2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Given the recent United States election and COVID-19, it is safe to say that politics have been forefront in the media. Needless to say, that includes written forms of media, like books. Cult Trump by Hari Bhajan S. Khalsa is one of those. I don't typically delve deeply into politics, especially while reading, this book fits snugly into the graphic novel department and piqued my interest. I prepared myself for engaging pictures, illustrations, and commentary.
The PDF version I received was one-hundred and thirty-nine pages long. It was an easy, quick read, as at least half the pages are the author's drawings. The remaining pages provide titles and context to the pictures, though all do not need them. The focus of the book is on Donald Trump's reign as President of the United States from 2016 to 2020, if you could not guess from the title. However, much of the commentary and illustrations appear to surround this past year, likely given the chaos that has enveloped the world. For example, the author discusses the coronavirus and the election. That said, he also covers topics like President Trump's desire to build a wall, which was a hot topic towards the beginning of his presidency. All said and done, this book is an overwhelming commentary on the last four years intermixed with a desire to encourage love and kindness. These messages are interspersed throughout the book.
This desire to promote tolerance, kindness, love, and acceptance was what I liked most about the book. While the majority of the book provides commentary on President Trump, there are moments where the author simply magnifies the above aspects with the desire to unify the United States and the world. I was very excited to read at the end of the book that ten percent of the book's profits are donated to ActBlue and the Red Cross, as it supports the messages inside the book.
However, as a whole, I was a bit disappointed. I tried to read this book objectively and not bring in my personal viewpoints. I intend to do that in this review as well. That said, I found the book to be mainly anti-Trump and critical. Again, my own viewpoints aside, it was just really overwhelming. Now, some people may like this if they don't like Donald Trump. Trump fans, however, are not likely to be happy, and I suggest they stay away from this book.
The bigger issues I had with the book were the illustrations and grammatical errors. These were my least favorite aspects of the book. I couldn't help but wish for more with the illustrations. The pictures were drawings or paintings that were then copied and pasted onto the pages. I had no problem with this, though I hoped for more in the illustrations themselves. I wanted more detail, realism, and better execution, and expected these as this book is labeled as a graphic novel. That said, this is a personal preference and others may quite like the author's creations.
As I mentioned, there were also grammatical errors throughout the book. I noticed these from the beginning. Mainly, the author seemed to have difficulty with missing punctuation and inconsistent capitalization. I have to assume, based on these errors, that it was not professionally edited.
Based on the above and my general enjoyment of the book as a whole, I have to give this book 2 out of 4 stars. It was a fine book, though I would not label it as great. If I were to recommend this book, it would be to those who enjoy political commentary, specifically those who are anti-Trump or opposed to his time as president. That said, those who support him should definitely stay away from this book.
View: on Bookshelves