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Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse

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Award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow wields a whip-smart, satirical pen in this poetic diatribe chronicling the last few abysmal years in politics. With lacerating wit, he takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump's presidency, lampooning the likes of Betsy DeVos, Anthony Scaramucci, Scott Pruitt, Paul Manafort, Trump's doctors, Award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow wields a whip-smart, satirical pen in this poetic diatribe chronicling the last few abysmal years in politics. With lacerating wit, he takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump's presidency, lampooning the likes of Betsy DeVos, Anthony Scaramucci, Scott Pruitt, Paul Manafort, Trump's doctors, and many others. Illustrated from cover to cover with Lithgow's never-before-seen line drawings, the poems collected in Dumpty draw inspiration from A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Mother Goose, and many more. A YUGE feat of laugh-out-loud lyrical storytelling, this hilarious and timely volume is bound to bring joy to poetry lovers, political junkies, and Lithgow fans.


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Award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow wields a whip-smart, satirical pen in this poetic diatribe chronicling the last few abysmal years in politics. With lacerating wit, he takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump's presidency, lampooning the likes of Betsy DeVos, Anthony Scaramucci, Scott Pruitt, Paul Manafort, Trump's doctors, Award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow wields a whip-smart, satirical pen in this poetic diatribe chronicling the last few abysmal years in politics. With lacerating wit, he takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump's presidency, lampooning the likes of Betsy DeVos, Anthony Scaramucci, Scott Pruitt, Paul Manafort, Trump's doctors, and many others. Illustrated from cover to cover with Lithgow's never-before-seen line drawings, the poems collected in Dumpty draw inspiration from A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Mother Goose, and many more. A YUGE feat of laugh-out-loud lyrical storytelling, this hilarious and timely volume is bound to bring joy to poetry lovers, political junkies, and Lithgow fans.

30 review for Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    “Sure Dumpty’s a foolhardy figure of fun, but laugh at your peril there’s work to be done. Democracy’s frail but our spirit is firm, restrict Trumpty Dumpty to only one term.” The poems are clever and amusing. The music and sound effects on the audiobook are loud and annoying.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joan Eisenstodt

    Oh oh oh .. I can hear John Lithgow's voice as I read these -- often out-loud because they sound even better. My gratitude is so great for this amazing creativity to help us get through these dark dark times. Yes, you want this. Or you want to give it as I did to a cousin for her birthday. Or a Thanksgiving (perfect to read aloud at the table!), Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or Solstice or no-reason-at-all-present. In fact take it to Thanksgiving Funner and do a reading around the table. Oh oh oh .. I can hear John Lithgow's voice as I read these -- often out-loud because they sound even better. My gratitude is so great for this amazing creativity to help us get through these dark dark times. Yes, you want this. Or you want to give it as I did to a cousin for her birthday. Or a Thanksgiving (perfect to read aloud at the table!), Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or Solstice or no-reason-at-all-present. In fact take it to Thanksgiving Funner and do a reading around the table. Ensure no one chokes from laughing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Just listened to John Lithgow read from one of the poems on Morning Joe. Brilliant and fabulously illustrated by himself. "Running" to Amazon to buy and gift.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Lithgow has showcased his impressive way with words in a variety of children's books, and now here's a collection of poetry and lyrics calling out Trump and his associates for their various misdeeds. I'm truly impressed by how talented Lithgow is; the poetry is witty and sharp and the song parodies in particular are a delight. Humorous pen-and-ink illustrations also dance through the pages. While this little book was for the most part a lot of fun, one poem in particular dampened my enthusiasm a Lithgow has showcased his impressive way with words in a variety of children's books, and now here's a collection of poetry and lyrics calling out Trump and his associates for their various misdeeds. I'm truly impressed by how talented Lithgow is; the poetry is witty and sharp and the song parodies in particular are a delight. Humorous pen-and-ink illustrations also dance through the pages. While this little book was for the most part a lot of fun, one poem in particular dampened my enthusiasm a bit. Titled "The Ostrich's Lament," it stars a flock of ostriches who are at first overjoyed to learn that a celebrity--Trump campaign consultant Paul Manafort--favors ostrich-skin coats, thus making the big birds trendy. By the end of the poem, the flock is abashed to learn of Manafort's corruption and prison sentence, and they're hiding their heads in the sand. I find it sad when even the most intelligent and progressive people possess such backward views about animals--that the slaughter and skinning of other beings is all a big joke. On this subject, neither the left nor the right have the high ground. I think it will still be a long time for most of us to add other beings to our circle of concern--but we can do what other causes have done and are doing and point out societal problems when we encounter them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Satire like no other, this is brilliant work by Lithgow...if not depressing as all heck... And, elitist wit supercedes the intellect of blind followers, so, there is that as well. Those who need the recognition of exactly what has been slapped in our faces of abuse of power & downright negligence of office & responsibility won't understand the satire & most likely be scarily overwhelmed...or say, "Who cares?" I laughed at this...mostly a nervous laugh...but laughed nonetheless because Satire like no other, this is brilliant work by Lithgow...if not depressing as all heck... And, elitist wit supercedes the intellect of blind followers, so, there is that as well. Those who need the recognition of exactly what has been slapped in our faces of abuse of power & downright negligence of office & responsibility won't understand the satire & most likely be scarily overwhelmed...or say, "Who cares?" I laughed at this...mostly a nervous laugh...but laughed nonetheless because what else is there to do other than pray for reason & right to overcome November 2020 or sooner.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeimy

