Bill Clinton & James Patterson Are Writing A Book Together and We Have Some Ideas
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The President Is Missing will be released in 2018. Wait, say what?
According to a statement released today, Bill Clinton and James Patterson are teaming up to write a novel. The book, due out in June 2018, will be jointly published by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company and is expected to…WAIT, HOLD THE FUCK UP, WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?
Let’s take this from the top and slow it down just a bit. William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd Presidents of These United States, is working on a novel, and he’s doing it in cahoots with James Brendan Patterson, the thriller king, the emperor of airports, the bestselling author since Matthew the Apostle. That book will be called The President Is Missing — -baller title — and is being jointly released by two publishing houses because (presumably) no single company could afford to pay the ungodly advance these giants negotiated.
So, what do we know about The President Is Missing? (again, sweet title) As it turns out, we know a lot. Here’s what we gleaned from the press release:
(1) the book will be about a “sitting President”
(2) it will offer “an inside look into what it’s like to be President” and will “be informed by insider details that only a President can know”
(3) Clinton says he is “drawing on what I know about the job”
(4) the draft so far is “full of intricate plotting and detail,” according to a joint statement released by Sonny Mehta, Chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, and Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group (great titles, guys — almost as good as Commander-in-Chief, Leader of Free World)
(5) it is “a book that promises to entertain and delight millions”
Okay, so that gives us quite a bit to go on. First, the novel’s protagonist is almost certainly a serving President who decides he’s had enough of the pomp and circumstance and just wants to be a regular guy for a little while, and so during a state visit to a European capital, he gives his Secret Service detail the slip and goes out on a jazzy adventure in the big city. It’s your classic Roman Holiday scenario, mashed up with the “Tu vuo’ fa’ l’americano” scene from The Talented Mr. Ripley, including shades and sax.
That definitely has to be it, right?
Or should we maybe assume this is actually part of one of Patterson’s series? Could this be part of the beloved Alex Cross series, or maybe the Michael Bennett books, or even the Women’s Murder Club series, now sixteen novels deep and going strong? No, it could not possibly be part of any of those.
If this belongs to a Patterson universe, we can safely assume that it will be the Treasure Hunters series. How else to explain that cryptic note that the book will be “full of intricate plotting and detail” and those details will “entertain and delight”? Yes, the Treasure Hunters series is for children, but wouldn’t that be perfectly on-trend? Just about every piece of illustrated IP out there has taken a dark turn aimed at bringing in audiences age 5–85, so why not Patterson and Clinton? Name one reason why President Clinton’s in-office experiences would not be perfectly well-suited to a children’s adventure story.
As for precedents, Clinton is not the first ex-President to go this road. Back in 2003, President Carter, a noted author of non-fiction and children’s works, tried his hand at a novel called The Hornet’s Nest. It was about the American Revolution in the Southeastern states, and was hailed by The Guardian as “an unreadable book, one which leaves other unreadables (like The Da Vinci Code) floundering in his lumpen wake.” With regard to partnerships, we’ve seen only one other case that compares: then-sitting President Frank Underwood, who collaborated with author Tom Yates on a never-to-be-released bildungsroman, which began with the unforgettable line: “The Fourth of July means nothing anymore. Overcooked hotdogs and fireworks that always leave you disappointed, bite size American flags made in China waved half-heartedly by five year olds who’d rather be playing Minecraft.”
In short, all this bodes super well. Fate smiles on The President Is Missing.
Now, let’s all go back to the dystopian tragedy that is our current regime.