Official Review: American Fascist by Malcom James

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7138
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 301
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: A-Z of Animal Limericks by Kate Condon

Official Review: American Fascist by Malcom James

Post by bookowlie » 31 May 2018, 19:37

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "American Fascist" by Malcom James.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


American Fascist by Malcom James is a political thriller about a fictional U.S. President. Despite the polls predicting otherwise, billionaire and political neophyte Harold P. Franks beats his female opponent in the 2016 Presidential campaign (sound familiar?). One of Franks’ key traits is shooting from the hip with controversial, often ignorant comments in the media.

Tech geek Eli Green is contracted to provide social media advertising for the Franks campaign. Once Franks becomes President, Eli is offered a job in the White Office Policy Office. The plot thickens when he is paid a huge consulting salary to install a secret taping system in the Oval Office.

I enjoyed this well-written story although I am recovering from a severe case of déjà vu. It is written in third person from Eli’s perspective. He is an interesting character who struggles with the unethical dealings in the White House. The author does a good job of describing the manic atmosphere of working in this environment. Every few pages there is another shoe that drops, whether it’s a poorly conceived policy, dismantling of a department or policy, wild tweet, or senior staff member’s resignation.

It’s now time to address the elephant in the room. This book is a thinly (as in paper thin) disguised story of the Trump presidency, although the central plot is fictional (as far as I know). Eli seems to be the only major character that doesn’t bear striking similarities to a real-life counterpart. The reader is introduced to President Franks, who has a successful real estate company and a thick head of hair; during the campaign, many women came forward to say they were sexually assaulted by him. It is also incredibly easy to figure out who the rest of the characters are in relation to the real-life White House staff. With name changes, the story contains countless accounts of true events– for example, the travel ban, the Special Counsel’s investigation about Russian interference in the election, the entertainment TV show tape, and the firing of the FBI Director, to name a few. It’s like reading a scrapbook of the Trump administration.

If it’s not already apparent, the plot is busy which weighs down the pace. By the middle of the book, I felt like I was running in place. Still, the side stories are easy to keep track of, mainly because I already knew about the real-life events. The good news is the second half is inventive and the pace quickens to a roaring conclusion.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an interesting read, but the story and characters are mostly unoriginal and the plot is cluttered. I felt like I was reading a play-by-play of almost every single event and person in the real-life Trump administration and Special Counsel’s investigation. That being said, Eli is a likable character and some parts of the storyline are fresh. I would recommend the book to readers who enjoy political thrillers and fiction based on true events.

******
American Fascist
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like bookowlie's review? Post a comment saying so!
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
NL Hartje
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1165
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 12:58
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 133
Favorite Book: Kushiel's Dart
Currently Reading: Neverwhere
Bookshelf Size: 382
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nl-hartje.html
Latest Review: G.I.N. Goddess In The Nude by Derrick Davis
Location: Woodland Park, CO

Post by NL Hartje » 01 Jun 2018, 03:04

I have to assume the author had no intention of veiling their mock-up. Perhaps this was simply the easiest way to highlight while avoiding a defamation lawsuit :lol2:

I have wondered aloud to my husband over the past year (without being political) if we should expect deluges of these memoirs from aides once the presidency changes hands. Are they disallowed by gag orders from writing such books? Inquiring minds want to know!!
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
-Dr. Seuss

User avatar
Ginnamassa19
Posts: 154
Joined: 12 Apr 2018, 07:35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ginnamassa19.html
Latest Review: The Wolf Moon by Nikki Broadwell

Post by Ginnamassa19 » 01 Jun 2018, 03:21

HAHAHA oh man, the concept of this made me laugh. I suppose it was unavoidable that the first half of the book referenced events that are happening today, given the subject matter. XD Shame about the too-busy plot, but ah well, that's what the news looks like every morning when I open up Twitter to a feed full of screaming tweets...

That aside, thank you for your review and for drawing attention to this book. I think it's incredibly topical! :P

User avatar
Samy Lax
Posts: 384
Joined: 30 Jan 2018, 01:40
2018 Reading Goal: 38
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 73
Currently Reading: Finding Perseverance
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-samy-lax.html
Latest Review: Running Amok by Paul Hughes

Post by Samy Lax » 01 Jun 2018, 03:40

Eli seems to be one interesting character. In addition to certain real lifes similarities, this book seems to also have some similarities to The House of Cards.