    This was hilarious, but I must confess I was only able to get through it by switching to the audiobook. Whereas the written words made my blood boil because they made me remember all the scandals in the past three years, Lithgow's narration livens it up and allows the comedy of the poems to shine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    2.5 stars Apparently, there is nothing John Lithgow can't do (and do well). I found the poems to be well-informed and amusing. The artwork was terrific!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    What a great collection of poems & a reminder...one after another after another...VOTE, DANG IT, VOTE!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sue Munson

    Laughter amid tears This would be way funnier if there wasn't so much truth in it. That said, it's clever and well written by a brilliant writer. As one previous reviewer said, it's not fair that John Lithgow is so multi-talented, but he is and his book is proof positive of it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan Downing

    Sandbagged! Rarely do I interrupt myself when reading one book to switch to another, but today, a quarter through the currant bestselling expose', I stopped to put covers on two new books. "Dumpty" was one. I got hooked. One poem of classical merit after another, ironically following Dante's example, whose spirit I recently encountered in "The Dante Chamber". Here the polymath John Lithgow examines the pestilential hoard of loathsome creatures surrounding, often summoned from the beyond, by Sandbagged! Rarely do I interrupt myself when reading one book to switch to another, but today, a quarter through the currant bestselling expose', I stopped to put covers on two new books. "Dumpty" was one. I got hooked. One poem of classical merit after another, ironically following Dante's example, whose spirit I recently encountered in "The Dante Chamber". Here the polymath John Lithgow examines the pestilential hoard of loathsome creatures surrounding, often summoned from the beyond, by Dumpty. And, of course, we have Dumpty himself, a case study in the egocentricity of evil. Lithgow furnishes brief biographies to help the chronically unconscious identify characters. Lithgow wields his words with humor which I envy, as I envy Voltaire's ability to travel with scum yet keep his feet and pen unsullied. One staggering part of these 110 pages is the number of scoundrels that Dumpty has cavorted with, fired, defiled or dallied with. He does make it easy when the tenure of these rascals is often so brief. The poetry is funny, amusing and cutting. A good time was had by all, 'cept the citizens being raped by Dumpty, which is most of us. Lithgow makes it a bit more bearable by giving us the solution to the pain and horror of possibly losing our country: one term. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    StephanieNicole

    I want to write that this book is a fun and humorous look at the Trump presidency, but the Trump presidency is not fun or funny, and I feel a little perverse finding humor about this serious topic. At times, I even felt like the poems were propaganda. While Lithgow is clearly taking a political side, he is also just stating facts (in a lighthearted way). The tone of the book is humorous, but to me, it was also eerie. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are sketches by Lithgow I want to write that this book is a fun and humorous look at the Trump presidency, but the Trump presidency is not fun or funny, and I feel a little perverse finding humor about this serious topic. At times, I even felt like the poems were propaganda. While Lithgow is clearly taking a political side, he is also just stating facts (in a lighthearted way). The tone of the book is humorous, but to me, it was also eerie. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are sketches by Lithgow accompanying the poems. I also appreciated the short bios that accompanied each poem; there have been too many characters involved in the last 3 years for me to remember every one of them by name.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I loved this! It was funny, smart, and still quite frighteningly serious all at once. It was especially enjoyable as an audiobook read by John Lithgow himself. I plan to listen again soon. It is a short book of poems about Trump and his minions covering the period up through June 2019 so it's topical. I wonder if it will be updated as events continue to unfold. I will wait and watch. In the meantime, I plan to order print copies for us and select individuals who I know will enjoy it as much as I I loved this! It was funny, smart, and still quite frighteningly serious all at once. It was especially enjoyable as an audiobook read by John Lithgow himself. I plan to listen again soon. It is a short book of poems about Trump and his minions covering the period up through June 2019 so it's topical. I wonder if it will be updated as events continue to unfold. I will wait and watch. In the meantime, I plan to order print copies for us and select individuals who I know will enjoy it as much as I did. Apparently the illustrations are excellent which makes both listening to the author read his book and purchasing the printed version a reasonable choice.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I picked this up for a giggle, expecting to leaf through it solely to admire Lithgow's illustrations as he is a gifted artist of children's picture books. I ended up appreciating the clever verse even more! Here is a compact chronicle of the Trump administration's major scandals-to-date in one entertaining, if outrageous, volume. In these times, it's tough to keep up with the breathtaking pace of disgrace: "He's done most of these things and a hundred things more, And God only knows what he still I picked this up for a giggle, expecting to leaf through it solely to admire Lithgow's illustrations as he is a gifted artist of children's picture books. I ended up appreciating the clever verse even more! Here is a compact chronicle of the Trump administration's major scandals-to-date in one entertaining, if outrageous, volume. In these times, it's tough to keep up with the breathtaking pace of disgrace: "He's done most of these things and a hundred things more, And God only knows what he still has in store," ...so is it shameful to admit that I'm looking forward to a sequel?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marion

