Vote for Larry

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Vote for Larry
Author Janet Tashjian
Country United States
Language English
Genre Comedic, Political, Fictional, Romantic Novel
Publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date
May 1, 2004
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 240 pp
ISBN 0-8050-7201-2
OCLC 52766070
LC Class PZ7.T211135 Vo 2004
Preceded by The Gospel According to Larry
Followed by Larry and the Meaning of Life

Vote for Larry is a comedic political fictional romantic novel by Janet Tashjian. The book is the sequel to The Gospel According to Larry, and stems around the United States presidential election in 2004.


Josh Swensen becomes a reluctant celebrity when his anti-commercialist alter ego "Larry" gains teenage followers worldwide. Josh fakes "Larry's" own death and hides in Boulder, Colorado under the alias of Mark. When his past catches up with him, he must once again face the public as "Larry". He has difficulty maintaining his austerity, problems with his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend, a threat from his nemesis betagold, self-identity problems and the rather unusual problem of running for U.S. President. Among other problems is the problem of almost being killed by an opponent in the candidacy for president. In this book, the fictional Congress passes a constitutional amendment to lower the presidential age requirement to 18.


  • Josh Swensen: He is the Peace Party candidate for United States president in 2004. He is the main character and is known by two other names in the book: Larry (website name) and Mark Paulson (Colorado name).
  • Janine: Josh's girlfriend in Colorado, who is originally from Seattle and enjoys shopping and her dog.
  • Beth: Josh's old friend in Massachusetts. She kidnaps Josh and convinces him to run for office. First, she suggests that he should run for Massachusetts state representative but then Josh decides to run for United States president. She was dating Simon.
  • Simon: Beth's boyfriend who is a well-educated young man from England. His presence at many times makes Josh jealous of his relationship with Beth. He sings mondegreens (misinterpreted, comical versions) of Christmas carols.
  • betagold: She is a 60-year-old woman called Tracy Hawthorne who was obsessed with finding out the true of identity of Larry in The Gospel According To Larry.
  • Peter: Larry's stepfather who was formerly an ad person, but quit and became a house painter to become "more in touch with his life"

Point of view/style[edit]

The novel is written in the first person with the perspective coming from the main character, Josh Swensen. With the main character being 18 at the end of the narrative, the style comes off as plain, direct, and using language familiar to younger adults.


The story initially takes place in Colorado, but then the narrative develops into a nationwide setting. The time period in the novel begins in mid to late 2003 and ends sometime after Election Day in 2004. The time period of the novel attempts to match the process of a presidential election by following the primary schedule, the convention schedule, and other key campaign events such as fund raising and debating.


  • Peace: The political party Larry belongs to is known as the "Peace Party", and in one passage of the book Larry states, "Even if I don't win, at least the word 'Peace' was on the presidential ballot."
  • Anti-consumerism: Larry discourages the over-commercialization of goods and promotes the possession of fewer than 75 items (in constant rotation, of course). He disapproves of companies using free advertising with the logos on every shirt they make. He specifically opposes the large POLO that appears on polo shirts.


In both The Gospel According to Larry and Vote for Larry, there are extensive footnotes that contain many of the jokes.

Various events[edit]

  • Josh commits pseudocide in The Gospel According To Larry and then relocates to Boulder, Colorado and enrolls at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • The United States Congress passes an amendment lowering the age requirement for the presidency from 35 to 18.
  • Several musicians endorse Larry including Bono, Norah Jones, and Sting. Larryfest2 attempts to bring these musicians together to support Larry for President but the event is sabotaged by betagold, who faxes the musicians a message that the event was canceled.
  • Larry loses the election in a dead heat, but 92-percent of registered voters head to the polls and several Peace Party candidates and young adults are elected in state and federal offices.