This one’s going on my Amazon wish list

Hope 1

You may have already heard of this book — actually, it appears to be one of a series — but I had not when I happened to see it on a shelf at Barnes & Noble.

In this hot weather, I’ve taken to walking in the nearly deserted — but still-air-conditioned (at what cost, I know not) — Richland Mall during my daily exercise breaks. I allow myself the indulgence of doing a full sweep of B&N during these circuits. On this occasion, I was whizzing through the fiction section, went “What!?!” and had to turn on my heel and go back for another look at what I’d just passed.

Yep, it’s a murder mystery in which the parts of Holmes and Watson are played by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And as with the Conan Doyle original, they are told from the perspective of Biden:

It’s been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and “Uncle Joe” Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn’t make sense anymore.

But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident…

OK, you’ve got me! I’ve gotta read it. It’s going on my Amazon wish list right… now. I might even rip off the cover and frame it.

Sure, it’s a gimmick, like this same author’s previous Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. But the gimmick works — on me, anyway — and I’ve gotta hand it to the huckster who came up with it…

Hope 3

7 thoughts on “This one’s going on my Amazon wish list

  1. Doug Ross

    According to the author (from the Amazon page for the book):

    “The first time I saw Joe Biden in his Ray-Ban aviators, I thought, ‘that guy’s an action hero’. The sunglasses, the suit, the dead-serious stare—you think you’re looking at James Bond. And then he opens his mouth and sticks his foot in it, and you realize he’s closer to Leslie Nielsen.”

    Yep. That’s an apt description. Our next President, ladies and gentlemen, Lieutenant Frank Drebin.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Hey, I’d vote for Lt. Drebin, considering the alternatives.

      But if you want to make fun of Joe, you should cite the description mentioned in the New Yorker review of this book:

      The Biden character is an amalgam of detective-novel tropes and the beer-swilling, Trans Am-washing Biden character created by the Onion. His two most prized possessions are his Medal of Freedom and a Sig Sauer pistol, which he calls his “bean shooter.” At one point he gives himself the alias Joe Tingler, to Obama’s distress. He refers to his legs as “getaway sticks,” complains that the weather is “as nasty as a devil’s armpit,” and says, “I’m so hungry I could eat the balls off a low-flying goose.”

      The thing in The Onion was brilliant. I was glad to be reminded of it.

      The heart of the joke is, Joe is Joe Normal Guy. Which is something we desperately need right now.

      1. Doug Ross

        Normal guys are a dime a dozen… We need someone who is above average (except in age).

        Anyway, most of the Democratic candidates pass the “normal” test (other than being a “guy”). That’s the lowest bar possible.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          All my life, I’ve said just what you’re saying.

          But now, we’ve sunk so low down that average should look like “up” to most of us…

          That said, I don’t think Joe is just average. I’ve always been favorably impressed by his grasp of issues…

  2. Norm Ivey

    I just read the first few pages as Kindle sample. It’s entertaining. It reads like a serious mystery, but throws in a few Obama-Biden caricature elements and some light political criticism. Really light reading, and looks like fun. I bought it.

  3. David T

    You know there are books out there that you can order that will substitute yours or anyone else’s name for different characters in the book. They’re typically poorly written books that need a gimmick to sell.

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