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Book Review

‘Corn Poll: A Novel of the Iowa Caucuses’


By Zachary Michael Jack Ice Cube Press Sept. 15, 2015 $21.95 500 pp

By Zachary Michael Jack
Ice Cube Press
Sept. 15, 2015
500 pp

Turn off your phone, don’t answer the door, and crack open the quirky political scene created by Zachary Michael Jack in his new book, “CORN POLL: A Novel of the Iowa Caucuses.” Follow Jacob “Press” Preston, a journalist from Denver, Colorado, as he cruises through the Iowa political landscape and meets the unforgettable cast of folks he finds in the small town of Hereford. The names of the characters are enough to evoke a chuckle  — Mort McGreedy, Chuck Sousage (rhymes with “corsage,”) and candidate Rochelle Boxman. There’s the usual love interest — will Press pair up with the fast-talking, east coast journalist Amethyst Gilchrest or the wholesome Iowa farm girl/waitress/newspaper editor’s daughter Katie Clark? Sent to cover the Iowa caucuses by his editor Geoff Hickenlooper (Hick for short), Press needs to learn the system fast while steering clear of party politics. He unwittingly becomes an overnight sensation after introducing the idea of presidential candidates competing for a sort of Cy-Hawk trophy called The Silver Steer. The Steer — not to be confused with any bull — soon takes on a life of its own, appearing on YouTube videos and eventually as a write-in candidate. If you like puns, small-town life and corny Iowa humor, you will love this book. Best of all, if you are tired of listening to presidential candidates make promises they probably won’t keep, “Corn Poll” provides a hopeful alternative with thoughtful — and maybe even revolutionary — insight as to what makes our first-in-the-nation caucus system worthwhile.

Michael Zachary Jack will be at Hotel Pattee in Perry on Friday, Jan. 29 and at Beaverdale Books on Saturday, Jan. 30. Visit: or call 279-5400 for details. CV

Jan Danielson Kaiser is a lifelong resident of Iowa and avid reader of books, both fiction and nonfiction.  She has had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of great writers and claims she has never met an author she didn’t like.

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