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Taft 2012

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  884 ratings  ·  244 reviews
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
...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Quirk Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,656)
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Jacob
January 2012

The bathtub story. The goddamn bathtub story. William Howard Taft will never live that down. He vanished on the bitter day Woodrow Wilson took office and reappeared, enormous and dirt-caked, on the White House lawn nearly a hundred years later...and people are still talking about the time he got stuck in a bathtub.

What's a newly resurrected ex-President to do? Taft never wanted much in life--heck, he never even wanted to be President--but in this brave new world of bitter politics a
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Jacqie
I was ready to like this one- maybe even for the scifi book club? But no. The writing was clunky. Taft acclimated to 2012 after his hundred year (unexplained) nap far too well. His language wasn't quite different enough. And while I'm willing to believe that Taft has had his character assassins, this character was too perfect. He seemed to be just the mouthpiece for the author's "moderate" beliefs. I think the scene where Taft slept with a biker chick was supposed to be funny, but I found it utt ...more
Lee Razer
I love the idea of this book as I understood it before reading it, but don't much care for the execution. If only I had read the acknowledgements page first, in which the author thanks his editor for giving him this idea, and mentions that this first time novelist is the previous author of The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. Oh. That would have seriously adjusted my expectations of what kind of book this was; less serious yet playful examination of American politics by an inspired novelist, and m ...more
M.J. Ryder
On first impression you might be forgiven for thinking Taft 2012 is a cheap “tie-in” – a work destined for the bargain basement, and cunningly crafted to make a fast buck from the buzz surrounding the American presidential election. I will certainly hold my hands up right now and admit this was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read the blurb:

He’s back. And he’s the biggest thing in politics.

He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican resu
...more
Laura
I had never even heard of this book until today. I stopped at the library this afternoon to return Bossypants and Swimming Upstream, Slowly. I had just gone for a run not twenty minutes prior, and my chubby self still needed a bit of time to recuperate, so I wandered around the library's new books section. Once I saw the cover, I had to take a peek.

Taft 2012is a "science fiction/alternate reality meets saucy political commentary" novel. Former President William H. Taft decided to lie down and ta
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Jim Loter
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 l ...more
Georgette
This book was great. I like alternative history- because, well, it's alternative history. And I'm a nerd and like history. Anyway...
William Howard Taft- disappears while heading out to the White House lawn to hear Woodrow Wilson's acceptance speech....in 1912.. and never returns. All of a sudden, flash forward to 2012...and there's Taft! Back from wherever he was(it's never completely established, but that's part of the fun). To a completely new and unhinged(in his eyes, compared to 100 years ag
...more
Paul Mcfarland
This book, the first by Jason Heller, is an odd combination of Science Fiction and Alternative History. As Science Fiction it requires us to believe an impossible thing; that William Howard Taft vanished after his one term as president and reappeared on the White House lawn in 2011. In point of fact, President Taft lived out a full and useful life and died on March 8, 1930. The Alternative History of the novel is the reaction of President Taft to finding himself alive in the twenty-first century ...more
Stephen

In another world, William Howard Taft vanished from history after his presidential term. Rather than going on to become a Supreme Court Justice, he simply -- disappeared. He became the world's most famous missing man, at least until 99 years, whereupon he sprang up from the muddy ground of the White House lawn, interrupting a press conference given by President Obama before being dutifully shot down by the Secret Service. Fortunately, when you weigh close to 400 pounds, you carry your own kind o
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Joel Neff
Taft 2012 is part history lesson, part political commentary, part indictment of the food industry, and part quirky fantasy. Taken individually, each part would be interesting enough, but as a whole, they blend into an odd little tale about the people we choose to lead us.

The story centers around William Howard Taft, his unexplained disappearance in 1913 and his sudden reappearance in 2011. Far from being just an unwilling time traveler, Taft is a reminder to the populous of what the nation used
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Donald
What would happen if President William Howard Taft—the 27th president of the United States—suddenly reappeared in modern day America? How would America react, and how would it affect the presidential race of 2012? Author Jason Heller tries to answer these questions in the comic novel Taft 2012.

