Review of Madam Vice President

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Laura Weber
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Latest Review: Madam Vice President by Julian Mann
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Review of Madam Vice President

Post by Laura Weber »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Madam Vice President" by Julian Mann.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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WOW!! What a book! What a life! `[“Madam Vice President”/], by Julian Mann, may be a complicate reading, but it does take the reader’s full atention. It is a good book.
Summer 1980: Vera is a very beautiful 17 years old girl with a very sad life. Her mother died, and her father is unable to cope with this death, and gives himself to drinking and adoring the dead wife. Vera finds her place in the world "playing" with a motorcycle gang, that deals with heavy drugs commerce, carries knives and guns, and use them. She does not care, because she is deeply in love with the leader of the group. One night things get out of hand and Vera finds herself involved in the murder of a federal agent; she goes to jail. Here, the reader losses Vera, and meets Victoria, in Germany’s fall, 2007: Victoria is a brigadier general of the Marine Corps, excelent as a professional, has been in combat, has made a meritory career in the force. She is very beautiful, and is deeply in love with a National Senator, Sam Eagan. He is unhappily married, and catholic, thus divorce is not contemplated. Both of them keep their romance hidden from every one. The relationship between Vera and Victoria, and the circumstances leading to Victoria’s position as Lady Vice President are skillfuly told by flash backs that carry the reader from the 21st century to the 1980’s. She indeed makes her way to Lady Vice President, and more. To tell the somehow laberinthic chains of events may take off most of the “charm” of the narration. For me it was like a movie, and should I refer just the most important and complex facts of this story, I would ruin the good work of the author carrying the reader from one situation to another, until everything falls in its right place. The character of the protagonist (Vera? Victoria?) is for me a mistery. Is she a good person? Is she ambitious? Is she lucky? How much of her “luck” is consequence of her resilience, living instinct, patriotism, or just plain ambition? For me, these questions are matter for long discussions.
Positive aspects: The book is well written, and well edited. There is imagination, and even one may think that this type of story is possible. The reader gets to know a wide spectrum of environments, from criminal gangs to a disciplined Marine Corps training camp, from the wishes of a fresh just trained corporal feelings to the mature considerations and respect for the law and the country of the Brigadier General, up to the dispositions and some non well defined (at least until the book was written) aspects of the Constitution Of USA.
Negative aspects: One important negative aspect for me is that one criminal, discovered for the readers in the last chapter, is not punished. But, if this was a movie, I would think that this is for the following part.
In the first chapters the author uses sentences in spanish, and there are mistakes. These are absolutely unnecessary. In other chapters the author simply tells us that conversations are in spanish, avoiding the mistakes in the foreign language.
Some aspects are not very clear at first, i. e., the fact that during training in the Marine camp there was another sergeant, in addition to Sergeant Judy, presented in page 184 and repeatedly mentioned in the story; the second sergeant in charge of young Victoria’s platoon is mentioned later in the book.
In some paragraphs “women” is written instead of “woman”. Page 157: “….never seen a tattoo in a women’s neck...”; page 211: “….Encountered an older women...”; page 214: “...the first women to ever hold...”; page 241: “ are a beautifyk women...”; page 282
An important editing mistake is in page 162, that says that “Victoria meticulously recorded….”, but should be “Grace meticulously recorded...”
Page 237: Answers of Victoria, just starting her military career, responds to her superiors: “ “….but.believe me, if you knew the real me, you would know you’ve got the wrong Marine….”, doesn’t seem an adequate response to the orders she was receiving for a mission.

I rate this book [3 out of 4/], although if it was possible to rate 3,5 perhaps I would use this cualification.

I recommend this book to adults interested in people and how evolution of circumstances uses our best and worst characteristics make us what we are. As a bonus, an insight in political maneuvers, evolution of the treatment of women as voters, accidengts and so many factors influence in individual and colective destinies. I repeat: I definitively recommen the book.

Madam Vice President
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