While some reviews chose to dwell on the book’s homosexuality, I decided that mine would veer a little farther from what were commonly discussed in GoodReads and other blogs The novel is generally about extortion and national security but its political dash hit home a little too close to ignore so I took particular attention to the details of the presidential campaign and suspected a sharp relevance to the presidential election in PH just ayear ago. The author has somehow maneuvered the novel to move in a way that the two subjects weaved in dramatically. Some of the excerpts I found interesting are:
1. “Fame won’t win the election”
“No, It won’t. But money will. Money buys television and polls. And that’s all it takes. ”
This was a dialogue between Aaron Lake, expressing his doubts of winning the election and Teddy Maynard, CIA Director affriming and boosting his confidence that money can buy presidency. Ofcourse, every voter knows that a candidate without enough funds have very thin chances of getting elected. It’s just interesting how JG was able to sculpt a detailed strategy of how the game is played properly and how to ultimately win it. The single key to victory no doubt is money. I have an inkling that this was how the game was played last year in the Philippines.
2. “The theme, the platform, the only reason for running was national security and Lake hammered out the appalling statistics proving just how thoroughly the current Administration had depleted our military. ”
Very similar campaign platform in PH when PRRD run for president last year wherein he strongly advocated for total eradication of drugs. That was the only theme and the Filipinos have been drugged to believe that his message is far more important than tax cuts and affirmative action and abortion and family values and all other issues like human rights, contractualizations healthcare and other equally compelling subjects. This is a self induced myopia, failing to consider all the other sociallly pressing issues in favor of one “very important cause”.
3. “York knew what was coming. The people would indeed squirm and dislike the ads, then get the hell scared out of them, and Lake would suddenly become a visionary. Teddy was working on the terror. ”
York was Teddy Maynard’s PA and this was his reaction after watching the doomsday advertisement of Aaron Lake as part of spreading his message. Aaron Lake’s doomsday ad was received with a frenzy. Landed with a thud. No doubt projecting him as a saviour. WIth a banner that says: Lake before it’s too late. In PH parallelism, the campaign banner of “Change is Coming” was strongly supported by fans.
The lucrative promise raked in several millions of dollars of donations from armory company. In short, the promise sold pretty well among these companies and were willing to stash 5mil to assure the placement of a president who valued military defenses among many other pressing issues that beleguered America. What came to my mind as resemblance to this campaign strat was PRRD’s promise of doubling the salaries of the men and women of PNP and AFP. This ofcourse was received and believed so well and effectively.
These among many other points are but few of the many political bullets fired by JG in his book. I would have loved to read what happened after the campaign but Grisham, as anti climactic as he is in most of his novels, did not give me the pleasure of relishing how pathetic a single themed campaign is in the long run.