Book Review: Taft 2012


Taft 2012: A Novel by Jason Heller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No wonder Americans had devolved into such a petty, sarcastic lot. They no longer had to look each other in the eye.

I don't know much about Taft's presidency, but this book comes at a great time in our history. Can you imagine it? A Republican with Progressive values? My, how the party has changed.

The book does go into a little history of the time so you can understand where and when Taft is coming from and how he relates to existing a century later. And how confused we are!

Heller writes a few speeches for Taft that actually resonated with me. Chapter 29 is probably my favorite:

"If there is a problem with America today--as I see it--it is that we look for self-worth in consumption, rather than in the pursuit of personal achievement. I may seem a hypocrite for pointing out such a finger, for I have obviously engaged in quite a bit of overconsumption myself! Nonetheless, it is true. We cannot fill the void in our souls by stuffing ourselves with physical comfort; we can fill it only by striving to achieve excellence."

from page 240 of the print edition 
The speech goes on and Taft is accused of being a Socialist by someone who refuses to understand his clear speech.
As a satire it really speaks to what's wrong with our current election year and how disconnected Americans have become from each other, and our food. There's a running gag about GM foodstuffs throughout the book that becomes a plot turning point near the end. I won't spoil it for you. (Puns intended).

If you have a long weekend, or an hour or two a night, this book is quite the fast-paced romp and can be read quickly. The "interactive" bits were a bit distracting for me, but you can follow the "campaign" online with twitter, Facebook, and the main site taft2012.com

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Paying it Forward 
I received this book as a sweepstakes winner from Tor.com and I'd like to pass it along. Enter a comment, tweet about the giveaway (leave another comment with your tweet) and maybe even like me on Facebook for another entry. I'll use Random.Org to pick the winner.

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