Richard's Reviews > The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World

The Great Gasbag by Joy Behar
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Acerbic! Written by Joy Behar and published by HarperCollins – New York in 2017, this book is a humorous satire on President Donald J. Trump and his political party, the GOP. Readers who might be offended by four-letter profanity should be warned that this book contains a fair amount of it. Behar is a stand-up comedian and co-host of the TV show The View. It is very clear from her words in this book that she dislikes Trump and Republicans, in general. It is, however, quite funny most of the time. Behar’s acerbic wit is often right on point, but supporters of The Donald will probably not appreciate it very much. Nor will most Republicans because she does not hesitate to take on other members of the conservative GOP establishment in this book.

The book is written in the style of an encyclopedia, with one chapter devoted to each letter of the English alphabet, and each blurb in each chapter also ordered alphabetically. The first item of the first chapter is titled “ A is for Acid Reflux. ” She goes on to explain: “Which is what 65,853,216 Americans get every time Trump holds a televised pep rally or press conference.” The number refers, of course, to the number of popular votes received by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The last item of the final chapter of the book is titled “ Z is for Zzzzzz. ” It continues: “The Lunesta I took three chapters ago is kicking in. I’m getting drowsy now. Wake me in four years when this nightmare is over.”

In her Preface, the author mentions a few of the alternative titles she had considered before choosing The Great Gasbag for this book. A few that I found amusing included: Con With the Wind, Catcher in the Lie, Gullible’s Travels, and The Son-in-Law Also Rises. Any of them would probably have been appropriate given the content of the book. Some other alphabetic entries that I thought were especially worthy of mention include:

B is for Bankruptcy. “Most people consider filing for bankruptcy a sad, traumatic, life-altering, devastating process. Donald Trump considers it ‘Tuesday.’”

M is for Mar-a-Lago, in which we learn how Donald Trump gained ownership of this famous resort that was built by “socialite and billionaire Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.” It seems that our country’s taxpayers subsidized Trump’s purchase of this valuable property. Who knew?

In the same chapter, under the heading M is for Mistake, Behar relates a few of the mistakes made by Presidents George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump, and how both presidents deny making mistakes. She comments that “There is a clinical psychological word for a person who believes he never makes mistakes: liar.

Under the heading G is for Guns, the author points out that “Republicans love saying, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’” She then asks the important question: “If guns don’t kill people, why do we give our soldiers guns rather than spatulas?” Food for thought.

Behar tells us that “There are at least thirty-four different types of lies.” She doesn’t list them all under L is for Liar because she was “due at Mount Sinai Hospital in ten minutes to start [her] shift as head of Cardiology. (A lie, of course. ☺ )

One of the things I learned from reading this book was that Senator Mitch McConnell apparently had Polio as a child, and received free treatment at the Polio treatment and rehabilitation center in Warm Springs, Georgia. That institution was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt (a Democrat) in 1927. Treatment at Warm Springs was free, and McConnell certainly benefited from it. Now, however, as Senate Majority Leader, he does not hesitate to take away any sort of free health care benefits from those who can’t afford to pay for them. Talk about hypocrisy!

For the most part, the humor is pretty good, but I think the book could have been written without quite so much foul language, and it still would have made its point. Even some Liberals will be turned off by Behar’s vulgarity in some places.

Nevertheless, this is a light, easy read. It probably would only have about 200 pages of content if the fancy formatting and photographs were removed. The editing is very good. I found no copy editing errors, and no major inconsistencies. If you are the least bit inquisitive about our president, and if you don’t mind a little salty language, then you should probably read this book. I did, and I liked it so much that I recommend it.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 28, 2017 – Shelved
November 28, 2017 – Finished Reading

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