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The President's Desk: An Alt-History of the United States
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The President's Desk: An Alt-History of the United States

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  26 reviews

The President’s Desk is the story of America as seen through the eyes of its most powerful piece of furniture. Standing in the most important office in the land for over a hundred years, it has been sat at by no less than twenty-four of the greatest men who ever lived (I’m leaving out Nixon, obviously). This epic retelling of the history of the United States takes us from

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Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Hardie Grant Books
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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  152 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Anne
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The rating system seems superfluous in this instance as by now experience should have taught us all that Micallef is incapable of producing anything less than unbearably brilliant. My only gripe would be that concentrating on the narrative (or semblance of one) is difficult when every bloody sentence is so singularly dazzling.
I'll just have to read it again.
Jessica
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comedy, australian
I love Shaun Micallef on TV so I was expecting great things from this book, but it didn't deliver. I'm not sure why; its humour was absurd and deadpan. I feel like it might be because the book wasn't actually very political, despite the topic, and relied a bit too often on "LOL, sex, funny!"

The appendices at the end were funnier than the main content of the book, though. They bring this up a star.
Sweet Pea
I love Shaun Micallef's humor but I must admit it took me a while to settle into this book, but by the end of it I knew I was going to miss reading it each day. The Errata and Glossary at the end made for most interesting reading (and is a source of many facts, unlike the main story!) Now that I've finished reading the book, I want to read it again...hopefully the second time around, I will appreciate the satire better.
Jeremy
Oct 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It kills me to rate my beloved Micallef only 1 star, but this book was poor. I didn't finish it, but I honestly didn't see any need to. I'll still pick up Micallef's next book but my expectations won't be as high
Jade Maree
I wanted to love this book and I really tried! It’s a great idea and some parts are hilarious, the additional information in the back is also good. I just found it difficult to read and not overly engaging. It missed the mark for me.
Paige
4 and a half stars

A story revolving around the Resolute desk (aka the US President's Desk) and moments in time experienced by Presidents themselves (private moments- as divined by a drug flipping Micallef). It seems like a waste of time to read a 'historical' book where only crumbs of the story are factual- but to envelop yourself in this book is quite something else.

There's no getting around it- to truly understand the magnificence of this acid trip through American history- you must treat your
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Tim Armstrong
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Completely surreal and hilarious to boot. Suspend disbelief, (big time) and just enjoy the ride!! At times a complete hoot, and at other times simply downright silly, but fun all the way!! Micallef is a gem.
Daniel Fullerton
For those who enjoy American history and Shaun Micallef's absurdist style of humor. As a fan of both, I enjoyed this book.

The book traces the US administration from 1837 to present day with each chapter providing a fictional story of a presidential era.

As usual, truth is stranger than fiction and I found the chapters based on true events to be the funniest and most enjoyable to read. For example, Elvis Presley asking Richard Nixon to make him a "Federal Agent at Large".

It is where Micallef in
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Daniel Fullerton
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
For those who enjoy American history and Shaun Micallef's absurdist style of humor. As a fan of both, I enjoyed this book.

The book traces the US administration from 1837 to present day with each chapter providing a fictional story of a presidential era.

As usual, truth is stranger than fiction and I found the chapters based on true events to be the funniest and most enjoyable to read. For example, Elvis Presley asking Richard Nixon to make him a "Federal Agent at Large".

It is where Micallef in
...more
Sally
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: land-of-oz, humour, own
What else can anyone expect from the great Mr Micallef except zany zany zaniness! I did enjoy this extremely bizarre alt-history of the Presidents of the United States. I can't even begin to imagine how he came up with all that nonsense! My favourite section was of course the conversation between George Bush Jr and John Howard on Air Force One, hilarious. There is some stinging satire amongst the silliness. Like any book by Shaun Micallef I'll need to read this again to fully appreciate it, ther ...more
Linda Lawrance
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I LOVE Shaun Micallef! Which probably explains why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 3. It wasn't often a laugh out loud read but it was VERY amusing and a fine example of the absurdist humour that is Shaun's trademark. This is an irreverent tumble through the past hundred or so years of United States history as seen through the eyes of, or more accurately from the seat behind, the desk of the title and the Oval Office in which it stands (most of the time, according to this tale.) A light and ...more
Cameron
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Hit and miss - it would make a fun 6-10 part tv show.

The dead pan works for me, and continued narrative (robots...) keeps all of the flights of fancy going. As other have said, the funniest bit are parts based on reality - Nixon and Elvis, Ronald Reagan; the truth is stranger than fiction and it gets it edge when his teeth come out. The Errata's at the end of the book are fun too.

The misses tended to bog the book down so it took me longer to read than it should have.
David Hansen
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining alternative history of America, seen through the eyes of the Presidents desk. Never quite sure where the truths, rumour and innuendo finish and the made up stuff begins, I'm fairly sure that Bess Truman wasn't an alien? While the whole book rollicks along at a nice pace, there are a couple of chapters which are just superb. The Monica Lewinsky story seen through the lens of Alice in Wonderland in particular was very well written.
Jeremy Cartner
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If your familiar with the work of Shaun Micallef you know exactly what you're getting yourself into with this absurd take on American history seen through the eyes of the president's desk. A very clever book that literally has a gag on every page. The frustrating thing about this of course is that a re-read is essential in order to appreciate them all. The errata and glossary at the end is just as funny as the book itself. An accomplishment in itself.
David Bakker
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect chaos in a typical Micallef fashion. He has the ability to make drink spirt from one's mouth just by using an unexpected word. The richness of the subversions made this book best digestible in small chunks.
Douglas Fyfe
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Brilliant absurdity. Plus he signed my copy, so I can hardly give it less than 5 stars.
Katriona
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Absurdist. Hilarious. Never remove tongue from cheek. Not really about a desk.
Julie
Dec 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: digital
boring and supremely unfunny. micallef's doesn't seem to translate to written word very well. stopped reading just a few chapters in.
Sommer
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
brilliant and hilarious
Jillian
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
A very, very silly book but I did laugh out loud reading it.
Theresa
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not really my type of storyline.
Dale
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Very Micallef. I think it may have benefitted from there being a few less presidents though.
Matt Starr
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great collection of hilarious stories. Strongly recommend reading it!
Danny Jumpertz
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2016
Kate Kinsela
rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2015
Pamela Walker
rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2015
David
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Classic Micallef, delivers some great laughs
Padmanabhiah
rated it it was ok
Jan 05, 2015
Gem
rated it liked it
Feb 23, 2015
Krysia Roberts
rated it it was ok
May 19, 2017
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Shaun Micallef has starred in television, films, stage shows, radio and several books. He also has won four Logies, an ARIA and an AFI but, admirably, hasn’t let any of this go to his head.
“Spilsby in Lincolnshire is proud of its most famous son, Sir John Franklin, and home to an enormous bronze statue of him. It was unveiled in 1875 and according to the legend on its plaque, it was Sir John who discovered the Northwest Passage. This is overstating things a little, given that the discovery was made twenty-five years later and by Roald Amundsen.” 1 likes
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