Seth Greenland's timely novel is a smart and darkly amusing dissection of the American political establishment in all its sordid glory. Set in the hardscrabble California desert community of Desert Hot Springs and the manicured enclave of Palm Springs, the novel lives at the intersection of the political dissaray of today. In this sun-blasted territory, with its equally arid culture, a fiercely contested congressional election is in progress. The wily incumbent, Randall Duke, is unburdened by ethical considerations and his opponent, Mary Swain, is a sexy and well-financed newcomer who does not have a firm grip on American history or elemental economics.As election day nears, the exploitable backrounds of these two canadidates are teased out by the desire to one-up each other. The campaign gets carried away when the personal escapades of friends and family spill over into the election, including lesbian love triangles, and sudden spititual enlightenment. The Angry Buddhist convincingly explores mendacity in its modern American forms: contemporary politics, middle class sexual mores, the criminal justice system, and the limits and cost of filial love. Greenland is able to mix satire with crime to produce humor that is vibrantly caustic and subjects that are alarmingly authentic.