Book review: Rage by Bob Woodward

I began listening to Rage immediately after finishing Fear. My first thought on starting Rage was that these two books could have been combined, but most readers would balk at 80+ chapters.

But then, I realized these are not two books broken into two. Rage has a tone not found in Fear. It’s not that Bob Woodward’s written with a Rage-y-er tone, but there is a tempo to Rage that is new. If Fear had a soundtrack, it might be the musical interpretation of Peter and the Wolf. Rage reminds me of West Side Story with the men in leather jackets snapping their fingers in step.

I meant to write this review sooner but my book-listening/walking partner slipped on hidden ice and broke a bone. We finished listening to the book separately — my partner while in the hospital, bored as one is in that situation, and I while cleaning the house top to bottom waiting for news of the injury. I had trouble focusing, understandably. And I had trouble not associating the narrator’s voice with the injury.

Of course now, after the election, after the electoral college results, after Putin’s endorsement, and finally McConnell’s, it isn’t hard to believe that the messages in the audio recorded interviews with the president aren’t exactly what they appear to be. It’s in our nature to believe the best in people, at least for me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m willing to entertain that someone is misunderstood.

But now? No. I can’t say I’ll be surprised at what the rest of this man’s presidency holds. I’ve no doubt he can do a lot of damage still.

I wonder at two things: what the silent politicians will say at noon on January 20, 2021 when they’re safe to do so. And I wonder if Bob Woodward will write another book about a president again.

Readers who enjoyed Fear will no doubt enjoy Rage.

Spoiler: you already know the ending, but that’s not the point of Rage.
The point is, the ending is worse than you think.

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