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U.S.! by Chris Bachelder

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Readers Recommend

Posted 1.16.12

"I have been a huge fan of Chris Bachelder for years, ever since happening upon a copy of his wonderful road trip epic Bear v. Shark (Scribner, 2002). U.S.! is both a post modern look at disintegrating socialist dreams as well a truly enjoyable parody of political thrillers.The plot loosely follows various characters in their attempts to physically revive Upton Sinclair from the dead, who then work with the zombie Sinclair to advance Utopian ideals. The concept of celebrity is applied to both the zombie Sinclair as well as a cast of assassins intent on gunning down the undead man. Sinclair's works, both the predeath real and postdeath hypothetical, are put on display through various postmodern prisms—like online reviews and transcripts from cable talk shows. However, Bachelder never falls prey to the folly of many writers employing pomo devices—his writing never seems contemptuous of his subjects or detached from his intent. He also manages to write a beautifully political novel without taking a blatant stance on either side. Bachelder is as introspective and reserved as he is brilliant and hilarious, and I will make a point to not wait too long before reading his latest, novel, Abbott Awaits (Louisiana State University Press, 2011)."

—Jeff Davidson from Los Angeles, California

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