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FOTUS

A Novel
Narrated by: Dylan Walker
Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humor
4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

FOTUS is a political satire that takes place in a futuristic America in which Alexander Rett, a self-aware talking embryo, defies medical science, runs to become president from within the womb, wins, and during his first few amazing months as leader of the Free World, coins himself the Fetus of the United States (FOTUS).

Without even a fully developed brain yet, the fetus embraces the role with an unorthodox sense of humor; he participates in presidential debates, helps pass important national bills, oversees domestic and international affairs, and even runs his own Twitter account where he continually engages in political quarrels - all through a window in his mother's stomach, an intercom to the outside world, and his cell phone.

The nuanced story line, although seemingly inconceivable, touches on conflicting views on various issues - civil rights, gun control, abortion - that are topical in the political climate of modern-day America. FOTUS is joined in his bureaucratic ventures by a myriad of animated characters, including his White House personal secretary, chief of staff, press secretary, chief intern, personal bartender, and, of course, his parents.

FOTUS is an outlandish yet relevant take on contemporary politics and what it's like to be president with the entire world watching and criticizing your every move, narrated by the inquisitive, ambitious, anything-but-boring mind of an unborn child.

©2019 Kevin Postupack (P)2019 Bancroft Press

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Check out the sample

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for a fair review.

If you've seen the movie Idiocracy, you'll be familiar with both the strengths and weaknesses of this book. There are lots of clever gags and wordplay, and they can be pretty fun, and I actually think it's strongest toward the end of the book. If you listen to the audio sample, you'll probably get a good idea if you'll enjoy the type of humor this book offers.

It didn't always work for me for two reasons. First, the current political climate is so insane, it's almost beyond parody. Second, sometimes a book that is making fun of 'dumbness' by showing 'dumbness' and reveling in the humor starts to feel dumb in it's own right. For people that like that type of blurred line in their satyr, you'll probably have a lot of fun.

The narration is solid. Again the audio sample will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. I think for the right listener this might be something they'll really enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too many jokes, not enough funny.


All the problems I have with this book lie in the source material. The narrator is fine and is doing his damnedest to carry the story. I knew what I was getting into. "Fetus-President, oh ho, this should be a funny, not-so-serious satire." The problem is that it treats everything like a joke. The story can’t go two or three lines without trying to make a silly quip or call someone a goofy name. I feel as if this lessens the impact of any really funny parts because it’s preceded by the characters trying too hard to be funny. This also goes further to downplay any seriousness of the moment when the entire cast of characters is trying to be funny. There’s a moment that takes place during a press conference where the press is questioning the president’s ability to lead that devolves into the press making jokes amongst itself that take all weight out of the chapter. There was a serious chapter of the president’s secretary having a moment of reflection where I thought the book was going to have a change of direction. These hopes were dashed as the book went back to the status quo. The amount of unnecessary cursing also takes away from the potential comedy of the book. It just seems like half the characters are middle school students that just learned how to drop an F-bomb.

The format is bizarre. This is the audiobook format so it shouldn’t matter, but it seems like the story is written like a play. There are long monologues of the main character talking in first-person directly to the audience which are the followed by actions taken place in the third-person. However in later chapters there are flashbacks where the main character isn’t directly talking to the audience which are entirely in first-person. Furthermore there are conversations between two character that list their names and their dialogue like, again, it were a script. The inconsistency was pretty jarring and kept taking me out of the book.

The personality of the main character almost feels like this story was written as just a Presidential satire of Donald Trump directly and the fetus thing was added in later. The mannerisms and habits of the character are ripped directly from Trump, shoved into the personality of a high school jock, and dropped that into a fetus. I feel like the concept of the fetus President alone could have been funny if he wasn’t trying to be Trump. Just seems a little too on the nose.

The book also has a little of the Ready Player One problem where it seems to list references to stuff JUST to list references to stuff. "Such-and-such is just like that one scene in The Godfather, So-and-so just like Scarface." It really doesn’t add much and seems almost like a Family Guy cut-away gag without the gag. Oddly enough the book wants to have it both ways in places. It wants to reference genuine pop culture but at the same time have its own version of pop culture. It can have Back to the Future but has an alternate reality version of Saturday Night Live.

I tried to give this book a chance. I genuinely tried. But at 4 hours in I knew it wasn’t going to get any better. I feel like the book suffers from it trying to be too funny. While trying to shove jokes into every line, it doesn’t allow genuine jokes to grow and mature. I think if the book was trimmed down to half, and maybe the plot was was more focused, this could have been a genuinely good story.

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funny, a new take in the hilarity everyday life

worth the listen. it was an odd but pleasurable experience. would definitely. recommend as a fun listen as well as an insight to the absurdity of politics.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit slow to start, easy to hate, but keep going.

First off, this being an audiobook, in my case, I should note that the reading was wonderful. The differing dialect between the same words in the space of a couple of sentences was flawless, if a bit disconcerting to process, but that is the nature of the book, and the subject matter, not the reader. Still, if you cannot deal with that, be warned.

As for the subject matter, the main character is one that is easy to dislike. Even more, those that surround him. There is subtle progression, some might even say rebirth, throughout the novel, but you might have to take some time away to reflect on what you have heard, and calm down a bit. In the end, it was worth it to get through the tough parts, and see the humanity in the story. To say that it was worth it, alone, does not do the book justice. The wordplay involved is, though from a different perspective that one might normally see, insane in it's over-the-top nature. This book, unfortunately, gives Poe's law a run for it's money, and all bets are off till you get to the end.

I requested a free review copy of this audiobook, with expectation of my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to listen to and review the book.

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Hilariously Absurd

A self-aware fetus elected president? Of course he's a republican. I love how clever the book is. The absurd characters (President Er Magherd of Hangry), and the not-so-subtle swipes at 45. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-20

Not for me

Although i don't think the book is bad, i struggled to finish it. It just wasn't for me. It didn't feel like there was a plot or an end goal to the book. Maybe I'd like it more if i was from the US.