Socialist writer and political agitator, Upton Sinclair is dead. He is repeatedly dug up from his grave and brought back to life by optimistic leftists only to be gunned down (and once harpooned) by those seeking fame, fortune and the American Way. As Sinclair grows more insignificant to his ever-changing country, he continues to write embarrassingly bad, muckraking novels and risk his life for the socialist revolution, which he swears is just around the corner. In this dazzlingly funny satire of culture and politics, Bachelder skilfully documents the demise but dogged faith of the Left as well as the violence and hysteria of the Right.
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Chris Bachelder grew up in Virginia and received an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Florida. He is currently an assistant professor at Colorado College, and is the author of the novel Bear v. Shark, which was published in four countries.From Publishers Weekly:
In his second satiric novel, following the hilarious Bear vs. Shark (2001), Bachelder supposes that muckraker Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle, has the power to repeatedly rise from the grave, "oft-resurrected and oft-assassinated" by his followers and foes. A haggard and bullet-ridden Sinclair symbolizes the bedraggled American political left (making a triple entendre of the book's title). In Bachelder's present-day America, capitalism-loving smalltown residents fear a Socialist uprising spurred by the mediocre novels Sinclair continues to publish. Sinclair assassins (such as three-time killer Huntley and crazed young upstart Billings) make the cover of Time and write bestselling memoirs. The first of the novel's two main parts comprises a funny, though gimmicky, series of Sinclair ephemera, including a bile-filled book review, transcripts from the Sinclair-sighting telephone hotline and "Professor" Sinclair's writing workshop syllabus instructing students to "write socially engaged, morally outraged fiction with unambiguous endings." Part two is a gripping narrative in which an anti-Socialist book-burning becomes the converging point for Sinclair , his forlorn folksinger son Albert, competing assassins and a 12-year-old convert to liberal politics who may be the crumbling left's best hopes. Readers require no knowledge of the historical Sinclair to relate to Bachelder's bumbling, endearing idealist grandpa in this entertaining though uneven sophomore outing.
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