Robert Wilder’s ‘Flamingo Road’ is fictitious tale of a fictional town, Truro, with fictional characters. However, the political activity that is the foundation of this story was and is very real and happens all the time. The wondrous job Wilder does is plot the political actions taken throughout the book. As someone involved with politics, I can write Wilder does an excellent job.
Where I feel Wilder slips is over writing his narrative. It’s a problem that exists more today. There were many places where an editor should have pulled back Wilder’s reigns.
The characters are very well done. The sadistic depiction of each character is a highlight of Wilder’s work. The setting of Florida is well written. I wish he’d selected an actual location. Even an actual County. I understand the corruption that is involved, but he could have been a bit more specific. The town name of Truro is puzzling, too. The explanation is likely to be found in a Wilder interview of some such.
A bit about the film version. Too bad Shirley MacLaine wasn’t available yet for such a role. She would have been perfect as Lane Ballou. Wilder’s writing fits MacLaine so well, it’s surprising it’s impossinle for him to have known of MacLaine when he wrote the book around 1940, nearly 15 years before MacLaine started film work.
Bottom line: I recommend this book. 8 out of 10 points.