Following the death of a Nevada senator, a special election is held to fill the vacant seat. On the right, there’s a solid yet unexciting candidate who, try as she might, struggles with the one thing most politicians have down: talking to constituents in a personable, blow-smoke-up-your-rear kind of way. On the left, there’s a rambling, boring candidate who doesn’t know when to cut himself off at the microphone. And then there’s an actual rock star independent running down the middle of the aisle…
Tyler Sloan has climbed every mountain the music industry has to offer. He’s won awards, had bestselling albums, and enjoyed a high-profile, dominant career for decades. Jay-Z’s lyrics ” I came, I saw, I conquered — from record sales, to sold out concerts” rings true for Sloan, who has nothing left to prove. So, with his legacy as one of the biggest rock stars in history firmly cemented, Sloan turns his attention towards winning the vacant Senate seat.
For Sloan, politics is in his blood. His father was once the governor of Florida. And, while it hardly makes him qualified to help run the government, the rock star had met several presidents during his career. More importantly, though, is the fact that Sloan is fed up with what’s happening in Washington D.C., and is ready to do something about it.
Five years ago, this story might not seem remotely believable. However, in today’s tumultuous political climate, nothing seems too far-fetched. In fact, reality might even be a tad harder to believe than fiction at times, something debut author Wayne Avrashow benefits from here.
With a similar campaign vision that helped our current president reach office (Sloan never says “drain the swamp,” but he does make known his disdain for the severe lack of progress Congress makes towards, well, anything), Sloan’s promise to voters is that he’ll help bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats. Bringing an outsider into Congress, he figures, will be helpful to getting things done. To help voters see that vision, though, will require an expertly-ran campaign. And if you thought recent real-life political candidates have checkered pasts or career-ending skeletons in their closets, they don’t come close to some of the baggage Sloan carries after a lifetime in the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Much like the Aaron Sorkin-created television show The West Wing, which by the way had a whole season dedicated to running a campaign, Wayne Avrashow manages to make following a character on the campaign trail suspenseful, informative, and downright entertaining. That’s not to say that the book doesn’t have flaws, because it does. Outside of Sloan (who isn’t always particularly likable himself), most of the characters are underdeveloped, and you’ll have to suspend your disbelief a bit to enjoy the story. But the real point to the plot is to give readers a look at what it takes to get elected in today’s world, and in that regard, Avrashow hits his mark.
Not perfect and maybe not a great choice for everyone, but political junkies should absolutely Roll The Dice on Wayne Avrashow’s debut novel.
Author: Wayne Avrashow
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 5.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.