*And I blame RES. I’m not gratuitously evil… much, but when he sent me a link to the book, saying he’d found it at Sam’s club, I was both bewildered and confused. What was this liberal wet dream of bullsh*t doing in a middle-America hub? Then I started suspecting it was a really bad book, probably written by one of us under cover, to make money off the crazy – Amanda says nothing to dissuade me. The author might be under DEEP cover — his bio is a liberal wet dream — but I’d bet you under cover he is. No one can be this bad by accident, particularly no one who has written more than one book. As for the people buying this, sucker, born every minute, etc. – SAH*
I Blame the Sarahs – A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green
Last week, I said I’d start a quick review series on The Coddling of the American Mind. That had been my plan until two days ago. By Wednesday, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do a post this week. Without going into too much detail, my 87-year-old mother underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery. While she is doing remarkably well, it still means I am having to help her with every day activities right now like getting out of her chair, walking more than a few steps (the anesthesia did a real number on her), etc. Worse, I am now the one getting up at o’dark 30 because of the idiot dog. I was ready to beg off of a post this week when Sarah, the first Sarah, the evil but beautiful space princess Sarah, tagged me on Facebook all but daring me to snark Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery. I didn’t even look the book up. My immediate response was not only “No” or even “Hell, no” but “There’s no way unless someone bought me the book and supplied much much booze.”
I should have kept my mouth shut. Or at least left it a “no”. I really should have turned off FB notifications. But I didn’t and Sarah the Second, Sarah C., started posting single quotes from the first chapter—I assume it was the first chapter. OMG, I didn’t know whether to run and hide, drink heavily or snark—or do all of the above.
In the end, instead of taking the week off, I needed something to point and laugh at and this book seems to be it. No, I haven’t bought it. No, I have no intention of buying it. I am completely opposed of putting any more money into anything associated with Obama than we as a Nation already have. So, with fair warning that there is no redeeming value to this book that I’ve found so far beyond being totally snark-worthy, here we go.
And we will start, not with the book but with the product page. The first thing you see after the title, versions, etc., isn’t the blurb for the book but this:
The New York Times Best Seller
“[Hope Never Dies is] an escapist fantasy that will likely appeal to liberals pining for the previous administration, longing for the Obama-Biden team to emerge from political retirement as action heroes.”—Alexandra Alter, New York Times
Now take a moment to wrap your mind around that. Mind you, I know comic books have been trying for “diversity” and would probably love to have a socialist superhero in the mold of BHO, but what would Joe Biden’s superpower be? Able to grope from far distances? Grope and flee in the blink of an eye? The mind truly does boggle, doesn’t it?
But let’s continue.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.
Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.
Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.
Now remember, anything that happens after this is Sarah’s fault. She started this. She taunted me, challenged me to do this. Along with her cohort, Sarah C., they have forced me to read at least the free sample. I’ll warn you now, continue reading at your own peril.
From an editorial point of view, reading the first page (e-book edition) of a book subtitled “Obama/Biden fiction” and written in first-person, I should be able to figure out who the narrator is. All I know for certain is the author is trying really hard, too hard actually, to sound noir. We know the narrator is in a “black Irish mood”—and I won’t share my first thoughts on reading that. VBEG—and was apparently watching Youtube or its equivalent.
Then we get to this: “The camera panned down to the white-capped waves in the harbor. An impossibly long speedboat entered the frame, cutting through the surf like a buttered bullet.”
OMG. As someone on FB in the infamous thread that birthed this post commented, “Did Chuckie Wendig write this?” It reminds me of the opening scene of one of his Star Wars books where the ship (tie-fighter, X-wing?) weebled and wobbled. And now I’m going to have the theme song for “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down” in my head the rest of the day.
My second thought was that the narrator had to be Obama. He might have been Commander-in-Chief, but he never served in the military. I doubt he ever fired a gun. He might not see anything wrong with a “buttered bullet”. But, we’ll see.
Oh, wow, click for the next “page” and we finally find out, maybe, who the narrator is. At least we find out who it isn’t. You see, that boat isn’t alone in the shot. It is towing a parasailer behind it. “The camera zoomed in on the daredevil’s face, and I saw that my old friend Barack Obama was having the time of his life.”
Okay, so unless the author is really off on some sort of mind trip, we know the narrator isn’t Obama. Could Obama be the “friend” mentioned at the beginning of the chapter as having died? While my first reaction was to hope so, it would make for a short book since this is a bromance/mystery starring both Biden and Obama. Besides, remember, this is the fantasy Obama fans have been hoping for. So, unless they are going kill Obama off early and deify him and have him come back as a god to rule Earth, he doesn’t die off this early.
