Fiction Review: The Candidates (Based on a True Country) by Matthew S. Hiley


TITLE & AUTHOR: The Candidates (Based on a True Country) by Matthew S. Hiley
PUBLISHER: Greenleaf Book Group
EDITION: Paperback
PUBLISHED: 30 May 2016
PAGES: 184 pages





I was given a copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Warning: “The Candidates: Based on a True Country” is not for the faint of heart.

It is a political satire of epic disproportion. The story centres on Skip LaDouche and Harry Pinko, the two front-runners campaigning for the presidency of the United States, who have managed to claw, bribe, and scam their way up the political ladder. They are what we’ve come to expect from our leaders: self-serving and unqualified.

When Kimmy Faimwhorre, the reality television star that they are both having an affair with, turns up murdered, the candidates take campaigning to its most primal form . . . complete and total destruction of the opposition.

Nothing is sacred in this violently comic short novel from Matthew S. Hiley. His wit is sharp and quick, and this story is dark, cynical, and hilarious. Politics-as-usual and pop-culture are thoroughly skewered in one of the most absurd and entertaining stories ever told.”


At the Betty Ford Centre for treatment, addiction, and recovery in Rancho Mirage, California, there’s a large pond behind McCallum Hall, which is one of the men’s housing units.


The Candidates is not what I expected at all. I like humour as much as the next person. I tend to have quite a satirical, sarcastic, wry sense of humour so this book sounded right up my street. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver. There were some really funny moments when the book shone and I thought this is exactly what I was expecting. These rare moments got bogged down in all the nonsense and stupidity. Stupid humour is not really funny at all and comes across as lazy. I’m not a prude or old fashioned by any standards but great chunks of the book was too vulgar and brash for me. I really loved the concept of the book but at times it felt like the author was trying too hard and forcing the tongue-in-cheek humour. I also couldn’t help feeling that given the current presidency campaigning in the US that this book was in poor taste. This is the kind of book that people will love and gush about or hate. Unfortunately, The Candidates left me cold.




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