This is a very timely book that ridicules our elections and how they are conducted. Two Republican candidates are pitted against each other. Both are running unorthodox campaigns in order to be nominated by their party for the Presidency; both campaigns and their campaign managers think nothing of using underhanded methods to achieve that goal. As the campaigns are explored, the corruption that exists across the spectrum is exposed. There is a constant set up of good cop, bad cop, and no one is actually innocent in this book. The author pretty clearly seems to be presenting the case that everyone has a price and everyone can be bought once it is agreed upon. Campaign operatives care only about winning. Media cares only about capturing a juicy headline.
I found the book to be biased since it concentrates on demonizing only one party, the Republicans. It could easily have explored the campaigns of Democrats and Republicans in an election, but it chose to shine the spotlight only on the GOP. It is fairly obvious from the descriptions of the characters, their backgrounds and lifestyles, that the author wants you to think of certain candidates running today, in 2016. He has merged many of the most negative characteristics into one male candidate while casting the other one as one who seeks to rise above the fray. She, actually, in many descriptions, resembles a Democrat in our current race, which further stresses the author’s political views and one-sided approach. In many ways, since it was written prior to the actual nomination of the Republican candidate, it was prescient about the broader tactics used in campaigns, and in the rhetoric and rancor that is displayed currently.
The crude language used and the vulgar scenes described, place ethics and morality in the background, lost in the dust of the greed and power grabbing by all. It seemed as if everyone felt mistreated or short changed for one reason or another. What I found particularly disturbing in the book, was the pointing of fingers at only one side, when, by and large, the left is engaged in gutter politics, as well, and some might even believe, to a far greater extent, than the right. Once again, I felt as if I was being confronted by an author who was trying to influence the reading public to follow his particular political views by demonizing the party he disagreed with and presenting them in the most awful light. Most often, as the author tried to manipulate the reader and tried to portray the dishonesty and offensive practices of that party he chose to highlight, he stooped to the very same odious behavior in order to drive his point across.
Since it seems to be set sometime in the future, in a time when Google has been broken up into smaller pieces, perhaps it was truly intended to simply be a spoof on our current Presidential race, and in that case I would give the author the benefit of the doubt and not judge him too harshly for being biased. The characters certainly were intended to resemble and exhibit the personality traits of some very recognizable current candidates, even though their names were not directly mentioned. On the other hand, if it was meant to demonize one side over the other, giving the left the upper hand, then I find the book’s premise personally indefensible because it presents only one side. As a spoof, I take no offense, but if it is a political statement, I find it to be nothing more than blatant hypocrisy and favoritism, if not outright prejudice.
The author refers to the Republicans with insulting comments, and he even questions the female candidate’s sexuality. The utter blindness and devotion of the ideologues is emphasized in various ways throughout the narrative. The anger and bitterness that pervades the political atmosphere is obvious and in that way authentically represents today’s current political environment. The news media is portrayed as mere headline seekers, and pretty much nothing more, with the presentation of actual honest news truly sitting on the back burner. At all costs, the author portrays winning and gaining power as everyone’s main ambition.
Did I like the book? I have to admit, not very much. The one-sided presentation, foul language and cheap sexual references detracted from what could have been an interesting and humorous presentation of our political process which, unfortunately, seems to be slowly deteriorating under the weight of power hungry, arrogant candidates and their acolytes.