Never underestimate the transformative power of humor to provide soothing satisfaction, as well as an almost miraculous antidote to all that might be weighing heavy upon individual and societal psyches during times of tribulation. Author Jim Tilberry offers precisely such a gift in the form of his laugh-out-loud novel, TRUMP DOG. The story opens gently enough, with Jerry–a freelance artist/general schlep about town–deciding to get himself a dog, which is how affectionate shelter-mutt Mabel enters the picture. The thing is, Jerry has not had the best luck with dog ownership in the past. However, he plans to have Mabel right in the house, keeping him company, so–as has happened in the past–no untimely deaths or disappearances should occur. And really, being able to identify as a ‘dog owner’ rather than a ‘dog lover’ might do wonders for his online dating profile, which so far isn’t receiving many hits.
In this comical tale Mabel, the Lab-hound mix, exhibits many loveable as well as exasperating canine foibles pet owners will surely to relate to. And repeatedly worrisome advice received from Jerry’s pal Orley is likely to make readers cringe, in a good way. In this fictional tale, U.S. President #45 is deceased. This means, when an accident with pumpkin pie filling leaves Mabel with a profile that looks a lot like Donald Trump matted onto her chest, well, it’s not much of a stretch for both Trump lovers and Trump loathers, to conclude that Jerry’s dog might very well be the late president, reincarnated. (With Orley’s help, Jerry may have had a tiny bit to do with this public misperception taking hold.) At first the notoriety Jerry receives from being Mabel’s (aka Trump Dog’s) owner is wondrous. His online dating prospects go from zero to 57,394, for instance. And newspapers, along with an ever-growing number of other media outlets begin clamoring for interviews. But then young men in red ‘Make America Trumpy Again’ (MATA) baseball hats start showing up at Jerry’s front door in ever-growing numbers too. And Jerry has perhaps started doing certain things he’s not particularly proud of (some of which might be considered less ‘public service’ than outright ‘fraud’). While the main character’s ineptness is amusing, it’s the concept of Trump’s re-embodiment as Mabel that takes the humor in TRUMP DOG to side-splitting frontiers.
TRUMP DOG by Jim Tilberry is a rip-roaringly funny read that also scores a few good political points, stealthily looking at a handful of unresolved issues from fresh angles.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader