It is hard at first to formulate an opinion about Taft 2012. This is, most likely, because the concept of the book is so completely absurd.
Jason Heller’s first novel paints a picture of the 2012 presidential campaign with an unexpected third-party candidate: the mysteriously resurrected William H. Taft. The book does not dwell on the impossibility of this; though it is center-stage throughout the story as Taft attempts to navigate politics 100 years after his las run-in with the White House and all the accompanies.
Once you move past the absurdity, the book is rather enjoyable–it is quick-moving with special excerpts and notes in between chapters; yet Heller takes the time to still be smart, poignant, and thoughtful throughout the text. I felt confident that he not only understood Taft’s political reign in 1912, but also that he is well-versed in America’s platforms and culture today.
To be sure, I couldn’t read without making assumptions about Heller’s politics, though I don’t think he made attempts to hide them. His bolder claims coupled with subtleties reflecting our current political landscape did often snap me into reality; and I didn’t necessarily want to be removed from the otherwise fictional escape.
Clearly, Heller is a brilliant writer with a fantastic imagination and a nose for hot topics. This book is a good easy read for fiction and non-fiction readers alike; and if you’re really into it, Taft has his campaign website up-and-running!