Book Review: The Lizard King
The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama’s True Intergalactic Ambitions is a clever novella that combines the most popular conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama, the general consensus on the attitudes of highest of high profile characters within the White House in the first few years of his administration and a bit of science fiction. If you’ve ever read a short story by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. that deals with politics and history (like Slap Stick, Deadeye Dick, Slaughterhouse Five, Jail Bird, etc.), then you’ll likely come to the conclusion that the Lizard King is paying some sort of homage to those ecellent books. The book was supposedly written by a former high ranking White House staff member who left the Administration in the first year, but ultimately that’s just part of the book’s narrative…
One thing that the book is not is the gospel truth about the myriad of conspiracy theories that have been floating around ever since the former Senator former Illinois decided to run for President of the United States in 2006. But one could argue that the book does a good job of illustrating how a contentious conversation between the uppity ups in the White House might play out in a given situation. Sure, none of the conversations or caricatures portrayed in the Lizard King are real, but they strike enough of a chord of familiarity (based on public accounts we already know about the key players) that it will make you wonder if the book was really written by someone inside the White House… if only for a fleeting moment.
The book uses mostly real people to tell its story such as Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary get name-dropped, but the bulk of the book focuses on the president’s top three advisors and the president himself. Rahm Emanuel is portrayed as a foul mouthed exhibitionists who isn’t concerned all that much with being politically correct and a mortal enemy of Valerie Jarrett; David Axelrod is a wise old political hand and loyal soldier for Obama with bad fashion sense and propensity for consuming copious amounts of alcohol, smoking and take-out. Finally, Valerie Jarrett is described as the most loyal and trusted of Obama’s allies, though the book paints her as empty-headed, soulless and calculatingly cool to those she perceives as her enemies.
Probably the most unflattering portrayal in the book is of the president himself, but it would be hard to set up the coup de grace at the end of The Lizard King if the first African American president wasn’t painted as a monster – a power-hungry, self-absorbed leader with a secret agenda and an inability to listen to anyone other than his closest of allies.
By the end of it anyone that believes that President Obama is a closet homosexual, was born in Kenya (not an American citizen), is a secret Muslim bent on the destruction of the West (think Manchurian Candidate or Showtime’s Homeland) , or is a communist (or socialist, or Marxist) might feel silly that they have come to those conclusions. One thing they might not feel silly about is how the Lizard King does a grand job of providing an illustration of how a contentious meeting in the Oval Office might play out and how the authors(s) did a pretty good job of weaving what the press knows about the President’s inner circle into the overall plot.
Democrats and Republicans should definitely pick up this book and give it a read. It’s right around $5 bucks and even though the conservative news site The Daily Caller is associated with the book, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t entertaining. If I had to lodge one complaint against The Lizard King it would be that the book is just way to short — it makes it hard to flesh out some of the more interesting interactions between the protagonist and the key players in the White House. That aside, you should still check out The Lizard King because it is a very entertaining, makes fun of conspiracy theorists in America and Administration supporters, and is a light and easy read.
Final Verdict: Buy ItExplore posts in the same categories: Feature, Politics, Review
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