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Verbatim: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 1 2010
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"Jeff Bursey has written a clever, highly innovative and highly readable novel. The satire is sharp, sometimes hilarious, the language perfectly suited to the subject - Mr. Bursey has a pitch perfect ear." -Wayne Johnston
". . . a tour de force of verbal dexterity that wields irony so deftly that the book, despite its intimidating scale, both challenges and delights." - Dalkey Archive Press
"[Bursey] gets right down to political brass tacks in his eccentric, sometimes ingenious debut novel." -; Winnipeg Free Press
". . . an innovative and insightful narrative that is an uproarious read. . . " -Arts East
"Let the record also show that this is probably about the funniest intelligent book on politics you can get your hands on these days." -; American Book Review
". . . if politics is your thing, and if you have a taste for satire, then this would be just an ideal read. . . " -Tales from the Reading Room
From the Back Cover
Verbatim: a Novel is a blackly humorous expos of parliamentary practice in an unnamed Atlantic province. The dirty tricks, vicious insults, and inept parliamentary procedures of the politicians are recorded by a motley crew of Hansard employees. But when the Hansard bureaucrats begin to emulate their political masters, the parliamentary system’s supposed dignity is further stripped away. Jeff Bursey reveals in both high and low humour how chaotic and mean—spirited the rules behind the game of politics are, and how political ’virtue’ corrupts everyone.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
“However, while the impossible may happen, the improbable can’t occur.”
Verbatim’s very funny even if, after a time, the sense of vacuum presses in—the only “documented” force in the universe outside these unleavened parliamentary chambers being the emendations and oversights of the equally bickersome Hansard transcription service—& starts to unsettle. In the rarefied catalog of fictionalized documentaries/transcriptions, it stands apart for its stubborn provincialism, and the strangeness of its achievement, which, like its tongue-tied representatives, lies in the refusal to mean anything more than what is being so expertly, relentlessly faked.
It also reminds me somehow of “The Battle of the Books.”
Well worth the dense prose, intricate minutiae and the very well-crafted bureaucratic memoranda and correspondence, "Verbatim' layers on details as the employees from Hansard begin to act more like the politicians they are recording (picking fights, personal attacks, becoming more involved with personal success than their project, etc.), slowly succumbing to the very same pettiness that they witness from the politicians - revealing just how power corrupts.