ASIN #: B00OJOAZVM
Listening Length: 2 hours and 50 minutes
Release Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Spoken Word Inc.
(Taken from Goodreads)
In this outrageous collection of "letters" to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, we’re offered a startling inside look at what’s on the minds of Americans today. From celebrities as diverse as Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, and Steven Spielberg, to anonymous everyday citizens like the minimum-wage waitress in Oklahoma and a dry cleaner named Al Kayda in Wisconsin, Obama hears it, and gets it, from everyone. And when you’re the president, absolutely no subject is off-limits.
An ex-student in Illinois is drowning in an ocean of debt; a harried housewife in Wyoming has dubious ideas about how to save hard-earned pennies; while a gun owner in Tennessee vigorously defends his right to bear arms. Even a Harvard classmate re-appears, with a not-so-subtle demand for money. Obama, who’s obviously a very busy man, sometimes answers with a brief innocuous letter of his own.
Echoing another classic of U.S. history, Alexis de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy In America’, ‘Obama Confidential’ offers a vivid, consistently amusing snapshot of America in the second decade of the 21st century, with hilarious results.
This is an audiobook, which is about 90% of the entertainment value because this guy does a bunch of different voices. His impersonations are pretty good, too. He does Obama, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Sr. and a host of “regular” folks. There’s a female voice that comes on occasionally but mostly it’s this guy doing a one-man show. For having to do so many different voices, they all seem pretty distinct. Except the guys from Texas, who all sound like George W.
I’ll admit something. When I agreed to review this audiobook, I thought I was signing up for a non-fiction book. I thought this was going to be actual letters to Obama. Within the first minute I realized I was in for some satire.
Satire can be mean-spirited, especially if you have a political bias one way or the other. This book is really not mean-spirited in any way. If I had to guess, I’d say this guy likes Obama. But even when satirizing the Bush family, he’s humorous but not over-the-top.
There are three discs, and by the end of disc one I was kind of already tiring of the gimmick. All told it probably took me a little over two hours to listen to the whole thing. However, it was amusing enough that it held my interest. My only complaint is that there was too much Ohio-bashing going on. As a resident of the Buckeye State, I took issue with my home being made the butt of so many jokes. (Although I did really like the “Ohioans for Ohio” bit.)
The one other thing that made it a bit hard to follow is that it jumped around in time. So, a letter from 2013 might be before a letter from 2009 and then it would go back to 2012. I wonder if the letters were put into chronological order if it might tell a better story.
Set aside your political bias and give these CDs a listen. It won’t take too much of your time, and we’re on the final months of Obama’s second term, so there’s no better time than to review the past 7+ years of events.
*An audio copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.