Meet Taylor Mark: a recent college graduate who has moved to Washington, D.C., to work for John Grayson, the less-than-brilliant congressman from his home district in southern California. Inadequately prepared for life among D.C.'s movers and shakers, Taylor quickly learns that Washington is a city where deals are made behind closed doors. And there's no one better to teach him -- and Grayson -- that lesson than Chase Latham, Taylor's former college roommate and the son of a powerful lobbyist. To Chase, the Beltway's bars, restaurants, town houses, and government offices are one big, debauched playground -- a land of milk and honey where secrets are currency, the sex is bipartisan, and rules and boundaries are obsolete. It's a place where, as the stakes are raised, the line between right and wrong becomes blurred and friends' loyalties are nothing more than fragments of the past.
This Is How It Starts is an incisively written debut novel about how far one postcollegiate idealist will go to be an insider in a town that is unyielding in what it will take from a person in exchange for granting him a margin of knowledge and power.
"In wickedly beautiful prose, Grant Ginder gives us a twenty-first-century morality tale that rivals any novel I've read in a long, long time. This Is How It Starts is a funny, sad, and heartfelt debut by one of America's best new writers." -- Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
"An engaging, insightful, wonderfully self-deprecating narrator holds our hand through an insider's tour of the Capitol, and Ginder's cozy, original prose gives us a portrait of disillusionment that is at turns brutal, poignant, shocking -- and always hilarious." -- Jeff Hobbs, national bestselling author of The Tourists