Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys

Matt Labash, Author . Simon & Schuster $25.99 (317p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5997-2

Journalist Labash takes readers to the fringes in his portraits of people and places outside the mainstream and, very often, beyond our ken. His subjects are outlandish and unforgettable: take Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, the hunting, cussing, NASCAR-loving political strategist who promises to deliver the rural white vote for the Democrats. Or Kinky Friedman, the Jewish cowboy running for governor of Texas under the campaign slogan “Why the Hell Not?” His profiles of disgraced former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry, corrupt former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Vice President Dick Cheney stand out for their affecting portrayals of the humanity behind the larger-than-life personas. On occasion, Labash settles for lampoon and ad hominem attacks rather that insightful critique, as in his too-easy rant against Facebook or his mean-spirited report from the floor of an academic conference on adult entertainment. But when he sticks to profiling the antics of the lunatic journalists, political hacks, and ego-loving candidates that he so clearly adores, he gives readers a real glimpse at the strangeness and silliness that suffuse American political life. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/04/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-4391-5998-9
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4391-7010-6
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