Over at The Daily Beast, Scott Simon reflects on how his 2008 novel about scandalous Chicago politics, Windy City, was a prescient look at the Blagojevich scandal:
My novel Windy City (Random House: 2008) opens with the mayor of Chicago assassinated by a pizza (deep dish, artichoke, and prosciutto, to signal that this is today’s Chicago, not Al Capone’s old town). Over the course of the story, there are sting operations, sex scandals, bribes and a suicide.
I would have drawn the line at having a governor try to sell a Senate seat, as if he was hawking a stolen widescreen TV from the back of a truck. In these days of email surveillance, wiretaps, and the 24-hour news cycle, who would believe such a thing?
I thought Windy City was kind of a generic political novel, but I bet, if I'd waited until the current scandals to read it, it would probably seem a lot better. But the best writer about Chicago scandals is Mike Royko. His book Boss, about the first Mayor Daley, is one of the best books ever written about political corruption. Hell, like the Breslin blurb on its cover says, it's one of the best books ever written about an American city. You should check it out if you want to learn about Chicago politics.