“What if our nation’s worst president was actually a pivotal figure caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality? What if the man we call our worst president was, in truth, our greatest?”
These are the questions posed by the new novel Crooked by Austin Grossman—indeed, the quoted text is from the official book description—into which I recently immersed myself.
The moment I heard Crooked’s premise, it grabbed my interest: a supernatural, Lovecraftian layer to not just the Watergate scandal but to Nixon’s full political career, the entire Cold War, and the institution of the U.S. Presidency itself. (Note: The novel is alternative history, and not meant as some sort of non-fiction conspiracy exposé.) I knew I was going to read it. What I got was a book with a fantastic first half that stumbles toward the end and ultimately leaves me disappointed. [Read more…]