Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jason Heller's Taft 2012

Jason Heller's Taft 2012 requires a significant suspension of disbelief, namely that William Howard Taft disappeared on his way to Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in 1913, hibernated, and then reappeared in late 2011. No one in the novel worries too much about the science of it all. And we're not supposed to either, because that's not the point.

The point is to gain some lighthearted perspective on partisan politics and consumption in the United States. Taft is recruited by the newly founded Taft Party to run for president, and finds the movement annoying since it claims to stand for virtually everything and ignores reality.  People have an idealized view of the past, yet Taft remembers it as equally difficult, just in different ways.

Meanwhile, a giant agribusiness named Fulsom is making processed protein foods that are disgusting yet addictive. As it turns out, Fulsom is behind the scenes making the Taft Party possible. Moreover, it was doing so for reasons that were not immediately obvious. I won't elaborate, as that would take the air out of the story.

It's a fun novel that works because it does not take itself too seriously even while making some serious points. There is even a website for the book intended to serve as a mock campaign site. Who is Taft? You are!


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP