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Crooked Hardcover – July 28, 2015
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"A cantering hodgepodge of American history, black magic and political satire . . . Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Washington-style."―Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Clever...[Grossman] creates an antihero as tormented as any Marvel or DC villain. A nuanced, funny and moving characterization of a man reviled during (and after) his term of office. A droll riff on 20th century politics. [Grossman has] impressive narrative gifts...those who love deconstructing the supernatural literary references in series like 'True Detective' and 'Lost' will find much to savor in 'Crooked.'"―Elizabeth Hand, Los Angeles Times
"Crooked is insightful, suspenseful and funny. . . . As secret histories go, Crooked makes more sense than many. Fans of either political skulduggery or Lovecraftian terror are likely to relish the novel's many dark pleasures."―Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle
"A wicked & wickedly funny thriller . . . Lots of dark fun!"―R.L. Stine
"The journey on which Grossman dispatches Nixon is a fun one, a Merry Pranksters bus driven by Saruman or Sauron in Lord of the Rings."―Ray Locker, USA Today
"A captivating parallel tale."―Entertainment Weekly
"Funny, intelligent . . . Intrigue and irony abound . . . Grossman has clearly done his homework on Nixon."―Chris Tucker, Dallas Morning News
"Crooked confirms and details the extremely esoteric and occult presence we always suspected lay at the heart of the Nixon administration. It's got spies, and political intrigue, and a sitting President spilling his own blood onto a pentagram hidden beneath the Oval Office rug, which is to say there are few of my buttons this book does not push."―John Darnielle, author of Wolf in White Van
"At once wildly imaginative and deeply intimate, CROOKED is a demonically fun political thriller. The brilliance of Austin Grossman is in making big stories personal, even when the big story is super-powered presidents and intercontinental necromantic missiles."―Max Barry, author of Lexicon
"In telling the secret story of Richard Nixon, Austin Grossman draws back the curtain on American history. Senator Joe McCarthy should have been much, much more frightened. Once I started reading Crooked, I couldn't put it down. But be warned, even as you devour this book, it will devour you."―Daniel O'Malley, author of The Rook
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Grossman's work suffers from an odd front-loading. The bulk of the book takes place during his early political career, as a Congressman, Senator, and Vice President in the Eisenhower White House. Though relevant, and full of the sort of creepy rising action that you might expect from a book that dips into the Lovecraftian mythos, these sections feel like a delay of the payoff we were promised from the excellent opening chapters.
When that payoff arrives, however, it is rushed. I had been hoping to see Nixon as the inheritor of the magic inherent in the American executive branch. He is, though not in the way a reader might have expected after the first chapter. I was hoping for occult adventures, after the style of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Instead, we orbit on the fringes of an interesting story without ever landing.
By the end, I felt more frustrated than entertained. I was frustrated not at the book but at Grossman, who obviously has the writing chops to tell an engaging story, but chose to overload the appetizers and skimp on the main course. As I turned the last page, I was left with the distinct impression of having read the outline of an excellent book.
That's not to say that I found nothing to enjoy.Read more ›
The book reads like "Nixon goes from Point A to Point B and then Point C" as the author hits the high points of press conferences and events. Yet, the plot is not tightly woven together; it remains thread-bare. The prose ain't superb; one is never lost in the author's writing style. Honestly, this would work better as a graphic novel.
Why did I finish this book? Desperate hope that it would get better. My mistake.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A smart secret history: Richard Nixon's angry ambition runs, not into mid twentieth century politics, but smack into Lovecraftian darkness. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Alan Zelaya
A good read, and a lot of fun, and quite satisfying. Do note that this is a somewhat alternate history. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
A witty and oddly redemptive story featuring a mythologized reselling of the political career of Americas most notorious former president. This book could also be titled: Nixon vs. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Charles K. Orr
I had a blast reading this and there are definitely some very clever laugh out loud funny plot twists in there. Nixon portrayed as a confused wannabe dark lord, is simply genius.Published 1 month ago by Jilles van Gurp
Somewhere between Tim Powers' _Declare_ and Stross' _Laundry_ novels sits _Crooked_. Part alternative Cold War history, part biography, and part otherworldly Lovecraftian menace. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Howes
Interesting concept (Nixon was not crooked, but had to defend the realm against unmentionable inter-dimensional Lovecraftian horrors). Good three-dimensional (at least! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I think nearly every thoughtful reviewer has touched on this, but, wow, what a great premise. I can't say a bad thing about historical accuracy or the idea behind a book where... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John A Sanford
I echo the other reviews that describe this as an interesting premise with a flawed execution. Sadly I don't think I've read a piece of fiction published in the last 20 years that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Marks