Norman Mailer. Hunter S. Thompson. David Foster Wallace.
All Stephen Markley ever wanted was a reason to use their names in a book blurb.
In November 2011, the nascent author and journalist attended a Republican presidential primary debate in Rochester, Michigan, wishing to see first-hand one of the most outlandish, jaw-dropping, eye-brow-raising primaries in American political history. The author of “Publish This Book” took his seat in the media filing center, set up his laptop, and uncapped the complimentary tin of M&Ms. Then he ate a bunch of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
After that, things — obviously — got weird.
From a verbal sparring match with the chaste being that resides behind Rick Santorum’s sail-shaped nose to an encounter with bodyguards the size of Lone Star State cattle to a sweat-streaked, hair-tearing freak-out in a gymnasium shower stall, his experience inside the carnival theater of Election 2012’s most memorable presidential debate will make you laugh, cry, dream, and despair. What Markley brought back from that debate is an essay not only about a political party and a presidential election but an entire rotten generation of policy perfidy and economic magical thinking — a report from an ideological faction with a demonstrated disconnect from reality that even Gore Vidal could not begin to appreciate. You know, unless he was on shrooms.
A perfect storm of youth and passion, recklessness and imagination, “The Great Dysmorphia” will take its place in the annals of unconventional, unbridled, uncensored, totally f***ing bizarre American campaign literature.