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Taft 2012

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews

He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his passion for peaceful diplomacy. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. Regular folks can identify with his larger-than-life physique. And all the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is. There

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Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,832)
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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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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
Jacqie
Oct 24, 2011 Jacqie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Rob Walker
May 13, 2016 Rob Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-2016
As if Frank Capra and Rod Serling had decided to collaborate on a story, TAFT 2012 tells the story of a revived William Howard Taft as he navigates the political pitfalls and cultural quirks of the 21st century and its people (some of whom want him to return to the White House).

The concept of TAFT 2012 is engaging enough, but you will certainly fall in love with the title character, the portly successor to the louder and more thrilling Teddy Roosevelt. This Taft is warm and charming, doing his b
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M.J. Ryder
Jan 28, 2012 M.J. Ryder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Donald
Jan 07, 2012 Donald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Deanna Against Censorship
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.
David
Nov 15, 2014 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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Laura
Mar 25, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Georgette
Feb 16, 2012 Georgette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome
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
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Paul Mcfarland
Feb 13, 2012 Paul Mcfarland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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Joe Strnad
Apr 18, 2016 Joe Strnad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book to read if you are amused by politics. The author Heller does a fine job mocking the two-party system, 24 hour news media and campaign contributions. This is a comment on the politics of today rather than an alternative history "what if... sci-fi" story. I found myself laughing out loud several times and wanting to learn more about the administartions of Teddy Roosevelt and Wm Howard Taft.
Scott
Dec 04, 2013 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  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 ☔
Feb 27, 2012 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kinksrock
Interesting premise, but poorly executed. Taft has been in hibernation since he was kicked out of office and pops up again in 2012.

I'm not sure who will be interested in this novel other than presidential history buffs, and it requires that you set aside Taft's accomplishments since leaving office (like becoming a Supreme Court Justice). Too much of the novel focuses on Taft's enormous appetite, although it does throw in factoids interesting to us presidential history buffs.

Taft appears to hav
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Brian Palmer
Part alternate history, part political satire. Parts of it were pretty interesting, but there were a few random scenes that really bothered me. The premise is pretty straightforward: in this world, after William Howard Taft lost the election in 1912 to Woodrow Wilson, he mysteriously disappeared. And then, almost one hundred years later, he reappears.

As a political satire, it's about as sharp as the movie Dave. Those clowns in Washington the boardrom are at it again. What is up with airline pr
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Bonnie
Jul 29, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2014 aoi aka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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
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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
Aug 29, 2013 Lexi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An excellent premise, well executed. This was a quick and interesting read that combined history, politics, and some laugh out loud humor.
Tracy
Taft 2012. You pretty much don't need more than that title to make up your mind about reading it or not.

A light, quirky satire that primarily revolves around William Howard Taft suddenly waking up still alive in 2011. You witness Taft awkwardly adjusting to modern life including visiting Chicago and sleeping with a bartender! That alone is worth the price of admission. And pretty much it...along with some attacks on the food-industrial complex.

It's not OMG GREAT, but it's amusing and quick.
Kevin Axe
Dec 28, 2014 Kevin Axe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My bookstore received and failed to sell an advanced copy of this book, so when the book officially came out, I took the advanced copy home with me, based on the plot, which involves William Howard Taft disappearing at the end of his first term, only to appear at the beginning of the 2012 presidential election season. This book makes a humorous and successful attempt to satire American political discourse and to salvage Taft’s reputation—although now remembered solely for his heft, Taft was obes ...more
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
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Tracy Shapley
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 countr
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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
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Matt
Apr 24, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.
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