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What You Will on Capitol Hill

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It begins with the panicky thoughts in an actor’s head as the curtain rises on a performance of "Twelfth Night" in Washington DC at which most of the characters – senators, slam poets, billionaires, mercenaries, actors, lobbyists – are either performers in the play or members of the audience. Karen is a peace lobbyist desperate to put forward an amendment that might entice It begins with the panicky thoughts in an actor’s head as the curtain rises on a performance of "Twelfth Night" in Washington DC at which most of the characters – senators, slam poets, billionaires, mercenaries, actors, lobbyists – are either performers in the play or members of the audience. Karen is a peace lobbyist desperate to put forward an amendment that might entice military contractors into building infrastructure rather than weapons. Jonathan is an actor whose big break may be happening that night as an understudy in the play. Harry, an unlucky-in-love Shakespeare scholar, falls for a best-selling travel writer sitting next to him. János, a jaded Hungarian diplomat, and Bartholomew, an uber-confident slam poet, are both blindsided with passion for the leading actors on stage. Love, lust, mistaken identities and valiant idealism draw this unlikely grab bag of lovers – ranging in age from twenty to eighty – into lobbying for Karen’s bill. Their efforts bring exuberant romantic entanglements as each confronts the quandaries of opposing war and discovering love in a world of armed drones and random emoticons. PRAISE Richard Tillotson tells a delightful story of love and politics. How do lovers, young and old, find each other in the tech-mad 21st century? How to give peace a chance? "What You Will on Capitol Hill" is a playful field guide to lobbying the government and to wooing hearts. – Maxine Hong Kingston Author of "Woman Warrior" and "The Fifth Book of Peace" Lives and philosophies collide, leading to romantic infatuations, rivalries and self-revelation. Tillotson’s commentary on the performative aspects of politics, media and even personal relationships is as astute as it is timely. . . . Tillotson’s dark humor and satire are also delightful. – Kirkus Reviews Wait ’til you see his updated twist on Malvolio’s cross-gartered yellow stockings. It’s truly inspired … In “What You Will on Capitol Hill,” what you get is a thoughtful, witty, and exquisitely entertaining comedy of manners that’s exactly as you like it. – The Literary Hill A terrific job! These are authentic characters, and the description of the lobbying process fits well with what I have experienced on the Hill. An opening line in one of Martin Luther’s books says, "Only humor and ridicule will drive out the devil." I think the serious but humorous love stories in this novel may make the devil uncomfortable. – Joe Volk Executive Secretary Emeritus, Friends Committee on National Legislation


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It begins with the panicky thoughts in an actor’s head as the curtain rises on a performance of "Twelfth Night" in Washington DC at which most of the characters – senators, slam poets, billionaires, mercenaries, actors, lobbyists – are either performers in the play or members of the audience. Karen is a peace lobbyist desperate to put forward an amendment that might entice It begins with the panicky thoughts in an actor’s head as the curtain rises on a performance of "Twelfth Night" in Washington DC at which most of the characters – senators, slam poets, billionaires, mercenaries, actors, lobbyists – are either performers in the play or members of the audience. Karen is a peace lobbyist desperate to put forward an amendment that might entice military contractors into building infrastructure rather than weapons. Jonathan is an actor whose big break may be happening that night as an understudy in the play. Harry, an unlucky-in-love Shakespeare scholar, falls for a best-selling travel writer sitting next to him. János, a jaded Hungarian diplomat, and Bartholomew, an uber-confident slam poet, are both blindsided with passion for the leading actors on stage. Love, lust, mistaken identities and valiant idealism draw this unlikely grab bag of lovers – ranging in age from twenty to eighty – into lobbying for Karen’s bill. Their efforts bring exuberant romantic entanglements as each confronts the quandaries of opposing war and discovering love in a world of armed drones and random emoticons. PRAISE Richard Tillotson tells a delightful story of love and politics. How do lovers, young and old, find each other in the tech-mad 21st century? How to give peace a chance? "What You Will on Capitol Hill" is a playful field guide to lobbying the government and to wooing hearts. – Maxine Hong Kingston Author of "Woman Warrior" and "The Fifth Book of Peace" Lives and philosophies collide, leading to romantic infatuations, rivalries and self-revelation. Tillotson’s commentary on the performative aspects of politics, media and even personal relationships is as astute as it is timely. . . . Tillotson’s dark humor and satire are also delightful. – Kirkus Reviews Wait ’til you see his updated twist on Malvolio’s cross-gartered yellow stockings. It’s truly inspired … In “What You Will on Capitol Hill,” what you get is a thoughtful, witty, and exquisitely entertaining comedy of manners that’s exactly as you like it. – The Literary Hill A terrific job! These are authentic characters, and the description of the lobbying process fits well with what I have experienced on the Hill. An opening line in one of Martin Luther’s books says, "Only humor and ridicule will drive out the devil." I think the serious but humorous love stories in this novel may make the devil uncomfortable. – Joe Volk Executive Secretary Emeritus, Friends Committee on National Legislation

33 review for What You Will on Capitol Hill

  1. 4 out of 5

    Herb Kelly

    A peace lobbyist, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, a closeted Hungarian diplomat, a Shakespearean scholar, an Academy Award winning gay British actor, a young understudy with his first chance for recognition, a slam poet, a popular female author, a beautiful actress, a billionaire widow and philanthropist, and a boorish TV talking head walk into a bar. What could go wrong? Actually it was not a bar but instead a production of Twelfth Night. Karen McKenzie, who walks to work A peace lobbyist, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, a closeted Hungarian diplomat, a Shakespearean scholar, an Academy Award winning gay British actor, a young understudy with his first chance for recognition, a slam poet, a popular female author, a beautiful actress, a billionaire widow and philanthropist, and a boorish TV talking head walk into a bar. What could go wrong? Actually it was not a bar but instead a production of Twelfth Night. Karen McKenzie, who walks to work to lessen her carbon footprint and whose office walls have pictures of doves, is lobbying for a small jobs rider to a bill in the nation’s capitol. She knows how hard her job is. Why is she so motivated? What You Will on Capitol Hill seamlessly weaves together all of the book’s characters into Karen’s quest. As the journey progresses the reader is treated to a rich interaction of misunderstandings that include a leitmotif of who is in love with whom. Will Janos Horvay open the door of his closet as his career as a diplomat is concluding? Who will Clare Jones, she of $20,000 dresses and a black eyepatch, end up with? How does Bartholomew, the slam poet, figure into the outcome of Karen’s windmill-tilting? Can Harry Carmody descend from his ivory-towered Shakespearean life in order to express his love? And what of Karen who misreads a relationship that threatens her personal happiness? You will discover answers to these puzzles while you read What You Will on Capitol Hill. You will follow Karen’s uphill battle against the military industrial complex power elite whose office walls bristle with trophy photos. Will she succeed? Will she have only a Pyrrhic victory? What sweet revenge is visited upon Frank Fitz, the basso produndo TV buffoon? So many questions. You will read this quickly to find out how the author stretched his imagination to give you pleasure. This book is so good that if you haven’t already read his first book you will seek out Acts of God While on Vacation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  3. 4 out of 5

    Frances

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paige

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Gunning

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  9. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julia Conway

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ainy K

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  14. 4 out of 5

    Skhan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Pooser

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Barkhouse

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dasha

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  25. 5 out of 5

    NormaCenva

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan's Picks For Today Blog

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stella Clarkson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melitta Cross

  29. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Albert Frier

  31. 4 out of 5

    Siu

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  33. 4 out of 5

    Betty

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