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Taft 2012

A Novel

Heller, Jason

(Paperback - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Taft 2012
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HE'S BACK. AND HE'S THE BIGGEST THING IN POLITICS. He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his peaceful, progressive practicality. The media can't get enough of his larger-than-life personality. And all the American people love that he's an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is. There's just one problem. He is William Howard Taft . . . and he was already president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012?nbsp; A most extraordinary satire, Jason Heller's debut novel follows the strange new life of a presidential Rip Van Winkle: a man who never even wanted the White House in the first place, yet finds himself hurtling toward it once more--this time, through the media-fueled madness of 21st-century America. nbsp;
Published: Philadelphia, PA : Quirk Books, c2012.
ISBN: 1594745501
9781594745508
Branch Call Number: F HEL
Characteristics: 246 p. ;,21 cm.

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Nov 27, 2014
  • gsh7768 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a book that I will re-read again. I will also look for other books by the same author.

Jul 21, 2012
  • pw1040 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Quirky and a good premise. Left much to the imagination, that is, not a well filled out narrative. Basically a short story stretched out into a small book. Can be read in one weekend part time.

Jul 05, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette

May 29, 2012
  • KARENCHALMERS rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fun read, interesting view on US politics and modern life

Mar 22, 2012
  • JimLoter rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A high-concept political satire that imagines a 2012 presidential race after William Howard Taft inexplicably emerges from a 100-year hibernation. Taft's combination of progressive conservatism appeals to a politically polarized electorate and inspires the grass-roots "Taft Party" - an obvious nod to the Tea Party. The scenes of Taft's re-entry into the modern world are quickly dispatched with very little of the "OMG airplanes television cellphones Internet!" hoopla, which is welcomed. But the lack of development of supporting characters, multiple subplots that never develop, a brief and somewhat creepy digression into a road trip, and an underwhelming finale all disappoint. The style is breezy and the book is composed of both straightforward narrative and "mixed media" (news transcripts, biography excerpts, tweets, blog posts, etc.) which combine to give a good sense of 21st century fragmented attention. Fundamentally, however, the satire doesn't really bite - the chief "controversy" is related to the relatively safe and cartoonishly rendered processed food industry. In short, "Taft 2012" is a slightly amusing and somewhat clever but ultimately disappointing alternative history take that will have a short shelf-life.

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Jul 05, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The US Presidential election is ramping up (not that US elections ever seem to ramp down), and while the Donkeys and Elephants battle it out, author Jason Heller provides an alternative candidate in his newest novel: William Howard Taft, he of the portly proportions and handlebar mustache, the former US President of 1909-1912. According to history, Taft was a fair and principled President who felt honour-bound to complete projects often to the detriment of his own career – which turned out to be near political suicide. Although he lost his bid for a second term in a humiliating defeat, he did go on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a post he claimed felt more suitable.
In his novel, however, Mr. Heller takes some liberties with Taft’s biography. What if, after the humiliating defeat of 1912, Taft had simply disappeared without a trace? Only to ‘awaken’ and reappear, on the White House lawn, 100 years later, just as another election is starting up?
Heller does not bother digging into hotbed political issues in this satire, focusing on how a man-out-of-time comes to terms with both his past and newly-found present, a present which includes a great-granddaughter of mixed race, Franken-turkey, and Tweeting. He intersperses Taft’s inner story with media tidbits (including tweets) that indicate how the country is reacting to the election and to the reappearance of a politician who historically had so much integrity. Heller imagines that this integrity would appeal to grass-root folks (like the Tea Party), but that the Taft of 2012 would be as naïve of 21st century political machinations as he was of those in 1908 – as in fact the “Taft Party” turns out to be as well.
The result is a quickly-read, light satire of American politics – not enough to arouse the wrath of any political party, but just enough to allow, say, America’s neighbours to have a little chortle – and perhaps wistfully wish for such a politician in their own country. Find Taft 2012: A Novel under the tag “shelf life reviewed” at http://spl.bibliocommons.com ~Robyn Godfrey, Collections Librarian

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app09 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52