Not Enough Indians

Overview

A Los Angeles Times bestseller in hardcover. Not Enough Indians is the bitingly funny satire about a down and out town who tempt fate by having themselves declared a sovereign Indian nation and opening a casino. Funny, smart, antic and scathing, Not Enough Indians is a hilarious sendup of the American dream.

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Overview

A Los Angeles Times bestseller in hardcover. Not Enough Indians is the bitingly funny satire about a down and out town who tempt fate by having themselves declared a sovereign Indian nation and opening a casino. Funny, smart, antic and scathing, Not Enough Indians is a hilarious sendup of the American dream.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Reminiscent of works by Carl Hiaasen and Christopher Buckley, this debut novel by Harry Shearer (a former writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live and an actor in cult-classic mockumentaries like This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind) is a comically caustic cautionary tale about the residents of a dying Upstate New York town and their desperate quest to redefine the American Dream.

Blending political satire and pop culture parody with -- strangely enough -- elements of crime fiction, the plot of Not Enough Indians is as unlikely as it is hilarious. The fictional town of Gammage, New York, is eerily similar to countless rural communities in the northeastern United States. Hit by corporate downsizing, outsourcing, factory closures, etc., the citizens of Gammage know they're in desperate straits. Wal-Mart won't even consider opening a store there! But when smooth-talking town official Dick Dirigian fatefully meets Las Vegas hustler/real estate developer Tony Silotta, a plan to save Gammage is formulated -- a scheme so outlandish it just might work! With officials at the Bureau of Indian Affairs under a mandate to be more "Indian-friendly" and begin officially acknowledging the more than 200 unrecognized Native American tribes, Dirigian and Silotta get the townspeople of Gammage to petition for tribal reservation status. Once they are recognized as the long-extinct Filaquonsetts, they can open up a casino and start raking in the cash. But being the site of the world's largest Indian casino comes with some unexpected drawbacks…

Featuring ruthless organized crime thugs, disingenuous politicians, unscrupulous town officials, and even an NHL expansion team called the Scalpers, Not Enough Indians is sure to provide endless fodder for fans of political satire. Paul Goat Allen
Tom Perrotta
As any writer whose last name isn't Rowling or Grisham will attest, publishing a book doesn't usually pose a serious threat to one's status as a non-famous person, so it's safe to speculate that the arrival of Shearer's first novel -- an engaging political satire called Not Enough Indians-- probably won't turn him into a household name. But the book should serve as a welcome reminder of Shearer's extraordinary versatility as an artist and solidify his reputation as a keen-eyed comic observer of American life.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Shearer, probably best known for his work on The Simpsons and This Is Spinal Tap, sets his farcical first novel in the world of Native American-owned casinos. After being "savaged by downsizing, by outsourcing, by plant-closing," the citizens of withering Gammage, N.Y., successfully petition Washington to be recognized as the Filaquonsett tribe so they can build a casino. Their gambling operation has a negative impact on the casino of a neighboring tribe, and that tribe settles the score by having a toxic waste dump built next to the Filaquonsett casino. It's a silly setup, and Shearer uses it to beat home points about greed, materialism and ethnic identity. The book often becomes a morass of easy one-liners ("the process was proceeding at a pace that glaciers and snails would envy"). Stereotypes about Italian-Americans and Native Americans similarly fail to go over the top, instead occupying the queasy middle ground between funny and unfortunate. One bit of inspired nonsense involves a group of diaper-wearing grownups (they consider holding DiaperCon XII in the Filaquonsett reservation), but the scatological humor won't be enough to pull readers through. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This first novel by comic and actor Shearer of Simpsons and Spinal Tap fame is a satirical account of the fictional upstate New York town of Gammage. Facing financial strife, the city council decides to refashion the town's citizens as a Native American tribe (co-opting the name and traditions of the long-extinct Filaquonsetts) so that they can open a lucrative casino. Shearer's depiction of small-town politics and federal bureaucracy is spot-on, and there are a number of laugh-out-loud funny lines. But Shearer doesn't really know where to go with his audacious premise, and the story loses steam about halfway through. And while depth of character isn't necessarily required in satire, Shearer's main technique of characterization seems to be describing people's hairstyles. As Shearer is expected to make the rounds of the talk-show circuit to promote the book, there may be some demand, so purchase where interest warrants.-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Master satirist Shearer, of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame, debuts as a novelist with this droll tale of the modern Indian casino business. Painting with the broadest strokes, Shearer takes us to an upstate New York town where nothing has happened for a long time. The plants have closed. Anyone with any ambition has split. Even Wal-Mart can't be bothered to destroy one of the town's plentiful meadows. But Gammage has a few aces in the persons of a school-district head of dubious credentials and morals; a youngish mayor "lost in a world where all the logical easy fixes have failed"; and a snake-oil salesman who could sell a rosary to Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Noting that a Connecticut town full of evidently non-Indian people has managed to get itself declared a tribe and thereby open a thriving casino, the good elders of Gammage make connections with a Vegas tycoon who may or may not be Mob-connected and a Bureau of Indian Affairs bureaucrat who fast-tracks Gammage into the Filaquonsett Nation. Gammage soon boasts a casino to rival any in Atlantic City, but things, of course, don't work out quite as planned: The gods and humans alike conspire to ruin every local's dreams, while skin-shedding, backstabbing, forked-tongue outsiders make a killing. Tossing off jokes ("the buzz in the room after Dr. Gardner finished his talk was electric enough to run Ed Begley Jr.'s house for a year") and political zingers (Washington's Reagan Office Building "was built as a monument to the Republican Party's champion of small government, and forty thousand small governments would fit nicely inside it"), Shearer has a fine time lampooning just about every institution and piety modern America has to offer-even NPR.A pleasing debut, even if the spectacle of Michael Eisner action figures chills the soul.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786292646
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 281
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Inside the creative mind of Harry Shearer is a little bit of everyone—including a profoundly overblown heavy metal bass player, the boss of a cartoon nuclear power plant, a cloying suburban neighbor, an unctuous television anchor, and Richard M. Nixon, among many others. Shearer is not a legendary schizophrenic. Rather, he's one of America's foremost humorists, observers, and chroniclers of contemporary lives. Whether he's playing a role in a major motion picture, writing a screenplay, creating a comedy television show, or performing on radio, it's his job to out both the humor and humanity that always, he believes, dwell within.

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