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3.02 of 5 stars 3.02  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Nick Lasseter is in a slump -- as a reporter for the Waterloo Weekly, and in every other part of his life as well. When he grudgingly agrees to write a piece about a rising female Republican legislator, he stumbles onto a political fight in which the good guys and bad guys start to seem interchangeable. And not even the deceased can be relied upon to stick to their stories...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Picador (first published November 1st 2005)
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Tyler said he didn't think he would like this book because it bothers him how people fetishize Austin. People do that, and you can't do anything about it because those people are very self-effacing about it. Everyone likes being here, though it's a badge of a lack of motivation. This seems like very old news to me, and I've only been here three years.

Not a lot happens in this book, and you think about that as you are 1/4, 2/5, 3/7, 5/6 of the way through it. "Nothing much else is going to happen...more
Emily H.
There are very few novels about Austin, Texas, and so I had to read this one. Author has a solid political writing background and so I thought it would be interesting. It turned out to be a slow read, in a good way, think Virgin Suicides. I wasn't that interested in the small-town politics in the end. I wasn't too drawn into the love story either. But I did like the nostalgic depcition of old Austin (been here 1976-now). Love the depiction of the old bar buddies/shark circle getting together to...more
I borrowed this book from one of the author's sisters. Karen has a facility with language that I admire, clever quips and explanations of a certain status quo malaise that hangs over Waterloo/Austin. She frustrates my expectations of plot development, but I admire this, as the usual narrative arc is an expectation I want frustrated. Must there always be character changes and dramatic epiphanies? Things change in a slower slightly sadder pace which reflects real life better. It's a portrait of a...more
Had to read/write about this for one of my blowoff classes that I'm taking basically just so I can graduate without doing any real work. This was hilariously sub-Pynchon bullshit that had no real feeling of finality at the end but I mean I read it in a day and it's about Austin so it wasn't too aggravating.

Actual line: "Bye, you guys," Roger said derisively after they had gone. "Hey, have you all heard the new Radiohead?" *chapter ends*
an enjoyable contemporary book set in Austin TX (by way of the fictional town "Waterloo"). I expected more plot development (but not grisham style epicness or anything!), but it wasn't really the point of the book (or the characterisation of the city for that matter). The characters were the book's real strengths, not the political happenings which sort of fizzled out to me.
This book will appeal most of all to those residents (or former residents) of Austin, TX who remember what it was like before everyone and their mother discovered how cool Austin is. I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, but the characterization is very strong and, while there might be a few too many plotlines, overall this book was quite enjoyable.
a good read.
Aug 28, 2007 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Texans, political scientists
If you're feeling any Austin nostalgia, you should read this. It's a thinly veiled account of Texas politics, set in Austin. Oh, I mean "Waterloo". I thought it was very good, but I may have been swayed by the fact that I was living in Hollywood at the time I read it and really, really wanted to go home.
This is a local favorite. Waterloo is well-written and I love that it captures all the great Austin stuff- politics, music, bars and funny slackers. It's an easy read- reminds me of a Nick Hornsby. For the best-of Austin-lit, read it with "The Gay Place."
Mai Ling
Aug 12, 2007 Mai Ling rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All my journalist buddies
It's an inside glimpse at the world of small-town politics and the journalists who cover them. Just like my life! It was great, even if the end was a bit ... unendlike. I can't complain. The writing is great and stylish, and the characters are simply real.
Didn't finish. Sarcastic look at politics in "Waterloo" otherwise known as Austin. Didn't really like any of the characters, so didn't care if anyone got gumption and did something. Don't know if knowledge of Austin political players matters.
To read my review from Time Out New York, please click on this link:

Set in a fictional Austin, Texas. Interesting depiction, but nothing special.
The best and only novel about Austin, Tx I have read.
Starts like a lion, ends with a whimper.
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