The Naperville White House Praise

The Naperville White House
Jerome Bartels $14.95

“The author filters today’s highly-charged anti-government fervor through the immersive world of online gaming and comes up with a political thriller that could only exist in the early 21st century. Complex and densely imaginative, The Naperville White House is both an astute look at modern politics and a clever product of the zeitgeist.”
—Tom Matthews, author of Like We Care and screenwriter of Mad City

“What if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was an avid gamer? Better yet, what if the entire structure of the U.S. government as we know it was thrown on its head and ordinary people came to occupy the nation’s most powerful posts? This is the premise of The Naperville White House. The story, set in the near future, revolves around a ‘fantasy government game,’ called Nationizer, in which players man different governmental positions. Following a terrorist attack on the nation’s capitol, the players in the fictional game are suddenly thrust into action, becoming ‘the nation’s only real hope.’ In the book’s preamble, the author describes the era in which fantasy government games took off in popularity. In a world with strife, the media started looking to virtual politicians for interviews and ideas, even as actual politicians, perhaps sensing a threat, denigrated their virtual brethren. In response to the game’s growing popularity, and some employers banning their charges from taking part in the title, the gaming industry formed the International Organization of Fantasy Government (IOFG). The President of the Alternate government is Jay Weise of Naperville, Illinois, who serves as an insurance adjuster by day. His Secretary of State, Julia Ortiz, is a librarian, while the Secretary of Defense, Duane Kilmer, is described as ‘a part-time truck driver and obsessive gamer.’ A crazy plotline that might be right up the alley of Game Politics readers.”
—Pete Gallagher, Editor, Entertainment Consumers Association

“The Naperville White House is like a breath of fresh air—a clever idea, very novel, thought-provoking, and entertaining. It’s one of those storylines which is, at one and the same time, both outrageous and almost plausible; for me, that’s a winning combination. Certainly, it’s not too difficult to imagine a political world similar to the one created here; in truth, we’re close enough already. On top of that, the internet and the world of gaming are advancing so rapidly that the fantasy governments of the novel don’t feel like too much of a stretch. And, goodness knows, there is enough frustration at the political system and lame politicians to fuel the motivations of people like Jay Weise. So the novel starts with a very cool idea as a foundation, and Bartels adds to it a nice writing style, a good pace, some humor, and big dollops of twisty, intriguing plot. There are some pretty neat characters too. Weise and all of his main cabinet members are well-established and have some depth. I think the technique of using Bartels as the author and voice of the story also works well. All in all, a fun read that I blew through in two days. I’d rate this book four (out of five) stars, which means I loved it. If you like somewhat futuristic political thrillers, or get a kick out of regular folks (ok, somewhat nerdy folks) winning out over Big Brother, then I’d most definitely recommend this complex, intriguing, and clever book.”
—Layers of Thought (Book Blog)

“I truly liked this book because it shows how one man’s decisions can change the world, from the Average Joe’s perspective. It’s a high fantasy world where the Average Joe rules. It’s an RPG (Role-Playing Game) where real people, using avatars, decide the course and fate of a nation, both at home and on the international stage. Now, it’s not just like World of Warcraft, where you compete to finish all the levels by use of brute strength and strategy, but also involves a dash of the Sims an d a huge helping of ‘real’ politics, a governmental system, and international relations. Some other things I enjoyed were the players’ relations to everyone else, how they interacted, and how they came together in a time of crisis. I also enjoyed the citizens learning about the government and how navigating the political waters is not as easy as it looks on the TV evening news or in the newspapers. Even classrooms don’t prepare for this reality. I’d recommend this book if you’d like to read how ordinary citizens learn what the political world is about and how the government operates when shaped by their hands.”
—Insane Hussein (Blog)

“If you have ever played Madden NFL football or been part of a fantasy league in any sport, you can relate to the appeal of ‘Nationizer,’ software available in the none too distant future that enables you to play fantasy government games. Players can take on the roles of cabinet members and congressmen, passing laws, handling crises, and solving problems with their own independent views. Now, guess what happens when fantasy becomes reality. Jay Weise, an insurance adjustor by day in Naperville, Illinois, serves as President of the United States; Julia Ortiz, a quiet librarian at Northwestern University, is Secretary of State; Duane Kilmer, a part-time truck driver and obsessive gamer, is Secretary of Defense; Edward Hoffman, a gas station owner, is Director of National Security; and Chief of Staff Alesia Thorpe is a customer service representative. All members of the Weise Administration, they play key roles when terrorists strike at the very heart of the nation’s capital, pulling off the kidnappings of the century, and leaving the Naperville White House as the nation’s only real hope of saving the hostages . . . As reported by Jerome Bartels, crusading vagabond journalist, former White House press secretary, and part-time Radio Shack employee, The Naperville White House is a clever piece of fiction, we hope, and not some vision of the future. Offbeat but compelling in this age when the lines between fantasy and reality become more blurred by the day.”
—Book Bitch

One Reply to “The Naperville White House Praise”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.