30 November 2014
Review: The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits
The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits by Jim Geraghty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Satire can be tricky. It's one thing for satire to lampoon existing issues, another for it to be just existing in itself.
What happens when a satire is too realistic and not biting enough? That's where The Weed Agency comes in, telling a tale of a government agency as it grows and changes to adapt in order to not perish. It's a very straightforward, often journalistic approach, that ends in present day with things as one might expect.
The book has a conservative point of view, which is fine. The tale is realistic enough to a fault, mixing in the satirical (the environmental agency putting in a website that doesn't work, the agency being an inspiration to Al Gore) with the real (Gore, people like Newt Gingrich) to craft a fairly short tale designed to remind us all about the ever-growing, often unnecessary federal government.
So why rated so low? Really, it's just too one-note. There's no real dynamic here, the joke is given away pretty early and ultimately often, and would have benefited from some growth. The concept behind it is ultimately that the truth is ridiculous enough, but I just don't feel like it worked.
I like Jim Geraghty's writing at National Review, which might have impacted my expectations a bit. As a novel, though, it's just okay, filled with a lot of unrealized potential. Closer to a 2.5.
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