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Jules Burnside is a hipster barista who monologues about indie music and participates in riots more to destroy property than effect civil justice. Nephi Jensen is a young Latter-Day Saint who believes God called him to be a superhero to deliver sandwiches to the homeless. Eldon Glenn is a big-headed lawyer, who seeks election as city commissioner in a backwater Kentucky town, by pandering to the locals with promises of bringing a drive-thru window—staffed with singing and dancing dwarfs—to the local Wal-Mart supercenter.
To bolster their online presence and further their personal agendas, Jules, Nephi and Eldon unwittingly join a social media platform—conceived by tech savvy Lilac Bassett and her associates—to incite conflict based on political identity, inducing users to challenge each other in a physically violent sport. The social media platform and sport soon spiral out of control with violence, destruction, and mayhem.
Sliding Off by Alejandro del Mar is one of the best political satires written in the past few years! It’s a hilariously astute look at our country’s past and a chilling proposition of what our future could entail as well.
Enter a unique cast of characters: Eldon Glenn, a pompous and air-headed lawyer who seeks power in all forms; Jules Burnside, a Millennial, who is hell bent on making an impact in the world without actually putting forth any effort; Nephi Jensen, a Latter Day Saint focused on espousing and preaching the message of God—especially to the homeless in a spandex superhero costume; and the frustrated staff members of HandiBrite, Menz Solutionz, and Old Tyme Shortening whose goals for making a quick buck create a rather unique slip and slide event that ends in disaster. These are the cast of this rather ingenious take on political satire.
While each character has his or her own goals, all kinds of mayhem erupt when they come together for the Slip ‘n Slide event in Orlando. To gain access to the event, members had to interact on a specific social media platform where they could make ‘allies’ or ‘enemies.’ As members engage with one another and accusations are thrown, invitations are extended for them to compete against each other in a jousting slip and slide. This event is one in which Alejandro’s wit and wisdom particularly shines. Here he’s created a parallel universe to our own political history (albeit his path is so much funnier.) Reading about Nephi’s dreams of Tucker Carlson, prominent Republicans, and Donald Trump floating on yellow rubber ducks had me in stitches. Eldon’s campaign speeches to bring another Cracker Barrel to Paducah or the men of shorter stature giving Eldon an orangutan toothbrush…all of these moments were hilarious with an undertone that chilled. Alejandro del Mar is a skillful writer with a deep understanding for our own history and an even deeper understanding of the political players in the U.S. and international stages. His writing riffed on so many different hypocrisies that I believe every reader will find it enjoyable.
Sliding Off by Alejandro del Mar is a hilarious take on current and past political history with several additional storylines and additional characters. If you’re into political writing or just looking for a fun book to read, I know you will thoroughly enjoy Sliding Off. You will be glad that you gave this one a try! Sliding Off by Alejandro del Mar comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. Book read and review by Mary Rosenthal for Artisan Book Reviews & Promotions.