The Candidates: Based on a True Country
by Matthew S. Hiley
It is a political satire of epic disproportion. The story centers on Skip LaDouche and Harry Pinko, the two front-runners campaigning for the presidency of the United States, who have managed to claw, bribe, and scam their way up the political ladder. They are what we’ve come to expect from our leaders: self-serving and unqualified.
When Kimmy Faimwhorre, the reality television star that they are both having an affair with, turns up murdered, the candidates take campaigning to its most primal form . . . complete and total destruction of the opposition.
Nothing is sacred in this violently comic short novel from Matthew S. Hiley. His wit is sharp and quick, and this story is dark, cynical, and hilarious. Politics-as-usual and pop-culture are thoroughly skewered in one of the most absurd and entertaining stories ever told.
3 of 5 Stars
I should not have liked this book. Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of over the top obnoxious humor that does everything in its power to be as offensive as possible. This book is exactly that – graphic, insulting, immature, and shocking. It was a train wreck that I couldn’t ever really take my eyes off of. Page after page, it kept me reading with my mouth open and then left me with wide eyes and a dazed expression.
The story line alternates between the two parties, Republican and Democrat. Each side takes real political issues and just magnifies them by about 5000%. I found myself thinking “I should be offended, that’s too much, that’s over the line” but instead laughing and contemplating how absurd our current celebrity culture is. I think the best part of the entire book is how equal opportunity it is. This isn’t a satire that focuses on just one party or one issue. It takes on the entire political scene from media, religion, democrats, republicans, drugs, sex, and more. In other words, it insults everyone and does not hold back at all.
I’m still a surprised that I liked it. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite book but it’s stayed in my mind ever since I finished reading. If you are a fan of this kind of humor you’ll most likely enjoy this even more than I did. If you are more like me and don’t generally find satire to be your cup of tea, I still recommend giving it a try because it just might shock you. In fact, it will shock you, but maybe in good way! On thinking about this book my biggest reaction that I keep going back to is .. wtf did I just read?
P.S. If you haven’t already (and you live in the US and are able) please remember to get out and vote tomorrow. Every vote counts!
I received a copy of this free from Greenleaf Book Group through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.