Laura's Reviews > Sammy's House

Sammy's House by Kristin Gore
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Mar 31, 08

Read in March, 2008

I liked the first one better. This one dragged a little. And wasn't as hysterically funny as the first. (Maybe my expectations were higher.) The main thing that I didn’t like about this book is the author’s blatant and almost borderline-comical bias toward the Democratic party. She never calls them by name in the book, but it’s obvious. A couple times when I was reading, I felt like saying, "OK! I GET IT!!! You hate all Republicans, and judge all people you encounter by what party label they fall under, and assume they're all the same. Let's MOVE ON!" She's lucky that her potential readers are a bit more open-minded! : )

Of course there are many “flaws” within the Democrat party that crop up in her narrative, whether it's with the party or more often, the people. She explains them all away (no matter how bad they are) with beautiful, heartfelt, almost poetic-sounding language that delves into the complexities of human nature and how they all have such “good hearts” – no matter how many people had been screwed by their actions. On the other hand, she all but blankets the Republican party with the label of “Evil”, abandons her previous flowery-sounding reasons that depict “human nature” when it comes to their motivations, and gives zero regard to the fact that they may also be doing things that they believe are in the nations best interest.

In fact, there were several instances where she totally explains away an action that was done by a Democrat character...while apparently ignoring (or forgetting) earlier in the book she had branded the same type of action as terrible when done by a Republican. (Guess the editors don’t catch everything!) Making one party (Dem) seem like perfectly-righteous moral geniuses whose actions and decisions could never possibly have ANY negative consequences (in general – there were a few exceptions) while making the other party (Rep) seem like evil-fueled automatons that never do anything remotely good...is just silly, and works against her credibility as a Washington-insider. (But this book is comical, so I guess the silly part works.)

I’m not denying that there are people in this world who do things for purely “evil” reasons who may deserve such harsh labels. For sure, there have been many innocent human beings (including children and babies) killed in dozens of Islamic countries where their only “crime” is their lack of being Muslim. However, I do not believe we have ever had a politician – Democrat or Republican – who is even in the same league as those who truly deserve such harsh portrayal. The truth is, most people who go into the ridiculously difficult world of politics do so in hopes of making their country a little better, in hopes of making a difference. What a “positive difference” is, is different to many people. But immaturely labeling people “evil” who don’t agree with you is counterproductive to what either party claims to stand for – and that’s the UNITED States of America. And I think Kristin Gore is better than the typical Extremist-Liberal persona she seems to embody at certain points where she portrays things as so black-and-white. But maybe I'm just being naive...

Other than this un-intentioned layer of comedy, it IS a great (and pretty funny!) read. Her writing is superb. What a strong command of the language! I look forward to more books from her.
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Laura True, but we were seeing the story through Sammy's eyes, and she was a staffer in a Democratic White House. IMO it would have seemed like phony "balance" if she DIDN'T have a partisan bias. My only mild annoyance was the refusal to name which party Sammy was a part of. I know most political novels do this, presumably to appeal to people of all political affiliations, but it always kind of bugs me.


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