"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The GQ Candidate by Keli Goff

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Summary: A black and Jewish man runs for president.

Of course, he's handsome. Although the press calls Luke Cooper "The GQ Candidate," and it's the title of the book, it's not really about him. At first, I thought it would be about his wife Laura (yes, the cutesy-ness of 'Luke & Laura' does not escape the author), then it seemed to focus on how the friends of the candiadte would deal with his new campiagn for president.

Luke Cooper is black, but was adopted by a Jewish family long ago. So he is both black and Jewish. The Jewish part seemed thrown in by the author, since it's obvious that Luke is some sort of disengaged Christian, as he certainly didn't practice any Judaism in the book. I could tell the author hadn't really researched that plot device well. Luke's best friend is a preacher and the preacher's father also a preacher, who calls Luke "son."  Luke does far more Christian worshipping than any Jewish worshipping.

Despite Luke Cooper being both black and Jewish and a presidential candidate, there is no mention of any secret service detail or any death threats. Instead, the campaign scandals are a violent drunk friend who heckles the crowd, and former Muslim girlfriend with mild terrorist ties.

I felt that this book was good, but not great, needing more polish. There were grammatical errors early on, and many plot holes. Some characters come on strong and then fade out of memory, and there were many characters to keep in the story. It ended as you would expect, but with minimal closure for most of the characters. The concept was interesting but as a book, it wasn't strong.

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