This novel was fun while it lasted—unfortunately, it didn't last long. Clocking in at only 249 pages, it didn't explore enough of the possibilities that were possible, and in fact, the ending was so abrupt
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Scott
Dec 04, 2013 Scott rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: quit
I had looked forward to reading this one for quite some time, but barely made it halfway through. I don't quit a book lightly, but I'm sorry. I think 146 pages is more than an adequate chance and I really, really wanted to like this. Unfortunately, this just wasn't doing it for me. I found the epistolary parts of the book much stronger than the author's attempts at straight prose, which seemed clunky and pretty unimaginative (save of course, for the central conceit of the book, which I suspect t ...more
Kasa Cotugno
I chose this book because it was described as being for "Vonnegut fans," but i should have read further in the description. Had I done so, I would have realized it would not be my cup of tea. There are some good ideas here, but the execution is slapdash and doesn't hold the reader's interest. The idea of resurrecting Taft to take the reins for the Republican party in 2012 makes about as much sense as the current list of potential GOP candidates, but I couldn't get past the fact that the author h ...more
Diane S.
This book was just pure fun to read. I usually shy away from political novels, but am so glad I made an exception. Reading his views, over 100 yrs later, on things such as television, cell phones, our food and other things was just so darn amusing. Since people are so discontented over our present political situation they even start a grass roots effort to get him elected again. Kept thinking how are they going to end this? The ending was satisfying if not a bit preposterous, but than again so i ...more
Danielle Mohlman
I was really terrible at History in high school. And I feel like I’ve spent the last seven years trying to catch up. I’m a huge nerd when it comes to this sort of thing. In the middle of reading this book, I went with my friend to the National Portrait Gallery and when we got to Taft’s mug, I recited that Taft never wanted to be President, that he had his sights set on the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And then apologized for being a know-it-all and explained that I was reading ...more
David
Book deserves praise for actually following through with the absurd but amusing premise, for making some interesting points about politics and American politics in particular, and for humanising and redeeming a humorous, slightly embarrassing footnote in history. Most people might make a joke about Taft running for elections in 2012 after his failure in 1912, but Heller wrote a whole novel about it.

Writing has a pillowy fanfiction feel (hard to avoid with what really is "historical figure fanfic
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Deanna also on Leafmarks because I miss Marco
I wanted to like this book. The idea was intriquing. Sad to say, I found it dissapointing. The little side writings of memos/news articles/TV commentary etc was distracting. They moved the story along, but were a cheap trick that a better writer would have avoided. After a jump of 100 years into the future, Taft ajusted to the 21st Century with little trouble. I pushed myself to finish this book.
Bonnie
Lots of fun! Time travel and US Presidents... what's not to love? I was cracking up at Taft trying to use Twitter. There were a couple small things that bothered me in the book, but I didn't focus on them long enough to really put my finger on it, the idea was too much fun.
aoi aka
I read this too long ago to remember much about the novel.

I do remember feeling that the ending was too abrupt. Through the novel Taft is told he has to run for president. The current candidate of the time is an oaf who seems to be backed by a shady business which was never really explored further in the novel.

Taft reaches a moment, close to the end, when he decides that he's not the right Taft to run for office, and leaves it to his descendant. She's better equipped to take center stage. He hel
...more
Nicholas Lubofsky
This wonderful and unique book is perfect to read during this campaign season. Not only is it entertaining, it's really thought-provoking, causing me to re-examine my ideas about government, society, and life. Bravo!
Lexi
An excellent premise, well executed. This was a quick and interesting read that combined history, politics, and some laugh out loud humor.
Jenna Anderson
A Review From Someone Who Doesn’t Follow Politics

When I was offered a review copy of Taft 2012 from Quirk Press, I said, “Yes, of course.” I enjoy all of their books. They have sass, imagination, and laughs.

