The President is Missing
James Patterson, Bill Clinton

by

Nina Calhoun

Reviews

Reviews for the book, The President is Missing, by Clinton and Patterson and existing critics are substantial. The book is set in the contemporary world and tells a story of a president who has gone rogue and is facing impeachment for escaping his secret service detail. The president has attempted to avoid the eyes of the public and worked towards negotiating with terrorists, which is against the American belief. Duncan is determined to save his country especially since he is the one with the insider information that would aid in stopping the cyber-terror attack. Reviews done by Sanchez (2018) show that some parallels on Clinton’s presidency are evident throughout the book showing some motivations behind the story could be the parallels of Clinton’s administration. In addition to that, Sanchez (2018) indicates that the transfiguration of William Jefferson Clinton to Jonathan Lincoln Duncan points out the fact that the two have similar upbringings and household makeup. The review indicates that Duncan is a revision of the life of Bill Clinton, the author of the narrative. Duncan is a war hero and a celibate following the death of his wife while Clinton avoided the military service during the war in Vietnam and had had to endure with different public scandals about his extra-marital affairs including the rape scandal that he had to deal with during his presidency.

Further, Sanchez (2018), reviews indicate that the book omits some facts with the intention of making the story work. Some of the points missed making the story work include Bach’s target that is not mentioned making a reader assume that the president and the officials from Israeli, Russia, and Germany that the president had summoned were Bach’s target. Asides from that, some people feel quite apprehensive about the book especially since it has some significant ties to the world today (Kirkus Reviews, 2018). The proximity of the story to the review plays a vital role in making the book’s selling point. One could likely agree to the report since some facts brought out in the book have a role to play in shaping the story thrilling to a reader.

A review by Wallace, as Charles (2018), indicates that when Tom Wolfe noted that one of the problems with fiction is the fact that it has to be plausible, he may have had such efforts in mind. Such reality evident in the book play a significant role in adding the mystique experience to a reader since a reader would want to know the parts Clinton wrote. Similar to other readers, Charles (2018) indicates that the book, The President is Missing, sprinkles pieces filled with several actions and reviewers take moments in their stories to emphasize the effectiveness of the action pieces in the book. An action sequence in the book introduces a reader to an assassin, Bach. Some reviewers praise the efforts placed by the authors on developing Bach’s character and her dialogue while others claim that Bach’s character is the reason why modern-day writers such as Patterson are terrible writers (Charles, 2018). However, after reading the book, a reader would see that Bach’s character and monologue play a significant role in making the book interesting for a reader to understand and relate to as well. Besides, the way the authors describe Bach makes it memorable to a reader especially where she strolls seductively around the airport.

Nonetheless, the president is about to face impeachment. The authors portray the president as a progressive Southerner and have to deal with people who do not want him in the office and are determined to do all they can to remove him from his office. From the book, Charles (2018) indicates that a reader can hardly miss the real parallels between President Duncan and Clinton, who is a co-author and the former president in America. In the 1990s, it is important to understand the fact that Clinton faced his impeachment after he had an affair with an intern in the Whitehouse, Monica Lewinsky. The troubles faced by the president stems from some extraordinary circumstances when compared with those that Clinton faced during his days as president. The impeachment of President Duncan involves a risky maneuver of the foreign policy meant to starve an attempted cyber-attack on the United States. The story weaves through several meetings between the heads of state and the movements of an assassin obsessed with classical music, as well as, the gunfire surrounding the president who goes undercover to save his country.

Further, Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in the world today. Patterson is famous for his mysteries and thrillers. Sanchez (2018) indicates that the pages of the book have classic ropes of a big commercial thriller while also have several political statements. However, the book discusses politics and suggests basic policy reforms that the governments could implement such as those regarding the care for the veterans, police violence and immigration. Such discussions make the book look like a campaign platform, which is true as suggested by (Kirkus Reviews, 2018). Moreover, the plot of the book is timely since Russia is chastised for meddling with election while President Duncan warns some of the dangers of false equivalency in reporting. The president says, “When a person finds a mountain that he or she needs to expose in either a party or person, one has to select a molehill on the other side while also making it a mountain of being accused of undergoing bias” (Kirkus Reviews, 2018). The line stated above is acquired from the headlines especially following the treatment of Hillary Clinton by the media during her race against president Trump.