    I never cease to be amazed and delighted by John Lithgow’s wide ranging talent. Here he offers up a scathing series of hilarious poems (he calls them satirical doggerel) about the tRump administration’s time in office. The last 3 years have been so very depressing, it feels good when we get a chance to laugh out loud at the incompetence and corruption we see every day. Even better, I learned from one of his interviews he had originally majored in art while in college. He drew all of the equally I never cease to be amazed and delighted by John Lithgow’s wide ranging talent. Here he offers up a scathing series of hilarious poems (he calls them satirical doggerel) about the tRump administration’s time in office. The last 3 years have been so very depressing, it feels good when we get a chance to laugh out loud at the incompetence and corruption we see every day. Even better, I learned from one of his interviews he had originally majored in art while in college. He drew all of the equally hilarious illustrations throughout this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    Good! I can imagine Lithgow reading these verses must add a lot to the experience, but as it is, I’m so disgusted by Dumpfeld and this entire administration that I haven’t the heart to laugh much. I just want them gone and remembered as an embarrassing anecdote in American history. There will still remain the hordes of deplorables who’ve now been activated worldwide to deal with, however. No matter how I look at it... how do you laugh at your worst nightmare become a reality? Lithgow put in a Good! I can imagine Lithgow reading these verses must add a lot to the experience, but as it is, I’m so disgusted by Dumpfeld and this entire administration that I haven’t the heart to laugh much. I just want them gone and remembered as an embarrassing anecdote in American history. There will still remain the hordes of deplorables who’ve now been activated worldwide to deal with, however. No matter how I look at it... how do you laugh at your worst nightmare become a reality? Lithgow put in a fantastic effort all the same.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristian

    I've been a fan of John Lithgow since 3rd rock from the Sun and later on from his amazing performance on Dexter. Now I'm a even bigger fan for his satire and wit. Dumpty was a quick read but dives into different aspects of this chaotic White House with smart, clever writing. Just in case you're unfamiliar with who or what he is referencing in his writing, he makes sure to add references at the end each of his passages. Very fun read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Loved it! Lithgow's illustrations and verse are delightful. Here's a taste: Trumpty Dumpty wanted a barrier, Broad as a wall but preferably scarier. He wanted a fortress, forbidding and stout, To keep all those meddling journalists out. Dumpty detested each sentence they wrote. Presidential harassment was getting his goat. How could he counter their carping and slanders? That impregnable bulwark, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I love John Lithgow's humor and enjoyed this book a great deal. Reading it reminded me to get out his "Singin' in the Bathtub" album and enjoy its sublime goofiness again. However, I could not believe that he only devoted a few short lines to Pence. I live in Indiana, and I could do an entire companion volume of verse about our former governor.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne, Unfinished Woman

    Hilarious, witty, entertaining. When he combines the using parody of earlier poetry, opera, songs it is especially fun to read out loud or sing, such as "My Favorite Lies" to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from "Sound of Music." What a hoot. I saw him interviewed about this, and he read some of the poems and commented on the politics. He is a particulatly talented man.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keith Beasley-Topliffe

    A collection of satirical poety about the Trump administration. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Sometimes parodies of familiar poems (e.g., The Modern Major General about John Kelly). Sometimes with footnotes reminding the reader who these obscure folks are and what role they played in the history of the last three years. Mostly fun. Reminded me of Calvin Trillin's books on past elections.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trace Nichols

    Very clever. Political satire in the voice of Dr. Seuss and style of a nursery rhyme - with an elevated vocabulary. A unique and humorous way of putting the facts out there - one more historical account of an embarrassing president in action. My goodness.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    This is a wonderfully entertaining book of contemporary political doggerel. Lithgow's satire is quite creatively put into simple rhyme schemes and skewers an amazing number of Secretary's, bureaucrats, insiders and parasites besides the main character President Dumpty.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I agree, but I just really didn’t like it. I don’t know who this actor is and I just didn’t find many of the poems very funny. Forced rhymes and silliness. Also, I get that it’s satire, but just the entire way he talks about women throughout is exhausting, no matter who they are.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    John Lithgow has written clever poetry that captures current history with parody of well-known poems. I could hear his voice in each verse. I particularly like that he has footnotes explaining the inspiration of the piece.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Intentional Goddess

    John Lithgow and am educational poetry book on the upsetting state of affairs in America. What else can you say? Informational tidbits and humourous reprieve.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cate Triola

    Eventually, I might get tired of Trump satire. Not yet though.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Louis Albert

    Enjoyable. Political satire done in poems.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Hvozdovich

    Funny verse. Would be a lot funnier if not so true!! What has our country become?!?!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Arie

    Artistic. Hilarious.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary T

    Too depressing to be clever and funny.

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