1 out of 4 stars
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The author of The 2020 Candidate wants to run for president in 2020. Or does he? He is a writer and a composer. Or is he? In this nonfiction book (Or is it fiction?), author Lloyd Bruce Miller sets out to write about his political views as he muses about running for president. Unfortunately, Miller does not come to any conclusions about whether he wants to run for president, what his views are on primary issues, whether he is writing fiction or nonfiction, or whether he wants you to read his book: “You can read on if you wish. It’s your prerogative. But you should realize that I don’t really make much sense realistically.”
Interspersed with his ruminations, Mr. Miller shares his raw thoughts and feelings about a range of topics including homelessness, free speech, racism, right to die, gun violence and the Me Too movement. Generally, Miller’s positions are difficult to discern. He is rarely able to state a clear belief and ping-pongs through his ambivalence continually. When he does find clarity, his views range from extreme to more extreme. Mr. Miller asserts that mass shooters are merely expressing themselves and that we should show them more understanding. And of the Me Too movement, he writes that victims of sexual misconduct and sexual violence should refrain from blaming their abusers and “learn to accept the terribleness of life.“
I enjoy a good political read. I chose this book because, based on the summary, the author’s issue interests sounded relevant. Unfortunately, the stream-of-consciousness writing jumps between first, second and third-person passages and reaches few obvious conclusions. Rather than clarify his ideas, the author involves the reader in his process about whether or not to change what he just wrote. This practice left me feeling like I was reading a diary or the transcript of a brainstorming session. Miller frequently muses about whether he had written fiction or nonfiction: “I’m willing to go along with you, whatever you say the book is, fiction or non-fiction. I’m not trying to be strictly truthful about everything, so that it might be safer to call it fiction.” The 2020 Candidate is a first draft at best and a ninety-page flight of ideas at worst.
The book is presented with no chapters, no sections, and only rare paragraph breaks. It does not appear to be professionally edited, on any level. The formatting of my copy is rough, with sentences frequently cutting off in the middle of the line and then continuing on the next line. I found ten errors in the first twenty-four pages.
I rate The 2020 Candidate 1 out of 4 stars. I cannot find a reason to rate the book any higher. I do not recommend the book to readers of fiction or political nonfiction. Lloyd Bruce Miller was unable to state a thesis or outline his main points. Perhaps he was using this draft as a test balloon for a book concept. It is hard to tell. A professional editor is needed to hone the message as well as the presentation and formatting of the book.
The 2020 Candidate
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