Sunday, May 26, 2024

Review: The Mermaid by Marc Berlin


Genre: Political Satire


“Eli Mann yearns for an opportunity to quit his job as a coffee company newsletter writer. Making matters worse, his older sister bullies him, his elderly mother thinks little of him, and his girlfriend recently left him. A fork in the road appears when Eli meets a stunningly beautiful blonde woman, Inga Magnussen, a sales rep for a Danish wind power company. Inga and Eli, they quickly discover, share the same progressive values, and soon afterward are romantically involved. Eli’s good luck continues when an old high school friend, Turner Whitlock, asks him to research and then write an expose about the U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Tex Bullard, an extreme right-wing climate change denier who’s contemplating a run for president. Urged on by Inga and realizing that Bullard is clearly a dangerous person who could easily ruin the country if elected, Mann sets out on a surrealistic odyssey that takes him from Malibu to Aspen, and places in between. Alternately comical and sad, The Mermaid exposes the character of one man, as well as the dark underside of the America we currently live in.”


“Marc Berlin has held a variety of jobs, including social worker, media executive, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He currently lives with his wife, Heidi, in Rehoboth, Mass. When not evading the paparazzi, he can be found walking on the beach near his home, playing poker, or shooting trap.”


I’m struggling to decide what to think of this book. It makes it clear that it is satirical and I daresay those whose political leanings go a certain way are almost certain not to like it and will try to delude themselves into thinking that Tex Bullard, the bad guy in this story, is nothing like the actual people who are out there in the world today. They’d be wrong, at least if we account for a bit of potential exaggeration to make a point, after all, this is satire, right? My struggle is with Eli Mann, the “hero” of this story. Yeah, I was pulling for him, but if we’re going to be honest, he was a little slimy himself. The point, that while both sides are not the same, we’re all human and nobody is perfect. I’m also not sure what to make of the ending although, at least for Eli, I can’t really fault him for the decision he made. What that decision was and what it means, I can’t say. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


While nothing explicit there is a lot of discussion regarding adult topics and some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

1 comment:

Judi Moore said...

Is this right? "shooting trap"

No actual mermaids in the story then? Aww.