The Municipalists by Seth Fried

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 3/17/19- 3/18/19

I heard about this book through Book of the Month. I honestly think this book should be a movie. I mean, at this point it is practically already been made, but I could totally see us using CGI to make this book a featured film.

Anyway, this book follows Henry Thompson, an United States Municipal Survey agent in Suitland, MD, who discovers that agents from their Metropolis office are behind a terrorist attack on the MD office. He then gets chosen to investigate the defection in Metropolis and put an end to future terrorist attacks with his partner OWEN, the computer system who has been modified to have a personality. As they begin to investigate, they discover that things aren’t as simple as they thought, and I can’t find a way to finish what I want to say without giving spoilers so I’m going to shut up now.

One of the things I absolutely love about this book is that Fried discusses the political disadvantage of helping poorer communities. While I don’t want to go into a lot of details because the points made play a large role in the ending of the book, I will say that it is really easy to feel when you are on the bottom that nobody is helping you get better, they are only helping you stay at the bottom. (Side note: if you want to know more about that sentiment in today’s society, check out Maid by Stephanie Land) After reading this book, it gives me an interesting perspective about what it means about being ahead and about what it means to be behind when looking at a city in political terms. It also showed me that governments and the people are probably looking for two very different things for the future of the city. (Also side note: I am in no way, shape, or form trying to encourage you not to help others. In trying to justify my thoughts, I just wrote a full rant that included my political views, and while that is all great and good, I don’t want to publicly post them on this blog. So what I will say is that this post shows that this book made me think about a point of view that I hadn’t considered before and we are going to leave it at that.)

I also enjoyed the ethical dilemmas brought up in the novel. Again, I am not going to go into a lot of details because this book gets dropped tomorrow (3/19/19) and I want to encourage you to read it, but I will say this book makes you think. And in a lot of ways, the lines you draw in the sand throughout the book get blurred. It gives you many chances to pick your poison, while still keeping the story arc.

There is also so much wit in the book, and the characters are so enjoyable. I absolutely loved this book, even though it is not a book I would have chosen for myself. I would give it 5 stars out of 5, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it.

If you guys have any thoughts about the review, feel free to leave a comment. And as always, if you want to talk to me privately, feel free to e-mail me at Thanks for reading, and I will see you with the next book!

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