Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (June, 2011)
In 2006 comic book dealer John Sherkston has decided to break up with his physicist boyfriend, Taylor Esgard, on the very day Taylor announces he’s finally perfected a time travel machine for the U.S government. John travels back to 1986, where he encounters “Junior,” his younger, more innocent self. When Junior starts to flirt, John wonders how to reveal his identity: “I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine.” He also meets up with the younger Taylor, and this unlikely trio teams up to plot a course around their future relationship troubles, prevent John’s sister from making a tragic decision, and stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
Bob Smith has created a fun, funny, and interesting read that weaves together a tapestry of human experience: love, familial discord, compassion, wit, humor, sarcasm, and righteous indignation.
For me the most interesting slant to this book was the protagonist coming to terms with his younger self. The two really don’t like each other, but need to work through several issues in an attempt to accomplish their goal.
As much as I enjoyed this fast, witty read, it is not without flaws. The characters, although charming, never feel more than one-dimensional. Cheney and Bush were cartoon figures, not remotely believable. Still, in a fast paced comedy, that is easily overlooked.
Being a liberal, I enjoyed the book’s bald-faced left agenda. I believe, however, that many of the books political rants (and there are many) might offend anyone who voted for Bush/Cheney.
Lastly, I found the second half of the story lagged a bit, as it became even more far fetched. This plot has a dozen holes you could fly a 747 through.
This is a fun, original comedy that had me occasionally laughing out loud and often snickering to myself. I can recommend it to liberals who enjoy a light, clever read.