As you may already know, James Patterson has just released a new novel with a co-writer who’s none other than former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
The novel is entitled The President Is Missing and details the story of President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, a man who’s life bears an eery resemblance to that of Clinton’s: Both men lost their fathers at a young age and had to fight tooth-and-nails to claw their way to Governor, both men have intelligent and driven wives who studied at law school (Duncan’s wife, however, has sadly passed away), both men have a daughter, and both men have stood before the House of Representatives, facing impending impeachment.
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Duncan, however, is a war-tortured veteran who has never been involved in a sexual scandal of any kind. In fact, he was so committed to his wife he has chosen to remain celibate since her passing. Duncan’s scandal is non-sexual in every way and, instead, involves revealed secret interactions with a terrorist bent on destroying the United States plus his refusal to name any of the details or intentions behind it. But, according to Duncan:
“I did it all in the name of saving America!”
A President putting all of our safety at-risk and claiming it was in the name of saving us; who would ever think of such a thing? The entirety of the novel takes place over the course of a few days as Duncan goes undercover to stop a terrorist who’s just released a computer virus infecting every server and technological device in the United States.
The virus is in the process of permanently erasing every criminal, medical, and legal record. Every social media platform, every form of entertainment, every video, app, photograph, website and everything else the Internet holds will be gone. The United States is days away from losing the world wide web forever.
And, although exciting, this novel reads more like a commentary on our current state of affairs than anything else; it shows our reliance on the Internet and social media, the biasses we are fed by our news and media outlets. It ties back to our general lack of education and understanding about the political process. In turn it causes Duncan to deliver monologues about the importance of stability in Israel, the responsibilities of NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and even throw some shade at our current administration:
“Surrounding yourself with sycophants and bootlickers is the shortest route to failure.”
The President Is Missing is also less action-packed than you’d expect from a Patterson novel. And, as it all turns out, when the world goes down and everything begins to crumble, we won’t be saved by militaristic weapons or Men in Black at all. Instead we will all be saved by coding (Patterson and I share this belief). Still, despite the lack of violence, excitement, and gore, this novel is still groundbreaking in all of it’s history-making glory. This is really because, as publishers have already pointed out, this is the first time a novel has been written with factual, insider details that could only truly come from a former President.
Maybe next time, Clinton will team up with J.K. Rowling, making all of our fantastical, mystical, political wizarding dreams come true…
Featured Image via Toronto Star