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Dumpty #1

Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse

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Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse is a satirical poetry collection from award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow. Chronicling the last few raucous years in American politics, Lithgow takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump's presidency.

- Lampoons the likes of Betsy DeVos, William Barr, Rudy Giuliani, and dozens more.
- Illustrated from cover to cover with Lithgow's never-before-seen line drawings.
- Draws inspiration from A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and even Mother Goose.
- Great for fans of A Very Stable Genius by Mike Luckovich, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter by Scott Adams, and The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The poems collected in Dumpty draw inspiration from A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Mother Goose, and many more.

A feat of laugh-out-loud lyrical storytelling, this timely volume is bound to bring joy to poetry lovers, political junkies, and Lithgow fans alike.

110 pages, Hardcover

First published October 22, 2019

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About the author

John Lithgow

92 books281 followers
John Lithgow is a prolific actor with two Tonys, six Emmys, two Golden Globes, and two Oscar nominations to his name. He has starred in the hit TV series 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dexter, and The Crown, and in beloved films like The World According to Garp, Shrek, and Terms of Endearment. Lithgow has appeared on Broadway twenty-five times and in England with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He is also the bestselling author of nine children’s picture books, and his recordings for kids have landed him four Grammy nominations.

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5 stars
1,331 (40%)
4 stars
1,034 (31%)
3 stars
618 (18%)
2 stars
140 (4%)
1 star
204 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 486 reviews
Profile Image for Ilana.
601 reviews161 followers
July 7, 2021
Good! I can imagine Lithgow reading these verses must add a lot to the experience, but as it is, I’m so disgusted by Dumpfeld and this entire administration that I haven’t the heart to laugh much. I just want them gone and remembered as an embarrassing anecdote in American history (make that human history!). There’ll still remain the hordes of deplorables who’ve now been activated worldwide to deal with, however. No matter how I look at it... how do you laugh at your worst nightmare become a reality? Lithgow put in a fantastic effort all the same.


Update: July 7/2021 Didn’t like this review? I DON’T CARE; suck it up, loser. I win every time I enter a challenge. I'm tested constantly and true. True spectrum, that is, ye assholes. LMFAO
Profile Image for Faith.
1,823 reviews501 followers
April 22, 2020
“Sure Dumpty’s a foolhardy figure of fun, but laugh at your peril there’s work to be done. Democracy’s frail but our spirit is firm, restrict Trumpty Dumpty to only one term.”

The poems are clever and amusing. The music and sound effects on the audiobook are loud and annoying.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,676 reviews2,324 followers
July 27, 2022
Trump was, and unfortunately still is, a bloated, pulsing, ball of insecurities that sucks all the air out of everything, and all the joy out of life. It's been nearly two years since he LOST THE ELECTION, and he doesn't dominate the news quite as much as he has since that fateful day in 2015 when he rode majestically down his glittery escalator, and announced his run for the presidency, in between spewing racist remarks, but rarely a day goes by without at least a mention of his name. Like bedbugs, black mold, or your mother-in-law, he is just The Thing That Will Not Leave.

Back when the news was ALL TRUMP - ALL THE TIME, the daily horrors were flying so hot, and so heavy, there wasn't time to process the "He said what?" before the next flabbergasting bombshell hit the internet. Perhaps it's good (though certainly depressing) to look back at his scandal-plagued reign of terror, and be reminded of all the awful people he choose to surround himself with, and the evils they perpetrated before they resigned and/or were indicted.

Quite honestly, I'd rather NOT have to think about all this again, but we NEED to keep reminding ourselves of just how miserable it all was if for no reason than to keep history from repeating itself in 2024. And, sure, you could read one of those books by the so-called "heroes" who worked for Trump, bowed to Trump, spread their cheeks for Trump, then suddenly developed a conscience, and turned whistleblower when a tell-all book deal was waved in front of their noses, or . . . you could just read some poetry written by a Hollywood actor.

Lithgow's verses are erudite and pithy, sort of reminiscent of Calvin Trillin (his poetry, not his food writing), occasionally witty, and certainly serviceable, though best taken in small doses.

I definitely admired his ability to rhyme Malaysia with dysplasia.

