Will Worsley

Book Review: Alternative Facts

When British author Mike Hogan set out to write his satirical novel about the American presidency, he couldn’t imagine that Donald Trump would actually win the 2016 election. He had to rewrite his book, even rename it.

Alternative Facts is the story of Jack Gould, the ambitious Speaker of the House of Representatives who seeks to fill the vacancy of vice president in the chaotic aftermath of Trump’s removal from office. He flies to a Las Vegas hotel to meet with newly installed President Carling, hoping to win his confirmation, but finds that the president has just choked to death on a martini olive while engaging in a sex act with a transgendered prostitute. As third in line to the presidency, Speaker Gould is now the president anyway. Carling’s death is so scandalous that Gould needs to cover it up somehow. Another problem is that the prostitute has absconded with the nuclear football and can’t be found.

As luck would have it, a convention of the Undertakers Society of America (USA) is being held in the very same Sin City hotel. Gould enlists the aid of two skilled morticians in an ill-fated attempt to conceal evidence of how the late president died. Meanwhile the nuclear football falls into the hands of a precocious thirteen-year-old boy who manages to set it off and almost annihilates Belgium, London, and Gould’s home town in Arkansas. The smart-mouthed thirteen-year-old is the funniest character in the book.

Eventually everything works out, but not before the author takes the reader on a wild ride through the the insanity of the American political scene. Hogan knew American politics well enough to pull off a riotous satire about this country and the sad state of its governance. This book is highly recommended for people of all political persuasions.

By Mike Hogan
387 pp., Self-published in paperback, $15.99