Posted by Literary Titan
Public Opinion’s goal is clear. Pettijohn wishes to write an expose on the seedier aspects of the Hollywood elite whilst also writing an entertaining novel. He is one hundred percent successful.
The protagonist, Melvin (or is it Herbert?) is a modern-day chameleon and con man. He claims to be an IT consultant to the Hollywood elite but in reality, he is a grifter and con-man. His specialty is acting as a go-between for blackmail, where he likes to play both sides. He is also a public opinion hit man for hire. Give him a target and he will troll anyone’s good reputation into the dirt. For enough money, he’ll get you sent straight to jail.
Despite his moral reprehensibility, Melvin is a likable protagonist, even if in any other book he would be the villain. He is charming and witty with a worldview that makes a certain amount of twisted sense. He has dirt on everyone and he’s only scamming bad people who deserve it, so what’s the harm? He is also arrogant and selfish. Totally destructive to those he claims to love. Everyone has it coming.
As Melvin’s reputation as a modern-day Mr. Fixit improves he is pulled deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood. Soon he’s no longer just a petty con-man but someone who helps cover up the worst kinds of crime imaginable. Soon Melvin’s already shaky moral compass is completely lost. Maybe he’s not as good as he thinks he is.
The villains in the book are too many to count but are obviously inspired by modern-day monsters like Weinstein and Epstein. The book is an expose on the ways these powerful men stay in power and those who help them.
Public Opinion is an excellent book but it’s not for the faint of heart. It is salacious and graphic. Pettijohn pulls no punches and certain scenes may upset some readers.
I spent the entire book rooting for Melvin to succeed whilst also rooting for him to fail. He is a protagonist who appeals to our baser urges. When the ending comes, it isn’t really a surprise, but it feels well earned. Any other ending to such a story would have felt false. I enjoyed Public Opinion immensely. Pettijohn knows his stuff and makes a good guide and an even better storyteller.
Pages: 264 | ASIN : B0B1PFWP9X
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