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“Busted Flush ”

★★★★★

written by Harriet Klausner on 16/01/2005

Busted Flush
Brad Smith
Holt, Feb 2005, $24.00, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0805076506

Everybody in Coppers Falls, New York, has an explanation as to why Dock Bass left town, leaving his social climbing spouse and the realty job she pushed him into behind as he resents one and hates the other. In fact, no one is close to the truth why abruptly Dock, who enjoys fishing and cards with beer, left town. Simply, the letter from the Pennsylvania attorney gave Dock a reason and means to skip for he has inherited a farm in the Gettysburg area.

On his new homestead that needs immense cleaning, Dock finds nineteenth-century treasures, especially valuable Civil War artifacts, but the prize is an apparent recording of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address. For someone who sought mellow, Dock finds he becomes the center of a storm with the media, treasure hunters, avaricious "friends," and his greedy wife.

Using hyperbole to exaggerate traits, Brad Smith provides a biting satire on America where everything from the Blair House to the Lincoln Room to an Inauguration is on sale. Nothing is sacred, regardless of what it might be as there is a price for everything as unassuming Dock learns during the shark-infested frenzy. Fans of wild lampooning and historical buffs (while cringing with the for sale sign) will enjoy this sharp-edged tale and ponder could Monica's dress be E-Bay bound?

Harriet Klausner

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