Thursday, February 14, 2019

12. Shall we Tell the President? by Jeffrey Archer

Not hair-raising, nor audacious, nor shocking
My friend and co-founder of the MBU gave this to me that he found in the anarchist brewpub and library place near his place.  They have an interesting paperback shelf and he thought I would appreciate this one (and another that will come later), though didn't necessarily expect me to read it. He also had read about the author having a fairly fetid personal history.  I needed something easy in these February doldrums so jumped right on it.

I did not have high expectations.  In some ways, it wasn't as bad as I feared.  It was relatively low-key in the politics (centrist for the time, which is a bit to the left of today's mainstream U.S. politics) compared to nonsense like State of Fear and basically just wanted to tell its story.  On the other hand, it is really generic and honestly not very thrilling at all.  It's an alternate future, where Ted Kennedy becomes president after Carter.  A young FBI agent (who actually hopes to return to academics) takes the call and gets wrapped up in a conspiracy to assassinate the president.  There is a lot of mild American politics/Kennedy assassination fan theory that must have helped make this book successful (as it seems based on the cover).  The conspiracy is pretty lame, nobody does anything cool and the characters are all kind of insipid and dull.  I am going to look up Jeffrey Archer's past now and I hope that is more interesting than what he wrote here.

I wonder if I would have liked it better had it this lovely earlier cover:

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