Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Review: Taft 2012
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended
Publisher: Quirk Books
Think a fictional book featuring a political figure just isn't your bag? Think again! Jason Heller smacks the White House on its ass and makes it his little bitch in his recently released debut novel Taft 2012.
This sweet little satire starts with Taft's unexplained appearance on the muddy White House lawn in 2011, where he seems to have just awakened from a 100 year deep sleep. After multiple tests confirm that this is indeed our twenty-seventh president returned intact and unaged from god-only-knows-where, Taft is reluctantly ushered into the twenty-first century - wireless telephones, airplanes, social media, state of the economy, Twinkies, and electronic golfing. Once the public catches whiff of Taft's presence, he soon feels the familiar rush of celebrity. Die hard supporters quickly create The Taft Party - nostalgic for the way things used to be, for the old, honest, American values - in the hopes of pushing "Big Bill" into the presidential elections once again.
The book is made even sweeter by short chapters paired with creative news and media coverage in the form of TV transcripts, news articles, book excerpts, secret service entries, and even a fictional @taft2012 twitter stream. It helps that Jason wrote William Howard Taft as this immensely lovable, slightly bewildered man who simply cannot understand the sway he still holds over the public, 100 years later. I mean, how often do you read about a character you kinda wish you could have met in real life, right? Taft felt real and down to earth while still managing to exude this sense of worldliness about him. I would love to snag a cup of coffee with the guy and pick his brain on the pros and cons of America then and now.
A political premise with some sci-fi thrown in for fun... Taft 2012 is a cleverly enjoyable, never gimmicky, read for readers of the left wing, right wing, and no-wing persuasion alike. It's an equal opportunity novel and I recommend you pick it up and give it a whirl. If you manage to grab a copy soon, you might still catch the man behind Taft 2012 in the Author/Reader Discussion taking place right now over at TNBBC. If you're unsure, why not hop on over to the discussion now and see what our readers are saying about it?
Still not enough for you? How bout feasting your eyes on these book trailers?
Did I mention how extremely timely the novel is? With the new presidential hoopla going on in the "right here and now", how can you NOT want to read this book? And with all the #ows and #sopa news, why not consider the potential old school, back to basics mentality that only a 150 year old president could bring to the table?
For more info on the book, you can listen to Jason Heller speaking to the book on Twenty-Twelve and also on this NPR interview . And check out this Taft 2012 Campaign website to whet your appetite even more.