Pianist in a Bordello by Mike C. Erickson
Mike C. Erickson’s novel, Pianist in a Bordello is a politically-focused novel that, surprisingly, does not have the same effect as an Ambien. Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood, fondly known as Dickie, has spent his life living up to his impressively ridiculous name. From kidnapping and yellow submarines, to sexual encounters gone awry, to his disappearing-reappearing-potentially magical father, Dickie has just about done and seen it all. When he decides to run for office and make a difference in the world, his decision to put all of these stories and experiences into an autobiography seems dubious at best and down right stupid at worst. After all, how can someone be honest in politics? Or at least, how can someone be so honest? As one of Dickie’s friends so astutely notices, “…most idealists end up as footnotes in forgotten tomes in the basements of libraries.” The real question is, will Dickie will be one of those idealists?
Politics tend to be boring, but not when Dickie Youngblood is involved. While Erickson does use the characters in his novel to reveal some of the less positive aspects of the political climate in present-day America, it is in a satirical, face-palm kind of way, not in a shove-it-down-your-throat-and-you’ll-like-it kind of way. Erickson’s writing is exciting, fun, honest, and so well-written that you’ll find yourself wondering where his next novel is.
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