The present state of politics across the globe is unsettled and unsettling; now is no better time to re-issue Jeff Bursey’s terrific Verbatim: A Novel. In this Hansard-styled parody, Bursey portrays political paralysis and bitter backstabbing. An imaginary transcription of parliamentary proceedings demonstrates the pettiness and nastiness of elected officials and bureaucrats alike. Verbatim: A Novel is simultaneously top-flight satire and emotionally affecting, deploying an experimental form propelling the story forward and keeping the reader engaged. Verbatim: A Novel is an outstanding and timely read.
— Larry Fondation, author of the novel Fish, Soap and Bonds and the short story collections Angry Nights, Common Criminals, Unintended Consequences, and Martyrs and Holymen.
Jeff Bursey has set and triumphed over two difficult challenges: to present a novel about provincial politics entirely by way of documents (memos, e-mails, and long transcriptions of legislative proceedings) and to make such potentially boring material entertaining. This hyperrealistic revelation of how we are governed is both comic and tragic as the paltriness of office politics and the minutiae of parliamentary procedure are set against the unmet needs of the populace, too often reduced to mere abstractions in the heated and frequently witty exchanges of their elected representatives. As one member of the House says, “it’s essential we look at how we govern ourselves,” and Bursey’s searching look exposes the polite fictions of political discourse in an admirably innovative way.
—Steven Moore, American author and literary critic, best known as an authority on the novels of William Gaddis and two-volume study The Novel: An Alternative History.
Release Date: Dec 15 2017. Available from all booksellers and usual online retailers. ISBN: 978-981-11-5829-2.
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