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"Revisionist history never looked so good, or so scary. That the earthquakes of current events will produce future backlashes is the premise and the promise of this taut, stylish novel. The X President rockets along on the fuel of our American disposition to revere and despise our leaders simultaneously. You’ll flip the pages at the speed of now, except when you have to slow down to bite your nails."
--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
"An entertaining, delightfully inventive novel . . . Even those of us who loathe our ex-president will be moved by Baruth’s sympathetic, hauntingly human rendition."
--Bill Kauffman, author of Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette and co-author with Gore Vidal of America First!
“Begins with . . . a brilliant piece of misdirection . . . Baruth's portraits of young BC and very old BC are touching, even loving caricatures, warts, wens and all. Cheerfully embracing the paradoxes inherent in time travel, THE X PRESIDENT provides as good an explanation as any for the uncanny political instincts and against-all-odds success of one of the last century's most engaging and enraging public figures."
—The New York Times Book Review
“History won’t stand still in this clever time-travel romp about mid-21st century spooks who try to unmake a war by changing a presidential decision in the past.”
—The New York Times Book Review (text from Notable Books listing)
**a New York Times Notable Book**
“Ingenious, often hilarious…if you can handle a fanciful plot and an onslaught of irreverence, you’ll devour it the same way the young BC did his first Big Mac.”
—Washington Post Book World
“No matter how you think history should view our most recent ex-president, Baruth’s book delivers an engaging, action-filled adventure.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Orwell’s 1984 with a high-tech gloss…Baruth’s real strength [is] as a character-driven storyteller.”
"Imaginative...page-turning reading...readers who thought PRIMARY COLORS was too tame will appreciate this wacky speculative fantasy, and Friends of Bill with a sense of humor will be delighted to spend more quality time with James, George, and BC."
"Baruth is especially good at manipulating his narrative, surprising us with sudden twists and turns that leave heroine and reader alike first confused and then forced to reconsider recent history in ways that, oddly, make perfect sense. Students of politics will enjoy picking apart the characters' arguments, alternate-history buffs will be delighted with the author's world building, and comic thriller fans will love the wild ride. Face it: anyone who picks this book up will be thoroughly entertained."
—Booklist (starred review)
“An on-the-road book that is both zany and profound. Readers of Washington novels will enjoy a frisson of the silly-willies with this exuberant experiment in the retelling of recent American history.”
"The desire of some to blame our country's problems on former President Bill Clinton is very entertainingly brought to life in "The X President"...Baruth makes the twists and surprises that work on Sal also work on the reader. The story proceeds with the pace of a rapid-fire thriller with a clever satirical tone. The former president's strengths and failings are brought out in a world that justifies ideas of conspiracy and paranoia."
—The Denver Post
“Pointed and intelligent speculative fiction/political satire…Inhale this one.”
—The Kansas City Star
“Ambitious…winning…Baruth's recreation of familiar historical events draws on the powerful emotional reservoirs created by those moments in the first place. Anyone wishing to relive the history of the Clinton presidency–and seeing it twisted into new shapes–will want to catch The X President.”
—Sci Fi Weekly
Posted November 15, 2003
This book really moves once Clinton gets off his wheelchair to try to stop the others from going back to rewrite history - his history - without him. It's very, very funny in parts.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2003
I had a lot of fun reading this book. The brilliant thing about this novel is the way the 'historical' narrative folds into itself. At one level the story is about the way stories are made. The narrator, an authorized biographer of a very old Bill Clinton (BC) in the year 2055, shapes history in her writing but also begins to 'write' history through her actions. She gets to experience the time-travel adventure she would normally be able only to re-live through her imagination and in her writing. The novel implicitly analyzes the media industry as the battleground of 'truth' (the what-is-'is'? question). All of this, though, is fully embodied in an exciting story of desperate action and subtle intrigue. Not only does Bill Clinton figure in the story in hilarious and touching ways, but also James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Timothy McVeigh, Rush Limbaugh--and am I the only one who thinks that the villain character is basically Newt Gingrich? The book's treatment of these characters amounts to gossip of the highest, juiciest order.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2009
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