AMERICAN TANTRUM by Anthony Atamanuik


The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives
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A quick-witted stand-up comedian parodies the ringleader of the presidential three-ring circus.

As a fitting companion piece to actor/comedian Atamanuik’s weekly Comedy Central Trump-lampooning The President Show, this snarky sendup caricatures the president’s precarious and outrageous antics before, during, and after his election. The book is divided into sections easily digested individually or altogether but preferably before a rapt crowd of politically savvy dinner guests. Our narrator is fictitious veteran columnist Kelsey Nelson, a former editor at Golf & Stream magazine. While on the green at Mar-a-Lago, Nelson befriended Trump and inspired him to commission the creation of a first-ever Presidential Pocket Library while still serving his first term in office. They hoped to pre-emptively crash-publish this “living document,” particularly before Obama was able to open his library (after all, “his time is done”). The resulting series of egocentric, self-congratulatory interviews, lurid telephone transcriptions, damning indictments, life snippets from childhood to military service to his “first love,” Mar-a-Lago, and the unpatriotic histrionics at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are uniformly appalling and rollicking. While the author’s material is (just mildly) exaggerated, it is a depressingly accurate reflection of the president’s clumsy legacy. Highlights include an imagined Trump Tower rental application (“name of daughter, mistress, or awful son who will technically own property”), scandalous Miss Universe Moscow and North Korea Summit itineraries, official calls to Area 51 (“what if an alien picks up?”), a 2020 re-election plan, a debate prep session with Roger Ailes (Trump: “Let’s bring a black baby to the debate! He can sit in the front row and then we’ll kick him out”), and riffs on Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller. Trumpisms and buffoonery abound throughout the well-executed, whip-smart narrative, and it’s all fun and games until readers realize just how unerringly close to the bone Atamanuik’s material cuts.

Readers who haven’t yet reached Trump burnout status will enjoy this spoof, which expertly skewers a disastrous presidency in action.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-06-285188-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2018


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