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The Body Politic

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of The Interestings and A Little Life, this keenly felt and expertly written novel by the author of the “savvy, heartfelt, and utterly engaging” (Alice McDermott) Bed-Stuy Is Burning follows four longtime friends as they navigate love, commitment, and forgiveness while the world around them changes beyond recognition.

New York City is still reg
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Metaphorically, body politics is government functioning as a human body with all parts working in harmony. To take this concept a bit further, body politics is also the struggle for agency over one’s own body. One of these characters grapples with his lack of control over his body as determined by physicians who can find nothing physically wrong yet the symptoms persist. This undiagnosed, debilitating condition mirrors the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in terms of trauma. Another fin ...more
Theresa Alan
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a unique, unusual novel. The characters and their circumstances are complex. David, Tazio, and Tess have been good friends for years. Tess and David got married, but the last several months of their married lives have really given a lot of meaning to the “in sickness” part of their vows after David takes a fall and is chronically dizzy and fatigued, leaving Tess to be the breadwinner and the caretaker of their young boys and also her husband.

Part of what makes this book different is the
I shelved this book to read on August 7, 2019 and couldn't wait to read it. It's hard to express properly, but I knew this book was going to be something special, although a tough read. The publication date for The Body Politic was 03/03/2020 and that was my 38th birthday. I mention this because TBP is a story of us older millennial/young Gen Xer's who are struggling in the climate we live in today to find our place. 9/11 knocked everything off balance and while things won't ever be the same, it ...more
Amy Poeppel
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an interesting read!! Brian Platzer's novel shows how inextricably linked our physical, emotional, and political selves can be. As the four central characters confront their mistakes, traumas, misfortunes, and life choices (both good and bad, deliberate and accidental), they come to terms with what has driven them toward and away from each other throughout their lives. Through their heartache and joy, Platzer examines the times we live in and what it means to be a good spouse, a good parent ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cannot stress enough how critical it is for you to be in the right mindset before reading this book. It's not that it's awfully sad or tragic, but you will not get the amount of enjoyment I got from it if you aren't ready to dive in headfirst. But if you are prepared to tackle The Body Politic, then what a ride you will go on!

I seem to be praising this book like it's a thriller, but it's very slow-paced. There are only four main characters, and the majority of the book is the character's thoug
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Body Politic is a literary page turner that manages to both entertain and provide insight on relationships, sickness, and politics. I LOVE this author!
Edward Jacobs
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb sophomore effort for the exceptional Platzer.
It's exciting to see how Platzer's voice has evolved from his first novel, Bed-Stuy is Burning.
A must read.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I don’t think I was in the right headspace for this book and I really should’ve thought about that before I picked it up. With all the uncertainty in the world I’ve been gravitating to lighter reads and this one was pretty heavy and depressing which is just not what I need right now. It’s not a bad book, in fact the writing was strong, but between the heavy subject matter and the feeling that the storyline was a bit scattered, I just couldn’t get into this one. I will say that while the characte ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brian Platzer has crafted an engrossing novel that wisely explores the nature of love and the challenges of marriage and child rearing in the modern world. He reveals the fault lines that threaten our relationships and the ways in which our primal bond to our children drives us.
The Body Politic proves itself, as Platzer says, an illuminating and pleasurable “vacation in other people’s stories.”
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another incredible book, written by my favorite author, Brian Platzer. The Body Politic is a riveting page-turner that I could not put down. A definite must-read! Put it on your book club lists immediately!
Brian Platzer
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this totally engrossing novel, Platzer has once again created characters who are realistic, recognizable, flawed......and wonderfully unforgettable.
Andrew Palmer
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Body Politic is vintage Platzer: humane, hilarious, precise, unflinching and dark, dark, dark. I loved it.
Genevieve Trono
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Body Politic is a unique and candid character-driven novel that dives into the complexities of marriage, friendships, careers and how interconnected our physical and emotional selves can be. 

While much of the novel follows main character Tess, we also meet David, Tazio, and Angelica whos lives have been interwoven since their post 9/11 college years. We follow these characters as they navigate mental and physical health issues which are all interwoven with contemporary politics. 

