Emdad Rahman reviews Fake News: Strange historical facts reimagined in the world of Donald Trump.
IN A NUTSHELL, this book is lampooning of Olympic Gold standards by witty, Newham-based Author David Hutter. The digest by the 38 year old begins with a disclaimer warning that there is no suggestion that the fictional elements of this book – that is, anything other than the “What really happened” – sections are based on the actual behaviour of the persons mentioned therein.
Hutter’s satire focuses on the Donald’s attitude towards North Korea and assorted sycophants from both sides of the pond. The work describes imaginary scenes of what it might be like if the 45th President of the United States of America was involved in obscure historical events such as the military standoff between France and Brazil over whether spiny lobsters are fish or not. Events are described at the end of each chapter, with online and book sources provided in case the reader wishes to find out more about them.
Hutter had the idea for the book when he and his wife and went on holiday to China during the summer. He said, “At the time, I’d just finished writing and editing my first novel, a satire about hipsters, and I’d put it away for a couple of months to go over it one last time with fresh eyes. But while we were away, I read a book on British colonialism in China, and I imagined Theresa May acting like British politicians did in the 19th century.
“It struck me that reimagining historical events with present-day politicians as the protagonists is actually a great way to convey the magnitude of terrible incidents that happened so long ago it can be difficult to really emotionally connect with them. And since any politics-related train of thought invariably leads to Donald Trump right now, I developed my initial idea and decided that by focusing on offbeat and amusing historical events instead of serious ones, I could turn this into a satire about the Donald.”
The parody commences at 4.15 am on the January morning after his inauguration day as the new president plots to become the most famous POTUS ever. Thereupon the US’s chosen one embarks on replacing the Lincoln Memorial with his own on D Day and declaring all out war on North Korea via Twitter.
Based on those triumphs, there’s the changing of the number of days in a week from 7 to 12 to make the USA great again on the premise that if there are 12 inches in a foot, why not 12 weekdays? The move, as explained to Sean Spicer, would “be great for the economy because people will have to work twice as many days to have a weekend off, so we’ll double our productivity.”
There’s mention of exchanges with old friend and current foe Alex Salmond over matters related to gold and, of course, Scottish independence. Other facts the story is based on – which include a rabbit attack, the accidental loss of nuclear bombs and the ceremonial burial of presidential body parts – are described at the end of each chapter.
With fictional Donald Trump anecdotes that are based on the mess created by some of history’s greatest megalomaniacs and worst decision makers, this satire offers the small consolation that while things are bad right now, the world has been here before.
Having reading this side-splitting spoof, I would certainly recommend it to readers of all persuasions. The potent mix of hearty satire blended with vigorous and seriously witty political reflection will provide readers with an unconventional chuckle while at the same time highlighting our very real current state of affairs. After all, the power of ridicule is a powerful tool to highlight our collective human deficiencies.
Hutter agrees, saying, “I guess that just reflects my outlook on life, as pretty much all of my writing is satirical. And with Donald Trump, satire is just a natural fit.”
•Fake News: Strange historical facts reimagined in the world of Donald Trump can be purchased on Kindle for £3.80 or as a paperback at £5.70 from Amazon.