From Steve Israel, the Congressman-turned-novelist who writes “in the full-tilt style of Carl Hiaasen” (The Washington Post), a comic tale of the mighty firearm industry, a small Long Island town, and Washington politics: “Congress should pass a law making Big Guns mandatory reading for themselves” (Nelson DeMille).
When Chicago’s Mayor Michael Rodriguez starts a national campaign to ban handguns from America’s cities, towns, and villages, Otis Cogsworth, the wealthy chairman and CEO of a huge arms company in Asabogue, Long Island, is worried. In response, he and lobbyist Sunny McCarthy convince an Arkansas congressman to introduce federal legislation mandating that every American must own a firearm. Events soon escalate.
Asabogue’s Mayor Lois Leibowitz passes an ordinance to ban guns in the town—right in Otis Cogsworth’s backyard. Otis retaliates by orchestrating a recall election against Lois and Jack Steele, a rich town resident, runs against her. Even though the election is for the mayor of a small village on Long Island, Steele brings in the big guns of American politics to defeat Lois. Soon, thousands of pro-gun and anti-gun partisans descend on Asabogue, and the bucolic town becomes a tinderbox. Meanwhile, Washington politicians in both parties are caught between a mighty gun lobby and the absurdity of requiring that every American, with waivers for children under age four, carry a gun. What ensues is a discomfiting, hilarious indictment of the state of American politics.
“New York congressman-turned-novelist Steve Israel delivers a second brilliant political satire” (Booklist, starred review). “An entertaining satire” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Big Guns is “a wonderfully irreverent satire about the fractured and fractious American political and lobbying system…a rollicking comedic trip” (Publishers Weekly).
Israel's second novel (following The War on Morris) is a wonderfully irreverent satire about the fractured and fractious American political and lobbying system, skewering gun nuts, politicians, and lobbyists to the left, the right, Republicans, Democrats, and everyone in between. This clever political farce exposes the extremism of the gun rights issue, both pro and con, with a smart plot, loud, noisy characters, and hilarious dialogue. When Chicago's mayor demands a federal ban on handguns and other major cities join in, the smarmy CEO of Cogsworth International Arms, Otis Cogsworth, and his lobbyist shark, Sunny McCarthy, fight back with a campaign to pass a federal law requiring all American adults to own a handgun. The battleground will be in Congress and in the small Long Island town of Asabogue, where Otis lives, as the town's feisty pro-ban mayor faces a fierce election against an aging, Otis-backed pro-gun action-movie star. Asabogue, as the symbolic epicenter of this national debate, is flooded with media wonks, simpering politicians, unruly militias, inept urban terrorists, amoral spin doctors, and snarky lobbyists for and against. Shameless greed and overwrought egos drive everyone, with Israel nailing the D.C. scene and national political hubris perfectly: empty suits with heads to match. It's a rollicking comedic trip.