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3 out of 4 stars
Review by kandscreeley
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Dr. Carpenter bounces this idea off his long time friend Dr. James Holt, a retired cardiologist who worked closely with Dr. Carpenter when in practice. While the two come from different political backgrounds, they both agree that this idea of Dr. Carpenter’s is worth pursuing. Just as the two are getting the media to pay attention to their odd claims, Dr. Carpenter passes away. Dr. Holt is forced to carry this news to the media on his own, even though he is not the expert in this field. The question is, will anyone pay attention to what he has to say?
Reagan’s Shadow definitely has some intriguing ideas that will provoke thought in any who are willing to read the novel. While I try to stay apolitical, especially in my book reviews, most would agree that the most recent presidential election raised a few brows on all sides of the political spectrum. Dr. Gerry Maddoux, the author, has written this novel as a satire of the current political state in which America finds itself.
The characters themselves are also interesting and enlightening. While I do not know the author personally, I do wonder if he used himself as a model for the character of Dr. James Holt, as they are both retired cardiologists. Additionally, the author has not used real names for the two main characters in the book’s presidential election, but Dr. Maddoux leaves no doubt as to who represents who in the real world. I appreciate the author’s ability to change a few details here and there, but to leave the audience as to no doubt as to whom he is referring. In my estimation, this is just brilliant.
Dr. Gerry Maddoux is obviously a well-learned man who did much research before writing this novel. This is clear in the many references he makes to events that have occurred recently in modern history, everything from Brexit to the Orlando nightclub shooting. I enjoyed seeing modern events play out in the life of the book. There were also very few errors in the writing, although whether that is due to his great intelligence or a wonderful editor is uncertain. It was delightful to be able to read a book without being bogged down by a great many grammatical errors.
One item that is a little troublesome is the extensive vocabulary the author uses. Dr. Maddoux uses vocabulary that would be appropriate for a doctoral candidate, as he himself was a cardiologist. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world (including me) need to read this book with a dictionary or Google handy to look up the vast number of incomprehensible words upon which you stumble. Just a few of which are “irascible,” “interdigitate,” and “defenestration.” I enjoyed learning new words and did not feel this distracted from the story; however, I know that there are some who would find this just plain annoying.
I struggled immensely with the rating on this particular book. On the positive side, there were few errors, the author obviously did his research, and the book was very thought-provoking. On the negative side, the plot was slow-moving with little to spice it up, and you would almost need a doctorate just to be able to understand the words used. However, this is meant to be a book about politics and the state of our country. It is not meant to be a thriller. Therefore, I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars. I would cautiously recommend this to those who are very much into politics or vastly intrigued by the results of our most recent election.
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-- 13 Mar 2017, 07:50 --
I would just like to add that there are nuances in this novel that are very easy to miss. If this is a book that you are considering reading, please be aware that you must read this book very carefully. The author has made very subtle hints that change the ending of the story if you don't pick up on them.
― Ernest Hemingway
― Ernest Hemingway
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. ~ Psalms 4:8
― Ernest Hemingway
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