The Surgeon General hasn’t really issued such a proclamation, but retiring Washington Tribune reporter Jan Woods is of the opinion every political blog and news website should be required to carry just such a warning.
So imagine her displeasure when a mere two days before her retirement kicks in she’s assigned to investigate a rumor about the President. A rumor that started on the political blog TruthBuffet.org (“Where Justice Is Served”). A rumor that the POTUS, Brick Bradley, is in fact a zombie.
The country may well be in the midst of a major battle to contain the undead, who’ve been rising from their graves at an alarming rate, but surely there’s no way the President could actually be a zombie without someone having noticed. Right? Well…
Much to her increasing curiosity, the more Woods pokes around trying to disprove the rumor the more it looks like there really is some kind of cover-up going on. With both her retirement and the election looming, it becomes a race against time to get to the bottom of things and determine once and for all whether the POTUS is just another brain dead politician, or an honest-to-goodness dead dead member of the shambling hordes who walk amongst us.
With the real U.S. Presidential election a mere 69 days away, author Steve Hockensmith’s novella Cadaver in Chief couldn’t be more timely. Everywhere you look – from TV to newspapers to Facebook to Twitter to the blogosphere and beyond – people are engaged in stumping for their people and parties, often with alarming levels of vitriol. Cadaver in Chief allows for a welcome time-out from the mind-numbing relentlessness of the serious political discourse by examining it with tongue planted firmly in undead cheek. Hockensmith’s trademark wry humor is abundant, with both liberals and conservatives spending equal time at the end of his political skewer. The media, both old school and new, also takes its fair share of good-natured lumps with regard to how it covers current events, especially elections.
Clocking in at 144 pages, Cadaver in Chief is the epitome of tight, no-frills storytelling. Things get jumping right from the start, and a nice mix of humor, action, and a little bit of mystery keeps things rolling along at a great clip. Cleverly interspersed “outtakes” from newspapers, blogs, and television show transcripts lends an air of realism to the feeling an actual political campaign is being followed – you know, despite the undead angle – and some of the best wit in the book is found slyly buried amongst them, so be sure to read closely. Speaking of which, as always with Hockensmith be sure to read the copyright page, as he’s up to his usual hijinks there as well.
If, like me, you’ve about had it up to your eyeballs with politics, Cadaver in Chief is a refreshing way to take a step back, have a good laugh, and refortify yourself to ride out the remainder of the election season.
And be sure to read Steve’s guest post, “Politically Indirect: Why I Hide My Politics from My Readers.”