All Her Father’s Guns by James Warner

A right-wing gun lover falls for a Lacanian psychoanalyst/Romanian emigrĂ© while trying to bring down his pharmaceutical-abusing ex-wife’s run for office, even as their daughter makes a decision that could destroy all of them.

“He had five sons by about nine different women” was the phrase that made me fall in love with the satire and humor of All Her Father’s Guns. James Warner’s ability to spin a sentence in an unexpected direction would make this book a crazy wild ride even if he’d chosen more sedate characters and subject matter.

But Warner has no interest in taking the easy way out. He tells the story from the point of view of two characters: Reid, a failure of an intellectual who has no idea how to live in the real world, and Cal, the father of Reid’s depressed girlfriend Lyllyan, an extreme right winger who loves his guns with the same ferocity with which he hates his ex-wife Tabytha, herself a train wreck of a political candidate with more skeletons in her closet than Rush Limbaugh and Ted Haggard combined.

Even though every single character in this book commits at least one act that should make me hate them, I ended up falling for all of them and wishing them happiness in the crazy world they made for themselves. And it’s always refreshing to discover an author with such a hedonistic appreciation for the glorious insanity that life has to offer.

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