“Unencumbered by his dead-weight loser vice president, 44 was on the vacation to end all vacations.”
Well, I can agree with the author about the “dead-weight loser vice president”.
“Barack even had the gall to tell People magazine that we still went golfing together on occasion. To save face, I repeated the lie. The truth was, there hadn’t been any golf outings. No late-night texting. Not even a friendly poke on Facebook.”
Pardon me while I laugh. We know, probably, that the narrator is Biden but it still isn’t for sure. But, day-um, that last passage sounds like a pouting teen girl who wasn’t asked out on a second date. Still, that could be the former VP. He’s gotten the whine down pretty good over the years.
Without quoting, because I frankly don’t have the stomach for it, Biden’s sitting in his office and it’s getting dark. He glances outside and sees an orange pinprick of light. It doesn’t take him long to figure out it might just be a cigarette. So, talking to his dog, he goes to his safe where there are only two items: his Medal of Freedom and the Sig Saur he bought himself over his wife’s objections.
Now, here is where we go off into the land of make-believe again. He takes the gun out of the safe, tucks it under the waistband of his slacks and pulls his Polo shirt over it. Think about that for a moment. He doesn’t check to see if there’s a round chambered. He doesn’t even check to see if the magazine is in place or if there is ammo in it. Then there’s the whole putting it in his waistband and pulling his shirt over it. Not only is he risking the Sig falling down his pants unless that waist band is pretty damned tight but how in the hell is he supposed to get to the gun quickly if he’s pulled the shirt over it?
Well, no one has accused Biden in real life of being the sharpest tack.
Let me ask you this: if you are home at night with your wife and you suspect there might be a prowler—or worse—outside, do you go out without letting your wife know and suggesting she call 911? Well, our daunting narrator does just that. He calls out to “Jill”, who is in another room watching TV, that he’s going to walk the dog.
Oh, and where the HELL is the Secret Service detail? If he no longer has Secret Service protection, where’s his private security? Better yet, where is his common sense?
Of course, that assumes he ever had any.
It keeps getting better—or worse, depending on your point of view. The dog races outside but the motion detector light doesn’t come on. It’s burned out. The bulb is old and old bulbs are supposed to burn out. Yes, we actually get told that in the book.
Now, if this was a mystery and the narrator was female, I’d be saying she was too dumb to live. I’m screaming it right now at this noir wannabe. So far, the only thing separating this book from the slasher movies of the 1980’s is for our narrator to go running into the woods in high heels.
And we finally get the answer to where the Secret Service is. Our intrepid narrator comes upon a “vertically challenged man”. Then good ole Joe identifies him as Secret Service. Except then we’re told his detail had been dismissed several weeks before the opening of the book. So why is there a supposed Secret Service agent on-scene, much less flat out on the ground?
Instead of asking, instead of wanting to see ID, our narrator comments on how it’s a nice night for a walk and keeps walking. Worse, he walks in the direction the man he assumes is Secret Service indicates.
And there, deeper in the woods, he hears flint striking metal and instantly identifies it as a lighter. A moment later, he finds himself face-to-face with his good buddy (yes, I use that term loosely based on poor ole Joe’s whine earlier) BHO. An Obama who, even though they are in the trees/woods, is dressed in a “black hand-tailored suit” and his white shirt unbuttoned at the collar.
And, after telling us that Obama is never in a hurry, our author ends the first chapter and I no longer have to explain to my mother why I’m alternating between wanting to throw my laptop against the wall and laughing hysterically.
My eyes aren’t bleeding—yet. My blood pressure isn’t soaring. This is fiction, after all, and not the actual writings of either Obama or Biden. But damn, this book is bad. Worse, it is bad in that train wreck sort of way. You know you shouldn’t read more but you can’t help it. You have to see if it gets any worse.
All I know for certain is I want to know what the author was smoking, drinking, snorting, whatever, as he wrote it. I’m not sure if I want some of it or if I want to make sure to avoid it at all cost.
And, as much as I hate to admit it, this was exactly what I needed after this week. No, I’m still not going to buy it. So, if you guys want me to do more from the book, someone needs to loan it to me. Sorry, but that’s my price. VBG
Until later. Now to find the brain bleach so I can get back to my own writing and not have this novel infecting it.
(To cover Sarah and myself, all quotes not attributed to the product page on Amazon came from the first chapter of the book.)
(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the left’s descent into madness. We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)