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Book Review: The Real News!: The Never-Before-Told Stories of Donald Trump & Fake News!

The Real News!: The Never-Before-Told Stories of Donald Trump & Fake News! John Bernard Ruane. Post Hill Press, December 4, 2018, Trade Paperback, 224 pages.

Reviewed by Ed Sarna.

The Real News by John Bernard Ruane is subtitled, The Never-Before-Told Stories of Donald Trump & Fake News! That only begins to tell the story. These satirical observations extend beyond politics and politicians. While our current Commander-In-Chief plays a major role in many of these stories, he and his party are not the only targets. The author calls attention to corruption, greed, and just plain stupidity wherever it is found on all sides of the political spectrum, including celebrities and the news media that encourages and feeds off the carnage. 

Each chapter of the book is a separate story. The author begins each with a premise, often based on fact, then goes behind the scenes to show what might have precipitated the event. There were times I had to pause to consider where reality stopped and imagination took over. It’s no doubt a commentary of the times we live in that separating fact from fiction is becoming increasingly more difficult and thinking something is too crazy to be real is, well, crazy. 

What separates this book from so many of the articles written about this unbelievable time we live in is Ruane’s ability to look and poke fun at situations without being mean or callous. Whether you reside politically on the left, right, or in the middle, you will laugh, cringe, and probably nod your head at Ruane’s non-partisan take on how we arrived at this place in time.

One of the stories, “Hardball Grabs Congress by the Lug Nuts,” was so much fun I didn’t want it to end. When it did end, I was a little sad, mainly because it didn’t really happen. Another story, “And Now, the Award for ‘Most Outrageous News Commentator’,” was peppered with fake-froth, flying spittle, teensy hands, and Cheerios. The opening story, “Democrats Discover Donald Trump’s Greatest Weakness,” is so off-the-wall, yet obvious, I envision the White House dispatching teams of interns to buy up all the copies of the book as soon as they become available.

Each of the fifteen chapters read like a Saturday Night Live skit, which is not surprising considering the author studied at the famed Second City Improv. As is true with skit-based productions, some stories work better than others, but all manage to hit their targets. When they are on, they are dead on. The book is a quick, fun read, with each chapter/story self-contained. I would recommend this book to anyone tired of trying to make sense of the seemingly senseless world. Take a break from your anger, frustration, and worry; just relax and have a good laugh.


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