Do I Have What It Takes To Read What It Takes? Week 6

Justin March 23, 2011 0

And now, the latest chapter in our ongoing saga of man vs. book, a serial adventure that I’m all but sure is interesting only to me.

To catch up any first time readers, I’m chronicling my efforts to read Richard Ben Cramer’s massive book, “What It Takes,” which chronicles the 1988 Presidential election.  It’s 1,051 pages long and is broken up into a ridiculous 130 chapters.

After 5 weeks, how I am doing?

I’M ALMOST THERE!!!! I was really hoping to finish yesterday, but I just couldn’t get the job done. After 35 days, I have read 988 pages.

4 of the 6 candidates are officially gone, though neither George Bush nor Michael Dukakis has officially won their party’s nomination. Also, Joe Biden had a near fatal brain aneurysm.

I will admit, until about 3 months ago, I had never even heard of this book. But clearly, it’s been read by a lot of people. One of those readers is almost definitely Aaron Sorkin, because a number of the story lines eventually made their way into episodes of the West Wing.

You know who comes off like a jackass in this book? George W. Bush. And  it’s not like Cramer has some embedded political opinion of the man based on his Presidency. This book was written years before W even entered politics, let alone ran for President. But, every time the evil troll Lee Atwater wants to pull some evil trick to disparage Bob Dole and Bush Sr resists, It’s W who gets on the phone and convinces him to attack.  Take that for what it’s worth.

When I started reading, I expected to finish in about 5 months. I’m happy to say it will end up taking less than 6 weeks unless I’m in some sort of accident this week which robs me of my eyesight and ability to process words. Cross your fingers.

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