We are living, alas, in the Dumptyan Era
Whose scandals erupt by the hour.
They stir a recurring and queasy sensation,
A virus infecting the health of the nation,
Brought on by a toxic and foul combination
Of money, perversion, and power.

Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,502 reviews2,315 followers
May 31, 2020
Clever and witty!

Dumpty by John Lithgow leaves no one out! I think most of the significant players on the right that has brown-nosed the orange buffoon was mentioned in this book somewhere and in a way that fit them! 😁
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 137 books66 followers
January 13, 2020
This is a very ignorant and immature rendering of . . . excuse the supposed genre . . . poetry. This is not even mediocre poetry; it’s very bad and lame. Trump Derangement Syndrome has overtaken John “Jiggles” Lithgow’s brain, and his attempts at poetry fail at every stanza. How utterly sad for him.
Profile Image for Josh.
65 reviews47 followers
January 24, 2021
Witty, Artistic, Frank, Humorous

Is there anything that John Lithgow can't do? I guess there isn't. John Lithgow is one of my favourite people. Very talented, a comedic genius. A very funny person, great satarist. I still binged 3rd Rock From The Sun today and in fact I just watched it, its one of my favourite shows alongside Friends, and That 70's Show.

I watched this video of John talking about his new book, I thought well why not try it?

In this book Dumpty :The Age of Trump in Verse Book One Lithgow really showed his amazing skills as a writer specially as a satarist, his way of using humor and irony, ridicule, and sarcasm is really impressive but there are some poems and verses that I am not well pleased, it's too critical but I think that's what a satire is, specially political satire. This book is amazing in its own way. It's very unique and very indie. But this is not for everyone, some people might find this book very offending and immature but that is what a satire is, just don't take it too seriously. Just have fun reading it.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,911 reviews38 followers
February 16, 2020
A comedic tragedy. The author and illustrator, John Lithgow has succeeded in creating witty poetry that lightened my mood accompanied by some great line drawings.

I laughed at My Favorite Lies, which is a parody of Rodgers and Hammerstein's My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music. If you imagine the tune to the chorus as you read the following, you will get the idea:

"When the Times bites,
When the Post stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite lies
And then I don't feel so bad."
Profile Image for Joan Eisenstodt.
51 reviews
January 19, 2020
Oh oh oh .. I can hear John Lithgow's voice as I read these -- often out-loud because they sound even better. My gratitude is so great for this amazing creativity to help us get through these dark dark times. Yes, you want this. Or you want to give it as I did to a cousin for her birthday. Or a Thanksgiving (perfect to read aloud at the table!), Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or Solstice or no-reason-at-all-present. In fact take it to Thanksgiving Funner [did you figure out this meant "dinner"? I didn't see it til long after it was written!] and do a reading around the table. Ensure no one chokes from laughing.
Profile Image for Staci.
58 reviews2 followers
December 19, 2019
Lame and immature. Five star reviews are obviously motivated by spite rather than literary taste.
Profile Image for Tony Berg.
3 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2020
Was looking for decent contemporary political satire. Opened this up, thinking “God, this looks awful, but who knows?”

It is awful, and that’s coming from someone who agrees with Lithgow on paper. This is a wannabe-jokebook with no jokes, bloated with arid poetry. Lithgow is always trying to write himself politically on top of a high horse, but there is zero surprise or substance to lessen the stink of the condescension in his tone. The forms he chooses are as sterile and dry as can be, to make matters worse. These read like nursery rhymes in the worst way. I would only recommend this book if you want to cringe at Lithgow’s Hollywood-liberal superiority complex, or perhaps if you need a gift for a diehard Bill Maher fan who doesn’t read much.
Profile Image for Deborah.
731 reviews46 followers
March 29, 2020
With skewering wit, actor and author John Lithgow lampoons in verse Donald Trump’s presidency and his revolving door staff and others with whimsical drawings.
Profile Image for Christine (Tina).
593 reviews
November 12, 2019
Satire like no other, this is brilliant work by Lithgow...if not depressing as all heck...

