Checkpoint, by Nicholson Baker

There’s no way around it: we’re in an unfortunate period in our nation’s history — one that’s gotten particularly polarized and nasty and personal and divisive. One signal is that politics is creeping into everything we do, including the books that we read, more than ever.

This is an even shorter & more focused book than Box of Matches, weighing in at a svelte 120 pages, and only considering the direct act of assassinating President Bush. This book will not make Nicholson popular at Karl Rove’s house, or in approximately half the households in the US, if not more. It’s just the focused dialog between two characters: one wants to kill the president, the other is a little roped in.

I was hopeful about this book, mostly because I feel like there are things that we’re not "supposed" to discuss lately — and that as a country we’re playing increasingly fast & loose with the truth — talking about the "spin tactics" of modern political parties like they’re legitimate and that the way they’re doing it is the story. The story, of course, should be that more people are lying to other people than ever before. Not really that encouraging.

Anyway, having said all that, as I mentioned, I was hopeful about this book, and it was interesting, but ultimately not that thought-provoking. You might borrow it from someone if you’ve got an afternoon to kill, but I probably wouldn’t run out to buy it.

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