This book is
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very well written and thought provoking read with complex characters, but I don't think I was in the right frame of mind when I read this, therefore I didn't quite enjoyed reading it. But it's still a 3 maybe 3,5 ...more
David Paul
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was a huge fan of Platzer's "Bed-Stuy is Burning" and was eagerly awaiting his follow-up. "The Body Politic" lives up to all my expectations -- Platzer's sharp, clear writing style and his wonderfully complex, three-dimensional, not-always-lovable characters are paired here with a heartbreaking story of illness and recovery. It's unlike anything else I've read, and I'm excited for the world to discover it now as well! ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, compelling read about the trajectory of a web of friendships and loves, and how a sudden demise in health -- one that parallels the catastrophic outcome of the election -- dramatically changes their lives. Platzer's vivid prose leaves readers eagerly turning the page to learn about how the characters become who they are, and how they can move on in the midst of challenges that often seem insurmountable. ...more
Christina (‪‬ ‪a_politicallyreadgirl‬)
So many feels come from one book and enlightens the mind on so many topics of marriage, friendship, careers and how we evolve over time. I saw the politics, the common core knowledge of the landscape and appreciated the amount of intelligence that was placed in writing a book that looks all over the spectrum. Then the book went beyond and focused on a friendship, marriage, life choices, how particular influenced people and their decisions. I was emotionally intertwined and captivated.
Georgia Clark
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An unforgettable read. The expertly rendered central characters of Tess, Tazio, David and Angelica hold the entire world under their skins. This unflinching novel explores with a tender, exacting heart the hurt we do to others, and the hurt we do to ourselves. In a post-Trump era, Platzer is concerned with how we live in such dark times, and in his signature style, the answer is never black and white.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel stunned me. The characters and the world are wildly compelling, and it for sure gave me new insight into the betrayal of sudden illness. But it also made me think about the kind of person I am and want to be, and expectations in general. Also, kid can write. I'd give more than five stars if I had them. ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Goodreads and Atria books for this ARC.

Got to page 64 and couldn't finish it. This book was not for me I guess. The plot looked interesting and liked the concept of the couples and how they went to college together and still were friends and two of them were married and the other still single.
Ken Platzer
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly--I couldn't put it down. ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I just finished Brian Platzer’s latest novel, THE BODY POLITIC, a few minutes ago. Based on the title, I was thinking I was about to read a novel about how the aftermath of the 2016 election results impacted a group of young people’s lives. As someone who is very involved in local politics, I was drawn into what I thought was the major theme of the book: politics.

But to my surprise, and delight, I got a lot more.

The book has things to say about betrayal, jealousy, trauma, and yearning to be ha
Gerard Masci
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, one of the best titles for a book I've ever read and Tazio is definitely the best character name I've come across! To put it simply, The Body Politic was a great read and I can't wait for Brian's next release. ...more
Jonathan Dascal
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I heard the author give a reading from
the book. It was really intriguing and whetted my appetite. I can't wait for this release so I can read it, cover to cover.
Melissa Laidman
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book sounded fascinating from the description, and for the most part lived up to it. The four characters, two men and two women in a group of friends/acquaintances go back and forth from their Post 9/11 College/early adult years to their Post Trump election middle-age years. They are just about exactly my age so a lot of it was relatable. The characters were well developed with complicated histories and motivations. . I definitely invested in the characters and the story and really enjoyed ...more
Eli Stillman
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best book I've read all year! ...more
Matthew Buckley Smith
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny and smart and terribly sad, this is a rare example of a novel in which contemporary politics can is depicted vividly without ever dominating the narrative. Speaking as one who lives in a small town in the South, I don't think I've ever found a social novel set in NYC to be quite this true to life as I recognize it. A fast read that will linger for a long time afterward. ...more
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
**Thank you to Atria Books for the free copy!**

WOW! I had zero expectations going into this novel and I was completely blown away. If you’re a fan of novels set in NYC, filled with beautifully-flawed characters who have a lot of history with one another, this is your book. I could hardly put this down, y’all! The writing is so, so good.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book deeply engaging, and finished it within no time. The author gives each character their due and there was not a point where I felt the plot could have progressed faster or slower than it was paced. Would thoroughly recommend!

I received this book due to a Giveaway.
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Brian Platzer is the author of BED-STUY IS BURNING ('17) and THE BODY POLITIC ('20) from Atria/Simon & Schuster, and THE TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF HOMEWORK ('20) from Avery/Penguin Random House. Brian has an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and a BA from Columbia University. His writing has appeared often in the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well ...more

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