Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse by Calvin Trillin, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse
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Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse

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by Calvin Trillin
     
 

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In his latest laugh-out-loud book of political verse, Calvin Trillin provides a riotous depiction of the 2012 presidential election campaign.
 
Dogfight is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what the author calls a pause for prose (“Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then

Overview

In his latest laugh-out-loud book of political verse, Calvin Trillin provides a riotous depiction of the 2012 presidential election campaign.
 
Dogfight is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what the author calls a pause for prose (“Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then Left Two Wives Who Had Serious Illnesses, Tries Desperately to Make Light of a Bad Cough”). With the same barbed wit he displayed in the bestsellers Deciding the Next Decider, Obliviously On He Sails, and A Heckuva Job, America’s deadline poet trains his sights on the Tea Party (“These folks were quick to vocally condemn/All handouts but the ones that went to them”) and the slapstick field of contenders for the Republican nomination (“Though first-tier candidates were mostly out,/Republicans were asking, “What about/The second tier or what about the third?/Has nothing from those other tiers been heard?”). There is an ode to Michele Bachmann, sung to the tune of a Beatles classic (“Michele, our belle/Thinks that gays will all be sent to hell”) and passages on the exit of candidates like Herman Cain (“Although his patter in debates could tickle,/Cain’s pool of knowledge seemed less pool than trickle”) and Rick Santorum (“The race will miss the purity/That you alone endow./We’ll never find another man/Who’s holier than thou.”)
 
On its way to the November 6 finale, Trillin’s narrative takes us through such highlights as the January caucuses in frigid Iowa (“To listen to long speeches is your duty,/And getting there could freeze off your patootie”), the Republican convention (“It seemed like Clint, his chair, and their vignette/Had wandered in from some adjoining set”), and Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded “47 percent” speech, which inspired the “I Got the Mitt Thinks I’m a Moocher, a Taker not a Maker, Blues.”

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Never mind the title's poetry reference; this is Trillin, so of course it's humor. The Nation's Deadline Poet deals wittily with the upcoming election, assaying not just Obama and Mitt but Newt, Santorum, and the rest while scanning Tea Party tactics, Obamacare vs. Romneycare, and bad moments on live television. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
Longtime New Yorker staff writer Trillin (Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff, 2011) puts his patented poetic spin on the 2012 presidential election. Again exercising an uncanny knack for producing poetical discourse on the political playing field, Trillin (Deciding the Next Decade: The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme, 2008) offers pithy ruminations and droll observations on the Obama-Romney race. He justifies the canine-inspired title with a short opening rhyme comparing Romney's 1983 road-tripping vacation with pet Irish setter Seamus strapped to the roof of the family car to Obama's Indonesian boyhood when he sampled dog meat. Sprinkled in between Trillin's play-by-play analyses of both campaigns are encapsulated poems borne from media headlines. These snarky, bite-sized morsels skewer the likes of Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell ("Until you came along one day, old witchcraft jokes had been passé"), Rick Perry ("with even more impressive hair than Kerry"), "holier than thou" Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich ("a crafty wheeler-dealer. His baggage, though, would fill an eighteen-wheeler") and Donald Trump ("once he's had his say…and say…and say, he, blessedly, will finally go away.") Not all the couplets and cadences churn smoothly; a few clunkers feel overly trivial and forced, as if the author became bored with the political semantics. As a collective work of creative nonfiction, his harmlessly sarcastic poetry is skilled, and the book will serve as a good complement to Elinor Lipman's uniformly clever election-season poem-a-day chronicle, Tweet Land of Liberty (2012). An easy, breezy, pocket-sized slice of political humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812993684
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,124,731
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.78(d)

Meet the Author

A longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin is also The Nation’s deadline poet, at a fee he has been complaining about since 1990. His acclaimed books range from the memoir About Alice to Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff. He lives in New York.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 5, 1935
Place of Birth:
Kansas City, Missouri
Education:
B.A., Yale University, 1957

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