Gate City by Michael Davidow
This was an excellent novel. It tells the story of several men, primarily Henry Bell and Jack Mercer, and their involvement with the conventions leading up to the 1960 U.S. Presidential election. There are a lot of interesting ideas and philosophical questions in the novel and they are discussed by various characters so you see multiple sides. The style of the writing reminded me of classic Los Angeles noir (think Raymond Chandler) which kept the story from getting bogged down in the philosophy. Early in the novel a man (in a suit and tie) walks across a beach carrying a surfboard which is a fabulous image and set a tone for this character that held for me through the book. The next volume in the story of Henry Bell is Split Thirty which I look forward to reading.
Reading this novel was an interesting experience. The author is someone I know and when I started reading I couldn't help picturing him as the person telling the story. As I got further into the novel though the characters he created took over and I was thoroughly pulled into the place and time he created.
I am counting this book toward the What's in a Name challenge as it includes a city (by nickname) in the title.