George Bush Dark Prince of Love (Virago V)

Millet, Lydia

Published by Virago Press Limited, 1999
ISBN 10: 1860496660 / ISBN 13: 9781860496660
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Synopsis: Rosemary, an obese ex-con with no visible career prospects and a drug-addict boyfriend old enough to be her grandfather, has an obsessive crush on the 41st President of the USA. She makes a series of increasingly outrageous plays for Bush's attention, until finally she reaches the White House.

Review: Realists will scoff at George Bush, Dark Prince of Love. Absurdists, however, may rejoice. To put it politely, the narrator of Lydia Millet's satire is fat, felonious, trailer-park trash who's out to replace Barbara Bush in the president's affections. The narrator, however, would describe herself differently--for despite her unfortunate circumstances, Rosemary could give Lucian lessons in rhetoric and trade bons mots with Oscar Wilde. From the start, she's convinced that she and Mr. Bush are soul mates: "I found I was beginning to look forward to G.B.'s sound bites and public appearances with the childish curiosity and appetite I had formerly reserved for Seabreezes, monster-truck rallies, and all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets." As she does her best to worm her way into the chief executive's affections while trying to avoid further incarceration, Rosemary moves in with the aged Russell, who comes complete with a voice box, dentures, a serious cocaine habit, and the most revolting friends in the history of humanity. Nonetheless, the man is a Bush fan, and our heroine prefers his home as a base of operations. Though Rosemary found G.B.'s inaugural performance a turn-on, it isn't until the Gulf War heats up that she really falls in love:

I'd started to tape CNN during the day, while my role as a stalwart blue-collar American worker kept me away from my duties to G.B. At night I would fast-forward through the tape during commercials in the live coverage, until I caught sight of him. And then I'd sit there dreamily, a deer in the headlights of his transformation. G.B. was a man of action, a G.I. Joe fresh off the assembly line with special-edition gray hair. Only like those Russian dolls, there was a different G.B. inside the warlike Commander in Chief: a gangly prepubescent. The tension between them transfixed me.
Millet clearly intends the tension between her narrator's vision and reality to transfix us--and it can over a short space of time. If you're in the right mood, you'll find it hard to resist Rosemary's take on things, even as you wonder how someone with such a fine turn of phrase can have so little self-knowledge. But it's all part of her dubious charm: only this behemoth could transpose 10 days in an asylum into "an informal, ad hoc study of the mental-health industry, which had served to confirm my original hypothesis on the subject." Even those who tire of the novel's conceit will want to skip ahead to Rosemary's one encounter with the great man. Suffice it to say that things don't go at all as planned. --Kerry Fried

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Bibliographic Details

Title: George Bush Dark Prince of Love (Virago V)
Publisher: Virago Press Limited
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Fair

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Millet, Lydia
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Book Description Virago, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002261130

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Book Description Virago 01/04/1999, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Unused, slight shelfwear, in a very good condition. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 111693-2

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Book Description Virago, London, 1999. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First Paperback. A very good copy of this book. No creases to the spine or to the covers. 187 very clean, tight pages. -- a woman's schoolgirl crush on America's 41st president. Humerous Fiction. Bookseller Inventory # 009347

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