somewhere in the middle of America dwells Blue Gene Mapother, a mullet-headed patriot who staunchly supports the American war effort without question. Besides his patriotism, little enlivens him except for pro wrestling, cigarettes, and any instance in which he thinks his masculinity is at stake. And though you wouldn t know it, Blue Gene hails from one of the wealthiest families in the country.
His mother, a fanatical Christian socialite, has a dream in which she sees Blue Gene's older brother, the handsome but anxious John Hustbourne Mapother, becoming an apocalyptic world savior. Eager to fulfill his mother's prophecy, John runs for Congress but finds that as a corporate executive, he's not very popular with his largely working-class constituents. And so, after years of estrangement, the Mapothers reach out to Blue Gene, realizing that they need his common-man touch in order to cast their family name in a more favorable light with voters.
With absurd humor and poignant wit, this timely, small-town epic takes us from flea markets to mansions to abandoned Wal-Mart buildings, all the while examining the bizarre relationship between the high and low classes of America.
"Wickedly ingenious…Goebel’s ebulliently funny writing sparkles off the page. He’s created a whole living, breathing world, filled with vividly sympathetic souls, and deliciously evil ones…one of the most interesting and engaging books I’ve read in a while, a smart, witty, deeply moving parable…"
"This novel, a pointed commentary on the media machine that continuously grinds away at our culture, is by turns hilarious, thought-provoking, chilling, and sad. Goebel is a quirky, fresh, and relevant voice for our time."
—Library Journal STARRED review