Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Most astonishing book promo ever: "The President's Therapist"

A book site as engrossing as a TV thriller? If you clicked on a Web ad on the AlterNet site entitled, "The President's Therapist," you know what I mean.

There are two videos on the page, the first of which is a "Washington Watch Special Report" featuring interview snippets from Malachy McCourt (Frank's brother), a lit professor, the author (John Wareham), and another author. They talk about the characteristics of alcoholism, the character tics of George W. Bush, and the intrigue of the book, a novel with facts at its foundation.

The second video is a "Lost"-like, apparently self-made, video of the fictional therapist of George W. Bush, identified as having been posted "20 minutes ago." (I was disappointed the clock didn't keep running as I read. That would have been a neat trick.) "Dr. Mark Alter" reveals that, since his revelation of the content of his sessions with Bush, he is afraid for his life. Copy tells you Dr. Alter has been missing since May 2007. Hmmm.

There's plenty of copy, too. Headline: "As Obama Takes Command President's Therapist Discloses Secret 'W' Oval Office Sessions" Subhead: "Details George W. Bush Relapse and Treatment for Alcoholism." The "story" is a description of the hyper-fictional book.

A couple of years ago, there was a book called "Bush on the Couch," written by a psychotherapist (who, by the way, had never treated Bush), which described W. essentially as a "dry drunk," a person who had stopped drinking but had never gone through recovery. This novel evidently takes this diagnosis as the starting point for a story of intrigue involving all those White House characters we've come to know, if not love, during the past eight years.

"The President's Therapist" sounds like a novel worth reading. And certainly, the promo page is.

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