Book Review | Taft 2012 by Jason Heller

taftI received my copy of Taft 2012 from the publisher, and it was definitely a book I was really looking forward to. Did I enjoy it overall? Yes, I did. However, I can’t help but feel that it could have been better executed.

The story is that of William Howard Taft, former president, who wakes from a 100 year slumber to discover that politics as usual are not quite what they were when he was in office. It’s no surprise that the media jumps all over the story, which leads to Taft touring the country and offering a much needed perspective.

Obviously the premise is unique, and the way in which the story was told was quite unique as well – which turned out to be both the best and worst thing about this book. About half the book is written in a ‘normal’ novel format, but it’s interspersed with transcripts of pundits discussing his return, Twitter conversations about Taft, snippets from speeches, and other innovative storytelling devices.

While I enjoyed the idea of these techniques being used, in the end I didn’t feel they were used quite effectively. They felt somewhat gimmicky and in many cases didn’t have a lot of substance. Occasionally they did add to the plot, but most of the time they felt slapped in amongst the narrative.

I’d certainly be interested in reading future books by this author because I do think there was quite a lot to like in this book, but I was left feeling a little underwhelmed and disappointed that it didn’t live up to what it could have.

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