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The Trial of Prisoner 043: A Novel Paperback – August 1, 2017
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“With echoes of Nuremberg, Jastrow’s masterpiece of realistic fiction will inspire some, anger others, and provoke water cooler conversation across our divided nation. Whatever your position on the legitimacy of the war in Iraq, this is a book you’re going to want to read.”
—Michael Scharf, Dean, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and coauthor of Enemy of the State
“Terry Jastrow’s new novel is a riveting review of a controversial and sad period in American political affairs—the war in Iraq. Jastrow’s method of competing arguments reminds the reader of Socrates; the book is an engrossing drama well worth contemplating. Bravo!”
—Tom Dine, foreign policy expert on European and Middle East affairs and President, Radio Free Europe
“If hindsight is 20/20, what is foresight? A question posed existentially in a fascinating new book, "The Trial of Prisoner 043", written by Terry Jastrow. While the prosecution has the advantage of hindsight, the defense is restricted to foresight, and the reader must reconcile the two. The question becomes, what would you have done given the same circumstances? It’s a seductive question that makes the book a must-read. There is also a shock on the last page.”
—Bob Dowling, former Publisher and Editor in Chief, Hollywood Reporter
“Carefully researched and brilliantly argued, this is compelling, infuriating, and cathartic.”
—Lou Aronica, New York Times best-selling author
“Terry Jastrow’s brilliant, biting novel is a must-read for anyone who cares about international peace, war crimes past and future, and how justice can be delivered in unexpected ways. If you think you know how this story ends, start reading now!”
—Sarah Lovett, coauthor (with Valerie Plame) of New York Times bestseller Blowback
“Terry Jastrow’s terrific new novel, "The Trial of Prisoner 043", poses many questions that need to be ask and debated. I won’t stop thinking about it for weeks, maybe months. It is the must read book of the summer.”
—Catherine Bell, star of JAG, Army Wives, and Hallmark’s The Good Witch
“Terry Jastrow’s "The Trial of Prisoner 043" is a masterful blend of fact and fiction. A powerful story that entertains and edifies. Can the president of the United States ultimately do whatever he wants? Was Bush’s maverick decision to go to war with Iraq a foreshadowing of things to come? A perfect book for these unsettling times.”
—Terri Hanauer, film and theatrical director/screenwriter
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Essentially, this book replayed all the evidence for and against the Iraq War. The author was able to use real quotes from all of the principals who were involved in the war effort, as well as those who opposed it. He even included Hans Blix, head of the UN Iraq weapons inspection team, who conducted 731 inspections between 11/02 and 3/03 when the war began. No doubt, this book was very well researched. I’ve actually heard this scenario debated and wished for by my leftist friends while the righties I know seem to automatically dismiss the idea, much like Bush’s attorneys tried to do.
Jastrow created believable figures in the respective teams of attorneys and the panel of judges. Jastrow wrote that his characters understood that the very legitimacy of the court was going to be on trial, along with the attorneys and Bush. As a political junkie, I thought his portrayal of Bush was spot on. The prosecution hammered away at Bush’s allegedly nonsensical pivot from seeking to find and kill bin Laden for 9/11 to pursuing the war in Iraq. Lead prosecuting attorney Michael McBride said, “This is the story of how George Bush is personally responsible for creating the pretext for, and then waging, the Iraq War – and the devastating results of his war.” Certainly, the author does a pretty good job of presenting Bush’s side of the argument.
You get the idea, and I won’t reveal the conclusion. Jastrow has done a remarkable job, and if the topic interests you, this is a must read.
What if former President George W. Bush stood trial for war crimes for his part in starting the Iraq War? I've read alternate histories before, but an alternate future? A future that realistically could still happen? It's mind blowing.
The lines between fact and fiction were so blurred that I often forgot I was reading a novel. One thing that really blurred those lines was that, even though this is a piece of fiction, names were not changed and included such figures as George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, among others. I didn't even think that was legally allowed. Real events and dialogue are intermixed with fiction, which leaves one to wonder what is real, and what isn't. And because so much of it was based on facts, I soon found myself assuming that all of it was factual--which is a dangerous place to be.
Because the novel used real people and real events as its premise, there is virtually no character development. Terry Jastrow gives us a short first chapter (which you can read following the review) to set up the situation, and then the entire novel happens inside a courtroom. It is almost entirely focused on the war and the verdict, not the people involved with it. As such, there isn't much plot development as well.
Although I didn't always love the writing style, and the author had an obvious purpose in writing The Trial of Prisoner 043 (to bring the real George W. Bush to justice), the aspect of realism sucked me in and didn't let go.
This story is a great what if idea. What if Bush was held accountable for everything that happened when he invaded Iraq? Would he be found justified? Would he be sentenced? The possibilities are endless. It started out great. A former US president is out golfing when British special forces abducts him.
But then he is put on trial. Normal processes have been sped up and shortened and of course the opposing counsel is bias. But instead of having a top legal team represent him, Bush uses a family friend. What the heck?!? From there the story gets inundated with legal information, processes, etc.
This book was a great concept but got bogged down with the legal portion.
I received The Trial of Prisoner 043 from FBS Associates for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
Although, really it was a bit far-fetched to believe that a group of British paramilitary commandos could kidnapped former president, Bush in broad daylight. Then the United States tries to get the former president back but they pull back when they realize that they don't want to start something. So, it is aspects of the story like this that make the story unbelievable. However, as I stated if you can get past this and just take the story for what it is, then you will find that it is a very good read. One that I could not stop reading. What I enjoyed the most is that Mr. Jastrow captures the essence of Bush. He was the man that I have respected as a President. He held his faith and convictions throughout the whole trial.