It’s definitely not politically correct, and it may be borderline legal, but I’m positive this is going to ignite a firestorm when the book is released. The book, Checkpoint, by Nicholson Baker, slated to be released just in time for the Republican National Convention in August, “features two characters who spend much of its 115 pages discussing how to assassinate President George Bush”. But, the redeeming value of the dialogue between the characters in “Checkpoint” may be their outlandish ideas for how to go about things. The Independent reports in The angry author, a literary storm and ‘one dead armadillo’:
By the sounds of it, the novel is hardly The Anarchist’s Cookbook – the fanciful methods the two men consider to take out the most powerful politician on the planet include using radio-controlled flying saws. Another tactic they discuss is a remote-controlled boulder made of depleted uranium. Ben asks Jay: “You’re going to squash the President?” Jay also has a gun and some bullets, but the book appears to cover its tracks somewhat by having Ben express extreme misgivings about using them. “If the FBI and the Secret Service … come after me because I’ve been hanging out with you in a hotel room before you make some crazy attempt on the life of the President,” Ben says, “I’m totally cooked.”
Pass the radio-controlled flying saws my way. Even if impractical, the gist is certainly humorous, perhaps cynical. The Washington Post covers the anger behind the novel’s author in A Novel’s Plot Against the President:
The novel, says Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards, “is a portrait of an anguished protagonist pushed to extremes. Baker is using the framework and story structure as a narrative device to express the discontent many in America are feeling right now.”
Bogaards says: “It is not the first time a novelist has chosen fiction to express their point of view about American society or politics. Upton Sinclair did it. So did John Steinbeck. Nick Baker does it with more nerve and fewer pages.”
Expect a firestorm from the right-wing political pundits over this book though, now would be an opportune time to look up quotes where they have claimed liberals advocates book-burning and censorship.
The angry author, a literary storm and ‘one dead armadillo’ [Independent.co.uk]
A Novel’s Plot Against the President [WaPo]