Big If: A Novel

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2002 - Fiction - 315 pages
20 Reviews

A scary, funny novel—a riff on recent history and the American obsession with assassination.

It's winter in New Hampshire, the economy is booming, the vice president is running for president, and his Secret Service people are very, very tense. Meet Vi Asplund, a young Secret Service agent mourning her dead father. She goes home to New Hampshire to see her brother Jens, a computer genius who just might be going mad—and is poised to make a fortune on Big If, a viciously nihilistic computer game aimed at teenagers. Vi's America, as she sees it in the crowds, in her brother, and in her fellow agents, is affluent, anxious, and abuzz with vague fantasies of violence. Through a gallery of vivid characters—heroic, ignoble, or desperate—Mark Costello's hilarious novel limns the strategies, both sound and absurd, that we conjure to survive in daily life.
  

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Review: Big If

User Review  - Jack Waters - Goodreads

Mark Costello's hard-boiled political story tale as prescient and present today as it must have when it was published in 2002. I also think he was robbed of the National Book Award, a mere finalist to ... Read full review

Review: Big If

User Review  - Andy - Goodreads

A couple of intriguing premises, one involving a sort-or behind-the-scenes scenario at a computer game company and the other an inside look at a team of US Secret Service agents, compose a story which ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

1
9
2
24
3
31
THE PRIMARY
43
4
47
5
69
6
97
7
121
11
176
the wave monday afternoon
197
12
199
13
215
14
232
15
250
gotv tuesday
261
16
263

the bluffs monday
133
8
135
9
147
10
164
17
277
18
289
19
300
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Mark Costello, whose first novel, Bag Men, was written under the name John Flood, lives in New York.

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