Jeff Bursey


A novel

Out of stock

Verbatim: a Novel is a blackly humorous exposé of parliamentary practice in an unnamed Atlantic province. The dirty tricks, vicious insults, and inept parliamentary procedures of the politicians are recorded by a motley crew of Hansard employees. But when the Hansard bureaucrats begin to emulate their political masters, the parliamentary system’s supposed dignity is further stripped away. Jeff Bursey reveals in both high and low humour how chaotic and mean-spirited the rules behind the game of politics are, and how political ‘virtue’ corrupts everyone.

“Jeff Bursey has written a clever, highly innovative and highly readable novel. The satire is sharp, sometimes hilarious, the language perfectly suited to the subject — Mr. Bursey has a pitch perfect ear.” – Wayne Johnston

“…a tour de force of verbal dexterity that wields irony so deftly that the book, despite its intimidating scale, both challenges and delights.” – Joseph Dewey, Dalkey Archive Press

“[Bursey] gets right down to political brass tacks in his eccentric, sometimes ingenious debut novel.” – Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press

“…an innovative and insightful narrative that is an uproarious read…” – Stephen Clare, Arts East

“…if politics is your thing, and if you have a taste for satire, then this would be just an ideal read…” – litlove, Tales from the Reading Room

“Let the record also show that this is probably about the funniest intelligent book on politics you can get your hands on these days.” – Sascha Pohlmann, American Book Review

“[Verbatim: A Novel’s] upstairs / downstairs drama (perhaps onstage / backstage might better describe the machinations) follows…the cast of Honourable Members in the governing and opposition parties and their manoeuvrings on the House floor…[Verbatim: A Novel’s] structure is challenging. But there is an audience for it.”         – Newfoundland and Labrador’s Joan Sullivan in The Telegram

“Instead of over-the-top situations which many other writers may have chosen, Bursey chooses subtle satire here, and yet there’s no shortage of humour, a wealth of insight, a terrific ear for dialogue, and a book that’s a grammarian’s delight…” –Lee Thompson, author of S., a novel in [xxx] dreams

“It’s a beautiful parody and an educational expose…” – Chris Benjamin, author of Drive-by Saviours

“Jeff Bursey’s Verbatim was one of the most inspired works of fiction to premiere in 2010…”  – Chris WunderLee, author of The Loony

“A last comment: the book as an object is wonderful to hold in the hand. Beautifully produced by Enfield and Wizenty, Verbatim has a handsome cover and a variety of typefaces used to distinguish characters’ letters/memos from one another (very helpful since the hansard staff and clerk of the house are only given initials as identification).  This novel was obviously complicated to pull off in production, but it succeeds brilliantly as an artefact and as an intelligent, complex work of innovative fiction.” – reviewer



About the Author

Jeff Bursey

Jeff Bursey has worked for Hansard in Atlantic Canada for seventeen years, first as a transcriber, and then as an editor. Born in St. John’s and currently living in Charlottetown, Jeff has only ever lived on islands.