One of BookPage’s Best Books of 2015
Richard Milhous Nixon lived one of the most improbable lives of the twentieth century. Our 37th President’s political career spanned the buttoned-down fifties, the Mad Men sixties and the turbulent seventies. He faced down the Russians, the Chinese, and ultimately his own government. The man went from political mastermind to a national joke, sobbing in the Oval Office, leaving us with one burning question: how could he have lost it all?
Here for the first time is the true story told in his own words: the terrifying supernatural secret he stumbled on as a young man; the truth behind the Cold War; the truth behind the Watergate coverup. What if our nation’s worst president was really a pivotal figure caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality? What if the man we call our worst president was, in truth, our greatest?
In Crooked, Nixon finally reveals the secret history of modern American politics as only Austin Grossman could reimagine it. Combining Lovecraftian suspense, international intrigue, Russian honey traps and a Presidential marriage whose secrets and battles of attrition were their own heroic saga, Grossman’s novel is a master work of alternative history, equal parts mesmerizing character study and nail-biting Faustian thriller.
Austin Grossman is a videogame design consultant and the author of You and Soon I Will Be Invincible, which was nominated for the 2007 John Sargent St. First Novel Prize. His writing has appeared in Granta, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
“Grossman out-nuts the nut-jobs with a premise that’s as outlandish as it is superbly conceived. . . . Crooked isn’t simply a work of simple satire or wonky alt-history; it’s a speculative character study that taps into truths about Nixon that may be more essential than literal. That is, when they’re not deliciously absurd.” —NPR
“A cantering hodgepodge of American history, black magic and political satire . . . Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Washington-style.” —Washington Post
“Clever . . . Nuanced, funny and moving . . . In Crooked, [Grossman] riffs on H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos in all its eldritch glory and creates an antihero as tormented as any Marvel or DC villain: Richard Nixon, 37th president of the United States.” —Los Angeles Times
“Crooked is insightful, suspenseful and funny. . . . As secret histories go, Crooked makes more sense than many. Fans of either political skulduggery or Lovecraftian terror are likely to relish the novel’s many dark pleasures.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A wicked & wickedly funny thriller . . . Lots of dark fun!” —R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine)