Apparently, it took Bob Woodward 3.5 years and close to a thousand pages to deduce that Donald Trump is unfit to be President.
Good job, Bob. Here’s a cookie.
Like Fear, his other work on the Trump Administration, this is less a book with a narrative thread and more a collection of scattered anecdotes from various sources cobbled together the way someone cuts and pastes articles from a newspaper for a scrapbook.
In reviewing a bad movie once, Jamelle Bouie said that the film was “the equivalent of a fast food hamburger. It does not satisfy. It satiates.” That’s the same feeling I had when reading this book. Want juicy tidbits of gossip on Donald Trump being an competent leader? You got it. Want Jared Kushner pontificating about his and this administration’s greatness? All yours. Want even more info on how we came close to nuclear war with North Korea? Here it is. Devour, consume, drink your Coke, toss the trash, empty your bowels and go on with your life.
The only part of this book worth the paper its printed on is the sections on the coronavirus, which at times read like a bio thriller. But since Woodward has no interest in creating a narrative thread, we get jerked out of Dr. Fauci’s world and back into random moments of the campaign trail and the President’s bizarre late night phone calls to the author. All of this leads Woodward to conclude that Donald Trump is the wrong person at this time to serve the nation, something the majority of the country has already sussed out for itself.
I didn’t actively hate this book; I knew what it was going in. But as my TBR pile is sky high right now and as I wanted to ride the zeitgeist for once, I put this before everything else. Boy, do I regret that.