Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
The Day of the Donald: Alex Shaffer, January 14—16, 2017
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
This cheeky and irreverent drama is set 18 months into Donald J. Trump’s presidency. Combining fact with speculation, it can be difficult to determine precisely which is which.
The Day of the Donald is told from the perspective of Kyle, a newly recruited ghostwriter for Trump’s memoirs who is to shadow him in the White House. Kyle quickly learns his predecessor met a sticky end and finds himself forced into solving his murder and trying to uncover whatever information got his forerunner killed.
Donald is littered with pop culture references, from pro-Bernie Sanders paraphernalia being sold on Etsy, to a tip of the hat to the final episode of A Game of Thrones airing in 2018, when the book is set. Most of all, it’s in no way flattering towards the 45th (and possibly final) President of the United States.
The satire gets more attention than a particularly clever plot or deep character development, but it’s nevertheless a genuine attempt at a proper novel. It’ll keep you guessing but only after you’ve laughed out loud. (A line about the Mexican wall near the start sets the tone, and is one of my favourites.)
With cameos from political leaders at home and abroad, and no shortness of brutal humour, The Day of the Donald is darkly hilarious – unless it comes true.