Why I wrote Wriggly Rex

by Lew Dodgson on 11/19/2008

If hypocrisy is the funniest behavior, then politicians who campaign publicly on values they betray privately are the funniest natural comedians. “Wriggly Rex” Wrigley is a study in hypocrisy, “With affection beaming in one eye and calculation shining out of the other,” as Dickens put it.

The story viewpoint is of Ernst, an idealistic young Midwesterner, who tries to reconcile Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative with the real world of politics. He joins a self-serving politician in a preposterous crusade. He meets a free market entrepreneur and his captive think-tank philosopher wo want to roll back democracy.

Rex’s campaign captures cynical religious support from fundamentalists who scorn Rex’s private behavior. “Campaign strategists” overwhelm real issues with fabricated smears and money. And Rex’s opponents, who believe that “God helps those who help themselves,” supply snares and traps.

As the author, I found that the characters expressed their personalities in completely unexpected ways. Wheelchair-bound Bunny and Rex’s long-suffering wife Blanche were two of my favorites. I could never keep them under control.

I loved writing about Rex, the self-serving hypocrite, and the other characters trapped with him in his world. Political hypocrites have an endless capacity for fooling themselves. I hope Wriggly Rex gives readers a few more tools to keep from being fooled.

But, of course this book is a work of fiction, and the characters bear no resemblance to actual politicians, who are much worse.

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Since the Amazon release, reader comments stress the sharp dialog, funny situations, and crazy characters.

  • “The funniest political novel I’ve read in a long time,” from LA. “No matter how crazy the situation they find themselves in (and there are wacky situations aplenty in Rex Wriggly), you can count on the characters to fire off a hilarious one-liner or a sharp observation that puts everything in a new perspective. It’s a funny book, but it also gives an insightful look at human nature, the quirks of the campaign trail, and youthful idealism.”
  • “Sit down, relax and be prepared to laugh,” from Georgia. ” Wriggly Rex:Amoral Leader provides a satirical view of our politicians and our political system.”
  • “A hysterical look behind a campaign dream”, from Florida “Wriggly Rex…delivers laughs seasoned with reality…How could you not laugh?”
  • “All in all it is a thoroughly entertaining book,” from Alabama. “Wriggly Rex: Amoral Leader by Lew Dodgson is a delightful satire poking fun at the election process…and politicians.”
  • If you’ve ever wanted to read a book about what a politician that should not be or what you wouldn’t want in the political office speaking for you, then you’ve got to read this book,” from Virginia.

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