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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ted Travelstead has a unique comedic voice and puts it to very good use here satirizing the Petraeus scandal. It's funny, strange and ridiculous without being mean spirited. I have no idea what the real life Petraeus or any of these people are like but I can only hope they are half as vulnerable, bizarre and likable as the characters Travelstead has created.
It's a very funny read and I highly recommend it.

Andrew Condell
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
I first discovered Ted Travelstead when I purchased the excellent Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk. Since then, I have been following him on Twitter (as should you-->@trumpetcake). He is consistently the funniest, most interesting and innovative person in my feed.

Despite my being Canadian and having only a marginal awareness of/interest in the Petraeus scandal, when I heard that Travelstead had written a satirical book about the affair, I circled the upcoming publication date. I purchased the Kindle edition and, as I assumed I would, found the book to be hilarious. You don't have to have any real knowledge of the real-life scandal; Ted creates his own world complete with endearing characters. From The General's aw-shucks, moron-level naïveté to Jill's endless supply of email signature titles, the book kept me smiling (and laughing aloud several times) throughout.

Highly recommeded. And, seek out Ted's other writings and performances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I laughed. I cried (but that's a personal problem I have and has nothing to do with Ted Travelstead's work). I first discovered his absurdist take on the world via twitter (where he goes by @trumpetcake) a few years ago, and he has been making me laugh on a daily basis since then. Every comedian, pro and wannabe, took their shots at the Petraeus scandal when the story broke, but only Ted had the cajones, and more importantly the comedic chops, to put together this extended riff on the affair. Eggheads talk about two different kinds of satire–Juvenalian, which is the vicious, mean-spirited, tear-the-world-down kind, and Horatian, the kind that Travelstead practices here. It recognizes that even when people deserve to be taken down a bit, they're still people, and a recognition of them as such, married with a bit of "there but for the grace of God go I," only serves to deepen the humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
It's extraordinarily difficult to write parody that is not mean-spirited, but that is exactly what Ted Travelstead has been able to master in this book. This book is laugh-out-loud funny - something my now slightly creeped out co-workers, and dozens of train passengers who were just relieved the outbursts didn't contain religious diatribes can attest to - yet contains every ounce of humanity, tenderness, and slight touch of weird one would expect from a Ted Travelstead project. The Petraeus scandal never interested me, and it doesn't have to interest you to make this a truly great read. Do yourself a favor and buy this book, then follow Ted on Twitter (@trumpetcake), and beg him to write a full version of "My Donkey."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
...but he is truly no man's--yet every man's--equal. Regardless, The Petraeus Files is an astonishing debut by this gravid, burgeoning national treasure. The book is indeed an in-depth exposé of the politics behind one of this decade's most important public scandals, but the author also deftly illustrates the dynamics of interpersonal relationships among powerful individuals and does not shy away from the illicit beauty and/or romantic filth contained therein. This provocative, insightful, highly enjoyable debut makes T. Travelstead (or @trumpetcake or Bare Teddy Unbear) a name with which you should familiarize yourself now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I enthusiastically recommend this light, funny read. It's adult humor, but not raunchy. It's political because of the subject, but it's not snarky or cutting. These book is so well written, personalities just jump off the page! The tone and words are perfect, and I swear it's like eavesdropping on intimate conversations. I laughed out loud a hundred times between the beginning and the end. Travelstead really nailed it.
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on February 17, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Making fun of General Petraeus, his biographer/lover Paula Broadwell and their scandalous affair seems like it would be easy work, fill a book with a bunch of Jay Leno-like monologue sex jokes and you're done, a fun but forgettable read. I'm happy to report this definitely not the case with The Petraeus Files. Author Ted Travelstead--a talented writer and performer known for dreaming up bizarre little landscapes filled oddly sweet creatures and people--creates a truly hilarious and original take on this outrageous romance in the form of email correspondence between a cast of both horned-up and buttoned-down characters.

I was laughing at loud (honest to goodness LOLs!) within the first few pages as I learned about the General's professed love of bugle music, hatred of pool parties and complete ignorance of iTunes. Travelstead's deft treatment of the mercurial pair and their romance is absurd yet oddly respectful, making these love-struck kids quite endearing. By the end of the first couple of chapters, you find yourself rooting for them and their mutual admiration of John Mayer music and donkey-inspired love-making.

Ted saves the majority of his jabs for the insane character of Jill Kelley, the busybody bored housewife who throws lavish parties for her military neighbors, pens godawful fan fiction, loves chain restaurants and inadvertently causes the downfall of the infamous secret romance. Her inane text conversations with her sister and emails with multiple generals are downright gut busting. Travelstead's comedic sensibilities--follow him on Twitter at @trumpetcake (he is the best)--really shine bright with his over-the-top descriptions of her extravagant parties (Shark-Attack Simulator!). I really loved this book and want to know more about these people... not the real ones, I'm talking about the dopey, love-starved characters Travelstead gleefully created for us.
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on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Many decades ago I worked at National Lampoon...I'd like to think it was its heyday, but maybe not. Retrospect is a bitch, but we all laughed a lot at each other's written pieces. Read this book and you'll know how we felt. It has been, like forever, since I've read a piece like "The Petraeus Files." Seriously, hand to heart, you will laugh until you enter the altered dimension of Ted Travelstead. He has successfuly captured a piece of history in a way that only those among of us with the most demented minds could hope it all truly unraveled. There are few things more enjoyable than reading a hysterical historial event by a true writer. Ted is not lazy, has done due diligence; and one can only hope that he's found what he needed in the Black Sabbath files he was seeking. I could care less. When a finger points to the moon, only an idiot looks at the finger. Huzzah, Ted, Huzzah.
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on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've seen Ted Travelstead perform a few times at various events and shows and of course he's easily one of the funniest people on twitter (@trumpetcake) so I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was that this book was literally laugh out loud funny. A quick, hilarious read thats worth it for Jill Kelley's e-mail signatures alone (my favorites include 'Guardian of the Gate', 'Vice Admiral - Earth Patrol', and 'The Original Sad Keanu Meme'). This book is of ridiculously wonderful conversations, innovative party ideas, and some of the best e-mail attachments you'll ever see. Pick up the book and read the review of Patraeus' own favorite childhood read "My Donkey" and try not to embarrass yourself by convulsing with laughter in public as I did.
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on February 22, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Having had the pleasure of knowing Ted for my entire adult life, I have always loved his humor. He has a knack for blending the right amount of absurdity, crassness and silliness. He manages to twist scenarios in ways and places that are completely unexpected. The Petraeus Files is well executed and hilarious. He isn’t cruel or hateful toward the General and the parties involved, he just makes the whole thing seem very, very silly. Which if you step back and think about it, it is completely ridiculous. I walked away having a better understanding of the scandal than I did after watching endless news stories covering it. Ted’s spin is hilarious and my only criticism is that it left me wanting much, much more.
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