And, elitist wit supercedes the intellect of blind followers, so, there is that as well. Those who need the recognition of exactly what has been slapped in our faces of abuse of power & downright negligence of office & responsibility won't understand the satire & most likely be scarily overwhelmed...or say, "Who cares?"

I laughed at this...mostly a nervous laugh...but laughed nonetheless because what else is there to do other than pray for reason & right to overcome November 2020 or sooner.
Profile Image for David.
559 reviews131 followers
December 27, 2019
I heard John Lithgow reading from this recently-published book back in September when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I immediately added it to my growing wish-list of books. And I got it for Christmas! Many of the verses mimic a famous poem, so dual fun in reading these. An incredible amount of time/effort must have gone into these to incorporate all the extensive vocabulary used.

Lithgow is best known as the 'father' Dick Solomon on 3rd Rock From The Sun, TV series.
From wiki: "Lithgow is the recipient of numerous accolades and has been nominated for two Academy Awards and four Grammy Awards. He has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame."

After each of the 32 poems/verse in this book, are the short scandalous details about the person(s) within Trump's administration that has us all wonder, as John states in the foreward:

Why in the world would you entrust your country's future and the future of this fragile planet to him?

My friends who visited over Christmas are already lining up to read my copy of this book as soon as I can finish and loan it to them. These are SO sadly funny!! You can just HEAR John Lithgow's voice in all of these. John also did all of the line-sketch art throughout the book too.

I found it helpful to read the brief 'scandalous details' that come at the end of the poem/verse, prior to reading the poem/verse - this way I was clearly reminded of the facts that drove the details I was about to be laughing about when I read the poem.

To A Rat
Wee, cowerin', tim'rous, sweaty vermin,
Why the panic? Why the squirmin'?
I nae intend to preach a sermon
About thy spillin'.
Tho' thou sang like Ethel Merman,
We deem'd it thrillin'!
... (6 more stanzas about Michael Cohen)
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,798 reviews88 followers
November 26, 2019
Lithgow has showcased his impressive way with words in a variety of children's books, and now here's a collection of poetry and lyrics calling out Trump and his associates for their various misdeeds.

I'm truly impressed by how talented Lithgow is; the poetry is witty and sharp and the song parodies in particular are a delight. Humorous pen-and-ink illustrations also dance through the pages.

While this little book was for the most part a lot of fun, one poem in particular dampened my enthusiasm a bit. Titled "The Ostrich's Lament," it stars a flock of ostriches who are at first overjoyed to learn that a celebrity--Trump campaign consultant Paul Manafort--favors ostrich-skin coats, thus making the big birds trendy. By the end of the poem, the flock is abashed to learn of Manafort's corruption and prison sentence, and they're hiding their heads in the sand.

I find it sad when even the most intelligent and progressive people possess such backward views about animals--that the slaughter and skinning of other beings is all a big joke. On this subject, neither the left nor the right have the high ground. I think it will still be a long time for most of us to add other beings to our circle of concern--but we can do what other causes have done and are doing and point out societal problems when we encounter them.
Profile Image for Brandon Forsyth.
885 reviews145 followers
December 27, 2019
Lithgow’s poems aren’t just witty and clever; they feel important, a reminder to laugh in the face of stupidity and evil, and that higher ideals can win the day in the face of utter debasement. This is a book that gave me hope.
1 review
October 22, 2019
Just listened to John Lithgow read from one of the poems on Morning Joe. Brilliant and fabulously illustrated by himself. "Running" to Amazon to buy and gift.
Profile Image for Marilee.
1,239 reviews
January 4, 2020
I had no idea that Lithgow was so multifaceted. This book is a mixture of Shel Silverstein-like ink drawings and poetry, and political commentary. I was able to follow most of it, but I was grateful for the notes at the end of each poem that explained the political relevance of each person he wrote about. If you're a Trump supporter, then you won't like this book, but otherwise this brings a bit of levity and a break from the political stress currently throughout the U.S.
Profile Image for Theresa Hildebrand.
254 reviews1 follower
December 16, 2019

Do yourselves a favor & listen to this on audio. Lithgow brings a certain Suessical quality to this prose. My only regret is that I have to wait for a hard copy to come in at my library to see the illustrations. Mental images that sprung to mind were ogres, giants, and emperors in spanking new clothes. Just good old fashioned fun.

