Fiery Seas Publishing (2017)
Reviewed by Ben Green for Reader Views (12/17)
“Roll the Dice” is a “fictitious” and timely look inside the American political process at a time when the traditional rules of the game no longer apply. Author Wayne Avrashow has created an intriguing and entertaining read that delves deeply into American politics and takes a look at the dark side of how campaigns are won. The book is clearly fictitious, but Avrashow's experience as a campaign manager inside the political process clearly shines through the story.
“Roll the Dice” tells the story of Tyler Sloan, a celebrated candidate who decides to run for office. Of course his campaign is plagued with all the stuff we have come to expect like backstabbing, sex scandals, and funding issues. What makes all of this special though is Avrashow's attention to detail. You truly feel like you are following a real campaign and that this book could have been a "behind the scenes” look at any of the recent presidential candidates' runs.
Avrashow also creates a well-based read that is hard to put down and while there are plenty of nuances, the book rarely feels stiff or dry. One real issue I have is that Avrashow's characters feel a bit cookie-cutter. Take Sloan, for instance. He is exactly what you would expect from a celebrated candidate and exactly what you need to move the story forward, but Avrashow never really flushes him or any of the other characters out completely. Most of them feel like they are strategically placed to move the story. This isn't a huge issue since the real focus here is the campaign and political process itself, and that is easily enough to make this a good read. The only other issue I have with “Roll the Dice” is that stakes never seem high enough. I know this may sound silly but literally, the only thing at stake here is who wins the election…so you know, just the White House. This in some ways goes back to the characters issue because we never really feel like the world will end for any of them no matter how the votes come out. Even if it would have ended, I never felt like I would have cared.
To conclude, “Roll the Dice” is a good read and even better if you're into politics which it seems like currently, everyone is. Wayne Avrashow brings a lot of realism and detail to the campaign process and it is a great commentary on the current political process in the United States. It is a smooth read that is highly enjoyable and timely.