In the past decade few American novelists have displayed the originality, the sense of adventure, and the storytelling magic of Thomas William Simpson. Now the author of This Way Madness Lies and The Gypsy Storyteller extends his literary powers, spinning an uproarious and often disturbing tale about a place called America, and all the fools, dreamers, villains, and heroes who have made it what it is.
It's dawn in America. At least it's dawn in the Blue Mountains, where the nation's eyes are turned. Because on this day, January 20, 2001, Inauguration Day, a man who is spectacularly unqualified to be president - a man who's only thirty-three years old, who wants his mother to be vice president, who has never held a job, and has no apparent political point of view at all - is about to be sworn in as the forty-fourth president of the United States.
Several problems, however, block William Conrad Brant MacKenzie's entrance to the Oval Office. First, the rumor mill is flooded with talk that Willy may be insane or at least emotionally unstable. Second, the Supreme Court has refused to recognize his election because of his age. And third, even if Willy is inaugurated, he may have a difficult time presiding over the nation. As the twenty-first century dawns, the United States is in a rapid state of political and social decline.
So how did Willy MacKenzie, scion of one of America's wealthiest and most eccentric families, get elected in the first place? To find the answer, Mr. Jack Steel, a renegade broadcaster, Willy's own personal Mephisto, takes us on a journey through the twentieth century. We meet Willy's robber baron great-grandfather, Ulysses S. Grant MacKenzie; his reclusive, war hero father; his mother, a strong and magical woman with an Iroquois ancestry; and Dawn, the great love of his life. Skillfully and cunningly, Steel weaves a story of a nation in transition, of war and peace, of political skullduggery and environmental disaster, and a generational struggle crowded with ambition, corruption, and lost innocence.
As the journalist speaks, and more than one hundred years of American history flash by, the suspense mounts around Willy's inauguration. Will Willy MacKenzie actually take the oath of office? Or is he only a pawn in a grand and sinister scheme?
In the Thomas William Simpson tradition of irresistibly readable fiction laced with a hard edge of social satire, Full Moon over America is a family saga unlike any other. For in this funny, sprawling, unconventional novel, the family is our own - and the saga is unfolding right now.