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Off the Reservation

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  391 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Paperback, 228 pages
Published December 8th 2014 by Vivid Thoughts Press (first published November 21st 2014)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  391 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Glen Mercer has a much better understanding of the national zeitgeist than the Democratic party had in the 2016 election. His candidate isn't totally new to political life, but he does understand the pointlessness of the contention and division in American politics. He is refreshingly honest, which resonates with the electorate, upsetting the expectations of the political experts. I enjoyed the characters and loved the ending. I wish Evan Gorgoni was being inaugurated. The recipes look good and ...more
Cathy Baker
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The tone of this novel is as benign as its protagonist, Evan Gorgoni, a congressman who intended to retire but instead finds himself in the race for president. The magic weapons in his campaign are his willingness to speak his mind on subjects he thinks are important and his determination not to spend energy on what's unimportant, such as writing campaign speeches. In fact, it is his off-the-cuff nomination acceptance speech, which rambles on for 18 pages, that is the highlight of both his campa ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lightweight but fun read, especially now in the Presidential campaign season. A breath of fresh air, and an antidote to all the vitriol we're drowning in right now.

The premise is that a good, straightforward Congressman from Iowa decides not to run for another term (he's already had a bunch), and because he doesn't have to worry about re-election, he starts to tell the truth. And people like it! Because of his new-found popularity, he's persuaded to run for President, which he does wit
Lucy McCoskey
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what if a candidate for president didn't really care if he won or even if he became a candidate. what if he cared more about integrity, telling his truth, never going negative, never even using a teleprompter or a speechwriter. bonuses for me were that he's from Salem, In, like my husband; lived in Bloomington, where I worked; and referenced Indianapolis, where I live.

was this book written just for me? well, maybe...
Rich Baker
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought this was a clear case where the narrator made the story much more interesting than the writer. This is a story that would be fascinating if it was based on true events. But as a piece of fiction I didn't find the appeal. To me it was more of a thought experiment into what could happen if someone managed to win over the votes of the American public while going against the grain of all conventional campaigning wisdom. A few plot points wer ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A somewhat humorous look at presidential politics. Congressman Evan Gorgoni (D-IN) is about to leave politics but when he talks to the senator who is planning to run for president he decides to run. He runs a quirky (off the reservation) campaign: no TV ads, no negative remarks about other candidates, no speech-writer, and a $20 limit on donations. His reality-based platform: no promises, zero population, climate change, healthy diets, and no mammograms. Gorgoni is an unlikely candidate-- usuall ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vegan
Darn. This book about a well-intentioned vegan politician's race for president which ends with a handful of recipes suffers from slow pacing. It's a political thriller without the thrill.

Unfortunately, although it was timely to read about an election and fun to have a vegan candidate that was not enough to carry the story.

The author expresses some good ideas in his character's campaign, however:

"But I am going to knock myself out trying to provide Americans with good education, good jobs, and go
Richda Mcnutt
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you are (as I am) somewhat or thoroughly frustrated with the stasis of our political system today, this book is for you. Imagine a candidate for President who always tells the truth (even if it's "Probably Not," or "I don't know,"). Imagine a candidate who is vegan (imagine the response from the cheese and meat lobbies). Imagine a candidate who delivers speeches off the top of his head with no prepared notes, no teleprompter, and sometimes no idea what he's going to speak about as he steps up ...more
Richard R., Martin
In this season of political mudslinging this book is a good antidote. Evan Gorgoni, a Congressman, enters the race for President because none of the other candidates should be in that office. But he enters with a handicap -- he is committed to always tell the truth even if it is "I don't know!" and will not attack the other candidates. The book is filled with humor and hope, and even if I don't always agree with Gorgoni's assessment of the situation, it is refreshing to encounter truth, honesty ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Merzer's comic, clever imagining of what it might be like if a politician were actually honest with the public about what they could accomplish. Merzer gives the protagonist a sharp wit, and the characters and dialogue are engaging throughout. Additionally, the question of whether America would consider electing a vegan First Family was very entertaining. I had trouble putting the book down. ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty Political Spoof

This fast-paced, delightfully written novel spoke to my political and gastronomic leanings. Very timely as we approach the next presidential election. If Al Gore had had Gorgoni's wit and people skills, he would have easily won the election. Bonus - recipes included at the end of the book!
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Witty and relevant novel that often had me laughing out load. The presidential candidate, Congressman Evan Gorgoni, is a candidate who speaks the simple truth and in so doing confounds his team, the media and oftentimes the electorate. This was an enjoyable read.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Very timely novel about an unorthodox presidential campaign. I would not have voted for Evan Gorgoni but he did raise some interesting concerns about problems facing our nation in respect to national personal health and environmental impact.
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Actually a 3.5. This was an interesting read especially during this crazy, crazy election season! Evan was pretty well developed but I felt his wife Caroline, certainly an important character, seemed thinly developed.
Jacqueline Kawate
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting novel about a very unconventional Presidential candidate who says what he believes and doesn't accept campaign contributions over $20. Sound familiar? Though not quite a 4 star read, I would give it 3.5. I liked it, it is worth reading. ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read, particularly in this political season. Reading it leads to aspirations of change in our political process. It felt sometimes like you could almost plug Bernie Sanders name in for one of the main characters. It opens the door to possibility. Highly recommended.

I read the sample which indicated the main character was quitting politics. I was on board with that bec I'm not a fan but as the book progressed he returned to the political scene. I really couldn't work up any interest. My problem, not the book's.
Barbara Q
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. Fast, funny, relevant, interesting, given it was published in 2014. Oh, if only Trump were a maverick more aligned with Evan Gorgoni, the presidential candidate in the novel. For we have seen and been forced to accept that a maverick can surprise us.
Leila Fusfeld
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laugh out loud funny

This is a cute and refreshing story. I found myself church Klingon often, and sometimes guffawing. It was light and enjoyable.
Julian Pecenco
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
I really wanted to like this book, but found it to be kind of silly in the end.
Rachel Mowrey
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Off the Reservation is a great read! I recommend this book to anyone who loves witty humor. It is a fast and enjoyable read. It gave me a whole new perspective on the world, truly fascinating.
Anthony Clark
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
A panoply of absurd liberal fantasies do not a novel make.
Robert Franzoi
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I had high hoped for this one. It started out really interesting and didn't really build toward anything. Then it just sort of ended. Well, at least I got some nice vegan recipes out of it! ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great entertainment. Cut the population growth! Some of what he says makes sense. None of it would ever be voted into actuallity, but I love it!
Off the Res

Awesome. Full of political info. Laugh out loud funny.
Can't say I agree with all his ideas, but some really hit the big problems facing this country today.

It will make a good B movie and is a mediocre novel and a good ad summer read this election year.
Helen Frances
A couple of flaws - nothing about race relations, nobody knew that the main character and his family were vegan, the wife's first marriage was kept secret for twenty-odd years. ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silly political satire - perfect for this ridiculous election year. (Really 2 1/2 stars)
It's Easy Being Vegan!
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fun read. Vegans and environmentalists will love this book!
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting scenario. Clever. But improbable.
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Loved this book... 1 5 Mar 25, 2015 09:16PM  

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Glen Merzer grew up in Bellmore, N.Y., and was educated at New College in Sarasota, FL, Indiana University, Boston University, and the University of Alabama. His latest book is OWN YOUR HEALTH, with recipes by Chef AJ.

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