Nonetheless, Kirkus Reviews asserts that the presence of Clinton in making the book plays a significant role in driving the most compelling book feature (2018). However, a reader would want to know the parts Clinton wrote making it a meta-mystery for a reader. In addition to that, Duncan curses the impeachment referring to it as a witch-hunt engineered by the speaker of the house. Duncan claims how sensational news sells over the factual in the news industry. Duncan claims that no trust exists due to the partisanship that divides the country. A reader could be tempted to think that the curse of Duncan on the sensational news could be Clinton’s ideas. Behind the fictional narrative, a reader is likely to wonder some secret truths that Clinton tries to reveal about a president who faces a crisis. During the high-stakes, an adventure that Duncan embarks on, he encounters the husband to his chief-of-staff after a serious scrape, and the man says that the president may have a lot to say especially after noticing the haggard appearance of President Duncan. However, Duncan asks his Chief-of-Staff's husband not to mention the fact that he saw him to any individual. Berenson (2018) indicates that such secrecy makes a reader imagine some of the wild tales that the public could hear once Clinton discloses his experiences as president.

Berenson (2018) indicates that the book, The President is missing, is not the first fictional work by a president of the United States. However, the book by Patterson and Clinton is a book describing extraordinary circumstances and events. The book is the first one, which is informed by insider details that only a person who has been president before can understand. Barnes & Noble, Inc argue that the Patterson-Clinton book describes immense secrets about the United States government as the book, Pink Panther reveals about the French Government (n.d). Besides, it provides insight into the former ego of the president. At the opening of the book, the president appears to prepare for a House select Committee where his staff advises him from testifying. The advice Duncan gets makes him think that his enemies usually hate his guts. However, Duncan fails to reveal what he will do to prevent the cyber attack from affecting his country since he cannot talk of his secret negotiations with terrorists regarding the attack.

Duncan has a fabulous life similar to Bill Clinton, a co-author of the book, The President is Missing. Moreover, reviewers have been keen to understand the transfiguration of William Jefferson Clinton to Jonathan Lincoln Duncan. The two men lost their fathers during their early years, met their wives while studying law, and have one daughter, which show an interesting similarity between the two. Some of the differences between the two are the avoidance of the military service, a step taken by Duncan to save his country. In addition to that, President Duncan had saved his country before when he accepted torture and suffered for his country after he refused to reveal American secrets. Consequently, Duncan has not been subjected to rumors on extra-marital affairs but rather appreciated for the intense love that he had for his wife.

Further, the financial, medical and legal records of the country are about to be erased but only in a matter of hours. Asides from that, the attack is likely to crash the electrical and transportation grids. The attack aims at plunging America into its Dark Ages where there was no technology, good hospitals and schools and with poor transportation as well. Only one man could stop this and has to be willing to risk his life and save America from the attack. The president in the book has to slip the white house and meet with the terrorists. Duncan manages to get some help from some informants. The title, The President is Missing, depends on the meaning. Barnes & Noble, Inc (2017) indicate that the president narrates the entire story. A reader, therefore, knows his whereabouts. However, the title gives a reader some expectations but a reader encounters some significant surprises since the president is not missing to a reader, but rather he is missing from the white house and his secret service detail. Such factors help in making the book thrilling and interesting to a reader. Aside from the details from the insider that a reader grasps from the book, the book is full of tepid moralizing as Berenson indicates (2018). Most of the secrets revealed are those that a former president of America could know. However, the book has a large problem, which is the fact that the scope of the book remains cramped. A reader can see some details such as national panic are missing in the literal narrative. In addition to that, much of the plot is stuck in a room with nerds that try to crack a code from the computers. The struggle is exciting, and Berenson relates it to a person trying to remember his or her facebook passwords (2018).

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