Review: Wright for America by Robin Lamont

Pryor Wright believes that hate sells and money is power. As the outspoken right-wing host of Wright for America, a conservative radio show, his ranted, opinionated offerings encourage listeners to embrace a radical ideology that promotes racism, bigotry, and ultimately ends in violence. When actress Maren Garrity’s brother is hospitalized as a result of Wright’s endorsement of hate she vows to put a stop to his abuse of influence. While Maren isn’t acting she’s working as an undercover investigator for the enigmatic SherFire Private Investigations, a practice that will play to her advantage in her fight against the all-powerful radio host. But when her undercover personas draw unwanted attention she finds herself with the FBI and a gang of arms-dealing renegade revolutionaries hot on her trail. Determined and passionate about her cause, Maren must enlist the help of her fellow artistic investigators in order to take down Pryor Wright and evade her relentless pursuers.

Wright for America, Robin Lamont’s second novel, combines the worlds of art and politics into an absorbing, often satiric dialogue on the social landscape of America. Lamont’s examination of the power of words and the result they can have on our lives presents a consistent and thought-provoking theme throughout the novel, and her depiction of over-zealous conservatism illuminates an ideology whose progression is severely stunted by archaic morals. The result is a wonderfully entertaining story that guides the reader expertly through disarming realities and hair-brained shenanigans; a terrifically well-rounded story told with great confidence and charm. As a heroine Maren is strong yet gently flawed, making her a character that the reader can relate to; her ire at Pryor Wright’s disregard for others is keenly felt by the reader and her desire for a more compassionate, free-thinking America is admirable. The other players in her plot, the troupe of actors-turned-investigators, all seem to jump off the page, and each reflects the diverse, eclectic nature of artists. From Indonesian impersonation-master Mas, to the bold and assertive African American Ruby, and restless composer extraordinaire Cole, among others, the cast is quick to assert itself into the reader’s imagination. Alternatively, Pryor Wright never fails to encompass the infuriating qualities of his right-wing extremist audience; Lamont takes her reader through a full account of what makes Wright so wrong, almost bridging the gap toward sympathy before pulling back and unveiling the ugly truths to his agenda. Perhaps more of a bumbling baddie than a calculating villain, the true evil is in the disrespect and hatred his world inflicts on society.

I found Wright for America a pleasure to read, at once comical and compelling, amusing in its inventive satire while also giving a charming nod toward the more liberal-minded, tolerant social sphere. The gap between the social divide is extreme, the exaggeration of which lends a certain lightheartedness to the story, but the message and the plight of the main characters hits very close to home, and as a result Wright for America will leave the reader entertained and reflective long after the final scene.

Title: Wright for America Author: Robin Lamont Genre: contemporary fiction Publisher: Grayling Press Release date: September 14, 2012 Source: Robin Laont (C/O) Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Connect with the author: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Wright for America