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The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir

by Peter Carlaftes

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197896,511 (3.93)3
"What would the world be like if U.S. Presidents of the past acted with the same impunity as the current office holder? In The Faking of the President, 20 renowned and diverse mystery writers create a new genre for America's highest office-White House Noir-with outlandish results catapulting presidents into an alternate universe with time travel, spies, drugs, and corruption galore"--… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir, edited by Peter Carlaftes, is a bit uneven but overall good collection of stories. The unevenness is typical of anthologies that include multiple authors, so as long as it appears that nothing horrible was included, I treat unevenness as a non factor.

These stories range from slightly unusual to downright bizarre, but that is what makes it fun. Keeping too close to plausible might not be a good idea in a time when seemingly functional people believe conspiracies about anything and everything. QAnon as a case in point, though believers of that don't actually appear functional.

I am hesitant to discuss any particular story because while the writing is only a little uneven the appeal from story to story is likely to fluctuate wildly, much like Trump's opinions on just about anything, contradictory and overwhelmingly illustrative of his ignorance. But the fun had at the expense of these public figures is less partisan and more a statement about power and those who seek power.

Recommended for those who enjoy alternative history (and future) with actual people and events as part of the stories. If you're brainwashed into believing that a President, any President, is above having fun poked at him, you may not like this book. You may also be a miserable old coot, but either way...

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
2 vote pomo58 | May 24, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Short-story anthologies are often difficult to rate, especially when several authors contribute (there are nineteen stories here). These stories are satirical and irreverent. As I understand it, the concept is that so much outrageous has happened during the Trump administration that these stories are supposed to equal this outrageousness. But most of these make Trump look tame in comparision.

All stories present an alternative possibility of White House history. Such as Dolley Madison as a voodoo priestess or Laura Bush and Tipper Gore duking it out to decide the 2000 election winner. One story does look to the future, imagining Mike Pence and his wife in charge in 2024 (and Elon Musk as Governor of California) -- to me, that was perhaps the most plausible story here.

Weird stuff, to be sure, and not what I expected when I requested this Early Reviewers copy. But they're definitely imaginative. ( )
1 vote ValerieAndBooks | May 14, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir
Edited by Peter Carlaftes
2020

A LibraryThing Early Reviewers book. This review is for the Advanced Reader Copy/Uncorrected Proof.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this title, beyond that it would be about U.S. Presidents. Happily, I was quite pleased with the alternate history stories in this volume. The short stories fell into all sorts of genres, not just noir: horror, action/adventure, humor, satire, and Science-Fiction describe just some of them. My favorite stories were "Old Pharaoh" by Danny Gardner, a dark and scary tale during the time of President Abraham Lincoln, and "Long Live Long" by Kate Flow, a tale of the assassination of Huey Long, when he was campaigning for the nomination against FDR. The ending of that story really surprised me and the similarities of the situation to our current democratic nomination process was eye-opening.
Being an uncorrected proof, there were some glaring typos, but I am sure that will be taken care of in the final version of the text.
I strongly recommend this cathartic text to readers who are trying to get through the trauma of the current administration.
4 stars. ( )
1 vote d_perlo | Apr 27, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Everybody loves to play “what if” with the presidents of the U.S. The readers are provided with a mostly dark collection of stories about different eras of the presidency, from Buchanan to Nixon. ( )
1 vote mrmapcase | Apr 26, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This collection of nineteen short stories is based on a simple premise: history didn’t have to happen as it did. Each entry examines a particular presidential event, usually one that did occur, through a Noir lens that shows the devious, absurd, and comic consequences that arise from a small change in our assumptions. From proof that Buchanan was gay to a fight between Tipper and Laura to determine the 2000 election, it is a disturbingly funny look at alternative history.
1 vote EverettWiggins | Apr 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
"10 Books You Should Read This April" ... "One of the strangest, most exhilarating rides you’ll take in noir this year...Editor Peter Carlaftes brings together a talented group of contemporary noir luminaries, each author offering a unique vision of executive excess and intrigue."
added by three-rooms-press | editCrimeReads (Apr 1, 2020)
 
"Many of the 19 speculative stories in this highly entertaining anthology show U.S. presidents behaving badly, some with the same impunity as the current occupant of the White House. ... Fans of alternate history will have fun. This is the perfect diversion for those seeking a break from the more serious aspects of the election season."
added by three-rooms-press | editPublishers Weekly (Feb 14, 2020)
 
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"What would the world be like if U.S. Presidents of the past acted with the same impunity as the current office holder? In The Faking of the President, 20 renowned and diverse mystery writers create a new genre for America's highest office-White House Noir-with outlandish results catapulting presidents into an alternate universe with time travel, spies, drugs, and corruption galore"--

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A literary coup d'etat, that ponders "What would the White House be like if U.S. Presidents of the past were not restricted by the time-honored hallmarks and traditional behavior of the office, leaving them free to do whatever they wanted, anytime and anywhere?" THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir pulls back the curtain on the “new norm” for America’s highest office, with a collection of bizarre new stories by a diverse group of renowned authors that take readers across the chasm of reality into an alternate universe—where Nixon takes a wacky psychedelic trip with Elvis Presley; where a time-traveling renegade targets members of the George Bush administration with disastrous results; where a spy seizes a sudden opportunity for power after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke. The stories are outlandish but—when it comes to the White House of today—no longer implausible.

The line-up of award-winning authors includes Eric Beetner, Peter Carlaftes, Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, S. A. Cosby, Nikki Dolson, Mary Anna Evans, Adam Lance Garcia, Danny Gardner, Alison Gaylin, Christopher Chambers, Kate Flora, Greg Herren, Gary Phillips, Alex Segura, Travis Richardson, S. J. Rozan, Abby Vandiver, and Erica Wright.

In an era where the bar for what is acceptable has shifted beyond what the founding fathers ever imagined, THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT is a highly recommended unique creative act of resistance, and a must-have for fans of politics, noir, and speculative fiction.
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