Review: Raise the Gipper by John Barnes – political humour

Title: Raise the Gipper!
Author: John Barnes
Genre: Humor/politics/satire/

Raise the Gipper is crazy, perceptive political satire, and if you’re going to buy it, you should buy it now because I have the feeling that it might just be about what’s happening in US politics right now. As a not-particularly-interested-in-politics Australian, who knows little about the US system and even less about the actual candidates, a lot of the subtlety of this book is lost on me. Nevertheless I found it a delightful tale of a reanimated president, a couple on different sides of politics who are falling in love despite their ongoing political arguments, a couple of possible vice president nominees and their spouses and Josh who is, well, Josh. This book made politics a lot more interesting than it actually is, at least for me.

I’m guessing that Americans will find it hilarious. Some of the writing reminded me of that wonderful British farce, Yes Minister, where politicians and their minions make long speeches that go around and around and never actually say anything. I particularly enjoyed Reagan’s thought processes and his relationship with his minions –yes, he’s back, deader than ever and very, very hungry.

I’ll let the author explain the story.

The story is set at the August 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Republican delegates are in open mutiny against their party’s own nominee, and many of the pledged delegates are refusing to vote for Mitt Romney on the first ballot, because of three important reasons: 1) they don’t feel he adequately represents their conservative views, 2) they feel that a dull gazillionaire has no real chance in November, 3) they’d rather work at an old folks home cleaning underwear by chewing it.

 Then Dr. Bayle Brazenydol, political guru deluxe and extreme, presents them with an alternative … their dream candidate … a man who is perfectly what they want except for three little problems: 1) The candidate has already had two terms as president 2) The candidate happens to be very, very dead 3) Dr. Brazenydol himself is secretly controlled by a monstrous alien bent on taking over the Earth and devouring every living thing.  

Will Brazenydol’s scheme bring the Mitt Mutiny to fruition, denying the world’s dullest rich dork in a suit a chance to complete a really great résumé?  Or will the convention perceive in time that it is better to be dull than evil?  And what of the forces trying to stop him?  Joe and Aura are both nice young political activists, friends united by a love of cats, pizza, and a good argument – and that’s a good thing because he’s a hustling young Tea Party activist and she’s a passionate Occupier.  Can family values, old-fashioned courtship, and affection defeat politics, media, the internet, and the forces of evil?  

Can true love find a way through evil space bats, a zombie Reagan, a tricky Rosicrucian, the arms of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum in a cheap wig, a gigantic moose-grinder, and vast amounts of pink slime?  Can Joe and Aura do all that with only the help of a stressed out grad student, two complacent cats, and a first-rate waiter? Or is it going to take divine intervention?  

John has had 30 commercially published traditional novels.  This is his second self-pubbed ebook. Some explanation of what he’s attempting can be found here. The book is well written. I recommend it for everyone interested in US politics, give it 4 stars (though if I were more politically aware, it would probably be 5) and a place in the Awesome Indies listing.

Goodreads page

Purchase outlets

John Barnes Book shop

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