It seems that buying books by popular pundits is our duty as soldiers in a political proxy war. If a book by a conservative becomes a best-seller, then it's good for our side. But sales of a liberal book means we lose ground. Boo!
So our bookshelves get crammed with trophies we really don't care about. But I don't want to play that game. Sure, I feel good about buying a "conservative" book, but only if I actually want to read it.
I skip most books about current events. They're full of gory details that don't tell me anything I didn't already know about the big picture. In fact, when I want to hear talk radio, I'd rather tune in the late-night "Coast to Coast AM" show and listen to people talk about being abducted by space aliens. Getting pummeled by politics and more politics is brain-numbing. At least talk of space aliens evokes a sense of wonder and mystery. And the space alien people aren't any more kooky than the political people, and it's widely understood that they're kooks, and also they can't tax and regulate me. On the whole, space alien people are a better class of clown than our politicians.
I like Michael Savage because his show isn't about politics, it's about life. His enemies won't admit it, but Savage's only interest in politics is to keep the lunatics in power from destroying the nation and crushing its people. He understands that life is a challenge and a struggle for all of us, rich or poor, black or white. We're all born, we're going to suffer through a lot of nonsense, and then we're going to die and maybe meet our Maker. We cannot be saved by a political philosophy or a charismatic leader. Politics will only frustrate; we must seek a personal philosophy, a transcendental philosophy. And the quest is elusive. Savage understands this. He talks about growing up, he talks about food, he talks about history, he talks about boating. This is the stuff that gives life meaning; those elusive moments of serenity and love. Savage is another struggling human, just like all of us. He's a genuine man in a world of phonies.
The only other Michael Savage book I've bought is Psychological Nudity, which is his pithy collection of youthful anecdotes. And now I've got Abuse of Power because it looks like escapist fun that pokes a finger in the eye of political correctness. It's grounded in the ugly reality of the day, but we've got a hero to battle that reality. Savage's book promises to be more relevant than the space aliens, but it will mainly be entertaining. That's the theory, anyway.
I bought the book on faith. Could Savage write fiction? He's a wonderful monologist, and I love his anecdotes, but could he pull it together into a coherent story, and populate his fiction with believable characters?
I've read a few pages so far, and it's drawing me in. Yes, light reading, but real people (or real enough for a thriller...and of course there's a strong echo of the autobiographical), set down with a nuanced eye. And it carries an aura of authentic detail (I did not know that the prominent prostitutes found in Sofia, Bulgaria were gypsies -- see how much you can learn from an eclectic storyteller?). So it looks like I'll be finishing it, and will get my money's worth in entertainment value. And I've done my day's duty as a foot soldier in the war for our country's soul, and that's something to wallow in.