Profile Image for Jeimy.
4,458 reviews33 followers
November 21, 2019
This was hilarious, but I must confess I was only able to get through it by switching to the audiobook. Whereas the written words made my blood boil because they made me remember all the scandals in the past three years, Lithgow's narration livens it up and allows the comedy of the poems to shine.
Profile Image for Christina Getrost.
2,137 reviews66 followers
December 19, 2019
John Lithgow is a man of many talents! I had no idea he was so good at political humor/satire, and that he draws pictures, too. These verses are all funny and clever and very current. Some are original, while others are based on classics from nursery rhymes ("Trumpty Dumpty wanted a wall/To stir up a rabid political brawl") to Edward Lear (the Owl and the Pussycat becomes "The Walrus and the Kleptocrat"--John Bolton and Vladimir Putin) to Gilbert and Sullivan ("An Ex-Lieutenant General" instead of a Modern Major General, a verse about Michael Flynn) and so on. There's even some Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics rewritten ("My Favorite Lies" sings "Trumpty Dumpty"). This is a very clever way to get your politics on, and there's some great wordplay. The illustrations are cool, ink line drawings in political cartoon style. A note after many of the poems explains who the people are that are referenced, and why they made the news. Many things about the Trump presidency just can't be made any funnier, but this book does just that.
Profile Image for Nancy.
792 reviews2 followers
December 10, 2019
I loved this! It was funny, smart, and still quite frighteningly serious all at once. It was especially enjoyable as an audiobook read by John Lithgow himself. I plan to listen again soon. It is a short book of poems about Trump and his minions covering the period up through June 2019 so it's topical. I wonder if it will be updated as events continue to unfold. I will wait and watch.

In the meantime, I plan to order print copies for us and select individuals who I know will enjoy it as much as I did. Apparently the illustrations are excellent which makes both listening to the author read his book and purchasing the printed version a reasonable choice.
Profile Image for Gerry Durisin.
1,789 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2019
Perfect impeachment week listening! A combination of original poems with short summaries of the individuals and events they lampoon. Horrifying to realize how much corruption and chaos we have lived through in the last three years!
Profile Image for Lucy.
622 reviews
November 26, 2019
What a great collection of poems & a reminder...one after another after another...VOTE, DANG IT, VOTE!!
Profile Image for Marks54.
1,319 reviews1,152 followers
December 15, 2019
Ok, so it is not Shakespeare or T.S. Elliot. But for what it intends to be, it is well crafted and highly entertaining.

John Lithgow has written a series of bad verses - intentionally so - about the current President. He has also provided a set of illustrations to go with the verses and has voiced the result as well on the audio book, along with background music and other noises. To assist those who are not much “into” poetry, most of the selections are adaptations of popular songs, Gilbert and Sullivan tunes, fairy tales, and the like - all very accessible. I saw him read one on a late night show and had to get the rest.

I was not disappointed and hope that other talented people with strong voices will write their own books and give the public a chance to review and approve/scowl.

Spoiler alert - Lithgow is not a fan of the current president or his administration.

This is a fun and funny book, if a bit of a guilty pleasure.
Profile Image for Kerry.
285 reviews3 followers
November 23, 2019
I picked this up for a giggle, expecting to leaf through it solely to admire Lithgow's illustrations as he is a gifted artist of children's picture books. I ended up appreciating the clever verse even more! Here is a compact chronicle of the Trump administration's major scandals-to-date in one entertaining, if outrageous, volume. In these times, it's tough to keep up with the breathtaking pace of disgrace:

"He's done most of these things and a hundred things more,
And God only knows what he still has in store,"

...so is it shameful to admit that I'm looking forward to a sequel?
Profile Image for Sidney.
1,401 reviews1 follower
December 26, 2019
Hilarious and insightful. I had almost forgotten all the corrupt and criminal things that Dumpty has done; I thank Mr Lithgow for bringing them to the surface again in such a fun way! I'm quoting the last line in the book: "Democracy's frail but our spirit is firm; Restrict Trumpty Dumpty to only one term."
Displaying 1 - 30 of 486 reviews

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