But I don’t follow politics… Hm - I’m actually the type of person to walk away from a conversation at a party if it turns to debates, election polls, the state of the economy, etc. I also leave the room if my husband turns on one of the many political talk shows.

Sorry, I just don’t like pol
...more
Agnes Mack
I received my copy of Taft 2012 from the publisher, and it was definitely a book I was really looking forward to. Did I enjoy it overall? Yes, I did. However, I can't help but feel that it could have been better executed.

The story is that of William Howard Taft, former president, who wakes from a 100 year slumber to discover that politics as usual are not quite what they were when he was in office. It's no surprise that the media jumps all over the story, which leads to Taft touring the country
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Brad Wheeler
For some reason, I always want to sing Queen's Flash Gordon theme song with Taft's name. "Taft...whoa-ohhhh...savior of the universe! "

Anyway, the book: it was okay. Taft was a well-realized character for the most part, and they handled his whole "transportation to the future" thing pretty well. There were no elaborate scenes of him gawking over Google or airplanes or whatever (except for a funny scene with Wii Golf). And he felt appropriately old-fashioned without being a parody. Heller obvious
...more
Matt
A cute alternate history tale that takes the reader along a few divergent paths; what-if Taft returned, the role of political parties in 1912 versus 2012, and the evils of processed foods and how their support is ruining America (read: the World). Truly some interesting soapbox fodder, but also a cute aspect to really make you think, while not bringing on a headache.

Heller posits what might happen if William Howard Taft were to simply reappear after he failed to show up for Woodrow Wilson's inau
...more
Gerri Leen
This is not the kind of book I would normally pick up, but the reviews on it were so good and the premise sounded promising, so I ordered it. I'm so glad I did. It's an Alternate Universe, fish out of water, tale (also a slam at Big Food, which is fine with me), with the premise of: what if President William Howard Taft disappeared during Wilson's inauguration (actually went to sleep in the ground--details aren't important, so just go with that) and woke up in 2011, in the midst of the 2012 elec ...more
Kim Herrington
Interesting premise for a political satire. President William Howard Taft is suddenly alive 100 years after he disappeared on the day that his successor Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office. In the aftermath of his reappearance, a grassroots political group The Tafties forms and begins a campaign to re-elect him as Obama's successor. Taft and his granddaughter, a congresswoman, hit the campaign trail, but things don't work out like he or the Tafties hope.

This book definitely has it's moments
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Mark Stevens
"TAFT-2012" is a marvelous, free-wheeling fantasy.

Covered in mud, William Howard Taft literally resurfaces from a long hibernation. He's an "oversized mammalian figure" behind the White House South Lawn Foundation and he approaches a press conference underway on the lawn.

(This detail from the Classified Secret Service Incident Report, Agent Ira Kowalczyk. Heller intersperses this tale with transcripts of radio and television shows; a biography-in-progress of the 27th president; personal notes; p
...more
Don Martinez
Heller has politics which I can sympathize with. One party disagrees with me, the other party is slowly trying to push everybody *like* me out, which would leave a politician like poor, befuddled William Howard Taft caught in the middle ... and immensely popular.

I really liked the culture-shock element of this book, which I think stands as a strong satire of our political system. I was confused for a while about why Fulsom Foods kept getting mentioned, but as you go along it becomes crystal clea
...more
G-Man
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

The story begins with the interesting premise of William Howard Taft re-awakening in time for the 2012 election. Most of the book revolves around his difficulties assimilating to life 100 years in the future from the world he left behind, and seems to rely too heavily (pun intended) on his struggles with his weight and hunger. As a history buff, I would have preferred that this was a fact-filled tome that takes us into the psyche a
...more
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I'm a Denver-based writer who contributes regularly to The A.V. Club and Alternative Press. Quirk Books will publish my debut novel, Taft 2012, as well as a series of middle-grade horror books (to be announced). I'm also the nonfiction editor of Clarkesworld Magazine and am represented by Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency.
More about Jason Heller...
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook Descended from Darkness (Book of Apex, #1) Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 90 Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 81 Pear Noir! (#1)

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