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Patriots by [Frum, David]
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Patriots Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 484 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"David Frum is someone who fearlessly speaks his mind, regardless of where the chips may fall, so it’s no surprise he’s able to convey so much truth in his fiction." - Arianna Huffington

"What the novel captures best is the frenzy of our time. When money, politics and ideology converge on one city in the first age of truly instant communication, it becomes possible to stir up rage and fear on a grand scale in less than 15 minutes. Whole, short chapters of this book are simply quotations from the blogs, tweets and headlines of crucial days when the madness is at its height. Plenty of people have a vested interest in the madness... As one says: ''There are really only two choices. We win and they lose – or else, they win and we lose.’’ Walter’s proposition is that there is, in fact, a third possibility: ''We all lose.’’" -Charles Moore, The Telegraph

“…it is excellent political satire—and, for those in the know, bears more than a passing resemblance to reality.” -The Economist

Product Details

  • File Size: 1047 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NLP46E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick A. Hayden on May 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Frum, best known for his work as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and coining the phrase "Axis of Evil", has written his first novel, a humorous, slyly satirical and apparently somewhat autobiographical book about how Washington does, and in most cases doesn't, work. While the book's main character is clearly not actually based on Frum, I would bet that several things that the protagonist witnesses in the book are true stories Frum experienced or heard about. While the Kindle version of the book has several editing and formatting issues, the book itself is actually very well written and shows that Frum has the ability to be a slightly more serious version of Christopher Buckley, whos Thank You for Smoking: A Novel I was reminded of several times as I ripped through Patriots.

If you follow politics, it's a great, fast read, and even if you don't, Frum cleverly tells the story from the 1st person view of Walter Sholtzky, a layabout heir to a mustard fortune who has failed at everything he's even done and has no knowledge of politics or much of anything else. Walter is a decent person, for a trust fund baby, though he is far from perfect. He is made to take a job in the office of Senator Hazen of Rhode Island, an old Consitutionalist (Frum's stand in for Republicans) and friend of his family. As Walter learns how Washington works, so do we.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I am an inexperienced reviewer, not a well trained writer or grammarian and don't read much fiction. I read this book because of my interest in politics. David Frum, I gather from his radio and print interviews about this book, is disappointed about the direction conservative politics has taken. I read the book after hearing one of Mr. Frum's pre-book release radio interviews, hoping to enjoy some insider dishing. There are definitely some DC "sausage factory" scenes, some hilarious, some horrifying (is lawmaking really this nakedly cynical--even more than I suspected?) I realize the scenes in the book are not "the" way things are, but the characters do give the reader a definite taste of the old vs. new guard in conservative politics and of the day-to-day inside the beltway routine.

"Patriots" tells the story of the conservative party's relentless hijacking by more extreme right wing, somewhat anti-intellectual elements. At first the story's protagonist, who tells the story, newly arrived at a political job, gets ahead by mostly agreeing with everyone. The narrator allows others to draw their own conclusions about him with minimal information--usually seeing what they want to see, sometimes finding that to be a mistake. Perilous complications ensue. He eventually matures and finds his way among the ambitious politicos, sorting out those with a moral core he can respect, while avoiding being destroyed by the rest.

I was very entertained; some scenes were laugh out loud funny. After I finished the book, I happened to be listening to Bill Moyers and Company on XM: an interview with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, political communication scholar at U Penn. This was a welcome coincidence.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like to read David Frum's blog and I had read the first 10 chapters at the Huffington Post already. So I bought this book the first day it was out and finished it in 2 nights. It's written in an engaging and easy to read style. I found some sloppy typos in the book and the constant reminders of the protagonist's great sex life with the perfect not-looking-for-a-rich-guy-but-dating-a-rich-guy girlfriend became somewhat annoying after a while.

Going through the book, I often wondered whether Frum wrote the book with different names first and then went through and did a Search/Replace on "Fox News" with "Patriot News" and "Republican Party" with "Constitutionalist Party" and so on. Some of the characters and lifted almost verbatim from the real world (like Glen Beck). It was interesting to read about the type of power play, behind the scenes machinations that drive life in politics in Washington.

My main gripe with the book (SPOILER ALERT) is that the ending was somewhat abrupt and unsatisfying. After working the whole book for a deficit reduction deal with higher taxes in order to balance the budget and pay down debt, the Republican, oops, sorry, Constitutionalist president instead caves into his own party's demands and slashes taxes instead. Then what? Life goes on? That's it? What about the crushing debt and budget and all that? Forgotten? It went away on its own? Aliens came down from space and paid it down?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Format: Paperback
David Frum has written an engaging political pot boiler about the bitter machinations of modern day political America.
He would have received 5 stars but I began to suspect I was learning something or at least he was trying to teach me something - which I reject in any fictional work. Having therefore refused to learn anything, I enjoyed the book a lot more but it did cost him a star.

It is much harsher on the Conservatives than the Liberals, but with the eye on hyperbole and events built for the story rather than revealing any current truths. It is an attack, in a fictional sense on ideology replaced by rating, conviction replaced by the coldest pragmatism.

But, this is very fun read and to me, that's all that counts. Our hero Walter is an amblivelent rich guy which zero ambition and maximum apathy toward anything political. He is drawn into the malestrom of politics, basically to satisfy his girlfriend and grandmother; both of whom want to make something of himself.
Seen through Walter's perspective as we get closer and closer to the Powers That Be, we are made to believe that not only is politics only for the seriously deranged and cynical but that selling out in the best way possible is the only recourse.
I did think the ending was weak, requiring a now learned Rich Guy and vague hope of change.

I want to keep saying that this is fun read, a page turner, a great story. Highly recommended.
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