You've done justice to the review. Loved reading it.
“For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 53
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Currently Reading: Heartaches
Bookshelf Size: 257
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: Twisted Threads by Kaylin McFarren
Location: Mexico City

Post by Lunastella » 01 Jun 2018, 06:24

Thanks for your review. Sounds a little nightmare-inducing, but maybe if the author makes sense of it all it´s worth a try, it all depends on the angle it takes.
Very interesting.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 4961
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 49
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 185
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: NanoMorphosis by Marla L. Anderson

Post by kandscreeley » 01 Jun 2018, 08:24

Well, I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. But, I stay away from ANYTHING even remotely politically related. Nevertheless that this one is so plainly to do with the Trump administration. I just don't feel that I need that in my life right now. However, I'm glad that you found it to be relatively enjoyable. Thanks for another fabulous review!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7138
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 301
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: A-Z of Animal Limericks by Kate Condon

Post by bookowlie » 01 Jun 2018, 08:53

Thanks everyone for the feedback! Kandscreeley and Lunastella - I both enjoyed and got a headache from the story, if that makes sense. NL_Hartje - I also wondered about a possible defamation lawsuit, although I think the President has other things to worry about at the moment.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Lizzie Robinson
Posts: 22
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 10:24
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 26
Currently Reading: Heartaches 2
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lizzie-robinson.html
Latest Review: Aluria by Tyler Cook

Post by Lizzie Robinson » 01 Jun 2018, 10:56

I must admit this book has caught my interest, given the parrallels. Though it would probably give me a headache too haha. I think I might put it on my to-read anyway though, it’s interesting enough to have me wanting to give it a shot!

User avatar
Shaunie092
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Feb 2018, 22:36
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Shaunie092 » 01 Jun 2018, 21:26

Thanks for the review! This book and your review piqued my interest, however I can't bare the PTSD inducing trauma that will accompany it right now. Definitely a book I'll place on my bookshelf for the future :)

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 29498
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 105
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: The Cat Who Blew the Whistle
Bookshelf Size: 1808
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484
Location: Lost in a good book

Post by gali » 01 Jun 2018, 23:41

A political thriller about a fictional U.S. President doesn't sound that original. It isn't really my cup of tea, so I will skip it. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite the busy plot and the slow pace. I also wonder about possible defamation lawsuit, as it so thinly veiled. Thank you for the great review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 783
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 72
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 280
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Post by teacherjh » 02 Jun 2018, 16:32

It actually sounds well done, but I'm not a fan of politics. Thanks for the review.

User avatar
Kat Berg
Posts: 663
Joined: 05 Oct 2017, 22:29
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 5">Raven's Peak</a>
Currently Reading: The Girl Who Knew da Vinci
Bookshelf Size: 220
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kat-berg.html
Latest Review: Orchestrated Knowledge by Peter Leeson
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Kat Berg » 02 Jun 2018, 21:02

These kinds of books...Animal Farm was a thinly veiled political piece, and yet somehow I think that would be an easier read for me. I think I have hit the saturation point on 45 ridiculousness and would not be able to tolerate an entire book about the same, no matter how artistically relayed. But thanks for the review and glad you enjoyed it!

User avatar
CatInTheHat
Trial Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1610
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 57
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 98
Currently Reading: Never Stop Walking:
Bookshelf Size: 455
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: Two Sheldon Iowa Summers by Donald De Vries
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by CatInTheHat » 02 Jun 2018, 21:33

I love political fiction but don't think I need to read a "stranger than fiction" novel since we're living that right now.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

User avatar
CommMayo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 803
Joined: 22 Oct 2017, 14:19
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 76
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 183
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 37
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-commmayo.html
Latest Review: Survive The Fall by Julia Bright
Reading Device: B00G2Y4WNY
Location: Maryland

Post by CommMayo » 03 Jun 2018, 10:52

Please tell me that Franks gets thrown out of office by the end of the book!

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7138
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 301
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: A-Z of Animal Limericks by Kate Condon

Post by bookowlie » 03 Jun 2018, 10:53

CommMayo wrote:
03 Jun 2018, 10:52
Please tell me that Franks gets thrown out of office by the end of the book!
No spoilers. :)
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”