ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
The midterms are over. But, if you're a political junkie still looking for a fix, here's author Molly Antopol with a post-election book recommendation - Donald Antrim's satirical novel, "Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World."
MOLLY ANTOPOL: The story begins in a seaside community that's falling apart. Missiles have been launched, mines planted in the park. The local school was defunded and turned into a factory. As our narrator, former third grade teacher Pete Robinson, tells us - houses and stores, gas stations and banks, all the landmarks of my happy life. Everything seems to be sinking. This could easily pass for the kind of political commentary you hear on the news. And, for Mr. Robinson, politics is the answer. He decides to run for office with empty slogans, like - Pete Robinson, a step towards paradise and, Pete Robinson is the only conceivable choice for mayor. The novelist, Jeffrey Eugenides, who wrote the introduction, points out that, while Pete knows a lot of stuff - about the Egyptian Book of the Dead and elementary school pedagogy - nothing that he knows helps him understand his world. Watching the election results I kept going back to this idea. Our politicians have spent months saying a lot of stuff. But none of that rhetoric will help them know what to do when it's time to step off the campaign bus and actually lead. Here's hoping they figure it out fast. Otherwise, the landmarks of our happy lives could also end up sinking.
SIEGEL: The novel is Donald Antrim's "Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World." It was recommended by Molly Antapol. Her latest book is "The UnAmericans."
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