Skip to main content
Cover for Big If

Big If

Mark Costello


List Price: 14.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/17/2002)


The Secret Service agents guarding the vice president steel their nerves to a multitude of dangers every day. When he runs for the top spot on the Democratic ticket, however, their personal lives may just be the biggest obstacle to keeping him safe.
Wry, muscular Vi Asplund is the daughter of an atheist insurance adjuster who took the young Vi and her brother, Jens, to the grisly accident scenes he covered. This tolerance for the macabre follows Vi into her career as an agent, and into Jens's development as the software designer for a gorey video game. Chief-of-detail Gretchen Williams fights to keep the team in order, while Agent Tashmo, a veteran presidential guard, reflects on the glory days of the Reagan administration.
As the primary approaches, these intense men and women balance their own lives with that of the vice president. An astounding novel of survival and absurdity, Big If casts a sharp eye on America today.

Praise For Big If


"He has created a thoroughly original universe . . . With his second novel, Costello enters the big leagues of American fiction."--Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review

"Each page of this governmental novel comes alive with intelligence, comedy, and inside dope."--Jonathan Franzen

"A supremely funny and engaging novel of great seriousness about family life, about the American small town under the influence of global forces, about the fear of death . . . Costello has done it, with energy, brilliance, and the shifting intonations of a great improv actor in the realm of lasting truths."--Vince Passaro, O Magazine

Mariner Books, 9780156027793, 368pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2003

Coverage from NPR