Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The State of Wyoming: Episode 6 -- GILLETTE by Gillian Will

The State of Wyoming: Episode 6 -- GILLETTE
by Gillian Will

My rating: 5 stars
Series: The State of Wyoming - Book 6
Publisher: Fifty States Press (April 3, 2016)
Publication Date: April 3, 2016
Genre: Satire
Print Length: 20 pages
It’s Scandal meets Seinfeld. A political comedy set in Washington, D.C.

It’s a book for people who like TV. A serial novel structured like a television show, with individual complete episodes that each also contribute to the ongoing story.

In 2011, the Obama Administration embarrassed itself by mistaking Colorado for Wyoming on the map of a speaking tour in western states. Voila, the Fifty States Program!--fifty new federal patronage jobs, one for each state, all housed in cubicles at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

The millennials in these jobs call each other by the name of their states, and none of them are exactly what you’d call on the ball. Wyoming--that’s our man Elliot Vance-- could qualify for the slacker Olympics. He’s the grand-nephew of former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, but prior to being given a States job by his wealthy father he got kicked out of an English lit Ph.D. program for insisting on doing his dissertation on 1950s pulp author F. Bob Goddard. Elliot dates Regina Wilshire, a WASP-American princess who’s pushing for marriage, and his two best friends are Delaware and Nebraska. He’s never actually met his Director, whose secretary Vivian is a titch on the crabby side. Elliot’s nemesis would be Tara Travis, the slinky blonde Republican aide to Wyoming congressman Bull Wheeler.

In Episode 1 Elliot was blackmailed by Tara into flying to Laramie to do some actual work. In Episode 2 the Hells Angels, who saw Elliot in Laramie on CNN, asked him to stop earthquakes. Nebraska, him of the 21-inch neck, had a girlfriend problem, the first of his life. In Episode 3 the Bureau of Land Management used helicopters to round up wild horses in the Checkerboard Lands, and Vivian needed a sex change reversal. In Episode 4 Elliot acquired an enemy in Cliff Atwater, younger cousin of the famous Republican dirty trickster. In Episode 5 Regina kicked Elliot out. A conspiracy theorist claimed that Lewis and Clark visited Wyoming on their famous 1803-6 expedition.

In Episode 6 Vivian is targeted by the CIA for elimination. Elliot takes the walk we never thought he would.

 The State of Wyoming: Episode 6 -- GILLETTE
by Gillian Will
The State of Wyoming: Episode 6 -- GILLETTENo big secret, I love this serial! Not sure if it is because these characters pull off just enough in a few pages to hook me in for the next volume, or what. I DO know that author Gillian Will has a sharp sense of humor, pulls off some intriguing twists and never ceases to amaze me with her wit and feel for satire. Washington D.C. at its fumbling worst.

And yet, there is always something special happening, moments of kindness, shock and clarity that helps define who these characters are. I have to say it, Elliot is growing up, gaining a conscience and starting to care about his state and Wyoming has some pretty intense issues, from fracking to wild horses to water issues and Elliot manages to somehow make things happen while still being one of the cool kids in the group.

These little chunks of stories are priceless and could well make for a hit show on television, although I like to set up my own lights, camera and action in my mind!

Gillian Will has a gift for writing that is like a breath of fresh air. You will chuckle, you will roll your eyes and you will cringe at where your taxpayer dollars are going. Most importantly, you will be entertained!

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