Wright for America is a political farce about a far-right-wing radio talk show host, Pryor Wright, whose motto is “hate sells,” and an actress, Maren Garrity, who seeks revenge on Wright after an attack on her gay twin brother, Dell, which she believes was inspired by his vicious political commentary.
Inspired by the play she’s working in, a modern retelling of Antigone (set in both Thebes and the White House of George W. Bush), Maren poses as idealistic conservative intern, Katherine Starr, and embarks on a quest to bring Wright to (at least, de facto) justice by finding his fatal flaw and exploiting it. Meanwhile, she continues with her second job, tracking down handbag counterfeiters in the persona of a buyer named Rita Johnson.
What Maren doesn’t know is that her target is only using the handbag business as a cover for a weapons-dealing business, and when a very attractive FBI agent gets involved with her case, all three of her personae converge in a dangerous mess – will she be able to sort them out again and bring down the blowhard?
Wright for America will no doubt appeal (or not) in large part based on the reader’s political leanings – the author’s are clearly obvious and laid on the table for us right away. If you are a regular viewer of Fox News, it likely will not be your cup of tea. If you prefer Jon Stewart (who, if I guess correctly, makes cameo appearances in this book disguised as comedic commentator Nate Stevens), you might enjoy it very much. I admit freely to being firmly on the author’s side of the political fence, so please do take this review with that in mind.
That said, there is a lively element of madcap farce to the story that is quite appealing and very funny regardless of politics. Maren is a likeable and sympathetic character who develops a layer of understanding and self-knowledge in the book, in a plainly touching manner. The acting troupe who are her companions in plotting are a set of delightfully lively characters with entertaining and well-delineated personalities, and Pryor Wright is a marvelously overblown villain. The plot is mischievous and twisty, and carries the reader along cheerfully from tangle to tangle until all is resolved (somewhat satisfyingly) at the end.
That said, the book is extremely polarized – there is not a single likable quality in Wright, and it is far too easy to simply boo and hiss whenever he appears on the scene. A bit of complexity in his character in particular might add depth to the book. Additionally, some of the incidents in the book feel a bit unrealistic – one is left wondering exactly how much the FBI will let a person get away with these days, if they determine that you did not mean any actual harm.
Still, these are minor flaws that don’t detract too much from the story, which is, after all, a comedic farce at heart, rather than a Greek tragedy. As long as the author’s clearly revealed political leanings do not give you indigestion, you will very likely find the book an entertaining romp.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader