Book Review : Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster (2016)
The 2016 U.S presidential campaign brought the absolute worse out of people. Nevermind the terrible people running, the disconnect between intellectual and working class America has never been more apparent and more EXPLOITED for political gain. That's the bilateral political system for you. Everything's either good or evil and the latter is always associated to your opponent. Nobody in the history of U.S politics ever embraced this image and made insane statements during a campaign than Donald Trump, though. Even his most passionate supporters had to ask themselves at least once over the last year: what the fuck is wrong with this guy? This is what lead Zelmer Pulp to publish Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster, an emergency volume of Trump-inspired fiction. Look, we're all out of anger for the guy. So, why not put on orange-colored glasses and imagine what the future looks like under his reign?
Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster features stories by: Lindsay Wells, Nick Kolakowski, C.S DeWildt, C.A Viruet, Andrew Hilbert, Michael Wells, Gareth Spark and Chuck Regan. They're satirical pulp fiction to different degrees. For example, Lindsay Wells' excellent Walled In begins as rather traditional post-apocalyptic wasteland fiction. I've almost lost patience with it a couple times because it first sounded out of place in a Donald Trump-inspired anthology, but it's a story you need to work with. It has many surprises packed in the second half. I particularly appreciated how Wells used Trump's theatrical vernacular to create contrast with the post-apocalyptic setting his presidency created. It was funny as hell and cleverly exposed how the world Donald Trump sells and the world his promises built are very different things.
The two other standout stories in Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster were C.A Viruet's Cheeto Jesus and Chuck Regan's The Wart of the Deal. The former features exasperated army officers overthrowing a hypothetical Donald Trump government. It's a complete improvised fiasco which the future of America depends on. It is lean, mean and downright uproarious. Viruet's story definitely lives up to the collection's subtitle of "total disaster." Regan's The Wart of the Deal, like Lindsay Wells' Walled In, attacks Donald Trump's silly rhetoric and the hypothetical reality it would create. It's fun. It's over the top. It imagines a future where Twitter doesn't go bankrupt by 2020 and serves as pseudo-PSA board for Presidential actions. I was entertained. Chuck Regan's stories are always awesome. He's probably the best author that nobody I know has read yet.
The 2016 U.S Presidential election is next Tuesday and it doesn't really matter who wins. Whoever wins this election, it's only a win for them and everybody else in Occidental society (you and I included) loses. So why not laugh about it instead of crying? This is a terrible presidential election and only satire can portray how bad it is. Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster is simple, straightforward and hilarious. The eight stories in the collection range from good to laugh-out-loud funny. Sure, it's been hastily put together to meet the end of campaign deadline and there's a definite DIY feeling to it, but there are worst things you can do with your literature than go punk, if only for a moment. Trumpocalypse! A Total Disaster is the perfect companion for the upcoming election night. That and, you know, a 40 oz. of bourbon. And maybe a box of tissues.