The Age of Trump in Verse
Written and illustrated by John Lithgow
Published by Hachette Audio
Read by John Lithgow
Here’s another review I meant to post weeks, no, months ago. I listened to this book, laughed a lot, cried a bit and then, in the press of real life, my plan to review it fell through the cracks.
Rarely is a book of satirical poetry a service to Mankind, but with this one, I think that is not an exaggeration. I had sworn off listening to any further books about Donald J. Trump. I find them depressing and so far not a single one of them has told me anything I did not already know. Oh sure, they provided some confirmation. (I find it interesting that even many of the pro-Trump articles I have read have come off as rather damning either for Trump, his supporters used as sources or the people who wrote them, often all three, but that’s a matter, I think, of where you stand already), but confirmation is not news.
John Lithgow does not seek to tell us anything we do not already know but his verses remind us of the many things that we should remember but have been largely forgotten, crushed under the hooves of the constant stampede of scandals and crises that have become normal in the last four years. Lithgow starts out with a note to both Trump opponents and supporters that I think they ought to read/listen too. Actually, I recommend listening to the whole book. It only runs for ninety-five minutes and really is a good reminder of what’s been going on.
Along with the verses, Lithgow includes his own illustrations, but also a few explanations as to who these people are/were, because a lot of them came and went with only some brief fanfare, drowned out by the next distraction. I for one, must admit I had forgotten a least half of Lithgow’s targets and I’d like to think I am relatively well-informed.
Best of all, though, is that these verses are entertaining and not just anti-Trump political rants. Lithgow masterfully takes on the subjects and shows them for the foolishness and dangers they are, so even if you don’t think you’ll agree with a word of it, read it anyway and see how much you’ve forgotten. That by itself, is scary!
It is no surprise that John Lithgow chose to read his own verses. The man is an accomplished actor so why should he not read his own work? (I’m a terrible reader in comparison… you don’t want me to read one of my stories out loud, but I can’t afford John Lithgow). Actually, I don’t think anyone but Mr. Lithgow should or could have read the verses in this book.
So all told this is a masterful work of satire with a needle-sharp point and an entertaining experience to boot. I highly recommend it (in case that was not already obvious).