I think McGreevy was trying too hard to impress the reader (and maybe an MFA professor/classmates) with his reinvention the gothic novel, including trI think McGreevy was trying too hard to impress the reader (and maybe an MFA professor/classmates) with his reinvention the gothic novel, including trying to replicate the complex sentence structure, obscure/archaic word choice, and narrator who speaks directly to the reader. Unfortunately, it's too obvious--Shelley, the name he chose for the giant monster of a girl who was brought back to life by a (mad) scientist/doctor--and much of it just doesn't work--so many holes in the plot. I wanted to like this book and admittedly was engaged enough to keep reading to find out how it ended, but in the end, I just thought it was okay, nothing more. Actually, I felt like the book was a train wreck that I wanted to look away from but just couldn't.
Interesting premise for a political satire. President William Howard Taft is suddenly alive 100 years after he disappeared on the day that his successInteresting 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 of humor and insightfulness, but overall I wasn't that impressed with it. Too many of the jokes, especially those about Taft's adjustment to the 21st century, were expected and even stale. The political satire leaves no stone unturned, which sometimes feels too forced. I felt like Heller was trying to skewer everything and everyone, and I thought a more limited approach might have been more effective. I did like that he interspersed the chatters with TV interview transcripts, tweets from Tafties and Taft himself--follow him for real @taft2012--and Secret Service reports.
I do think teens might enjoy this take on presidential campaigning. Plus it's a fast, easy read even though Taft was and is kind of a long-winded speech maker. :-)...more