The Accidental Prime Minister, Reviewed by Vivaan, 9

Book Reviews  /   /  By Vivaan Kartik
Stone Soup Magazine
February 2019

The Accidental Prime Minister is a hilarious book written by Tom McLaughlin. It is about a 12 year old boy called Joe who leads an ordinary life. Joe is a fun loving, buoyant and determined boy. One day two events happen to coincide that change his life forever. He gathers that the park in which he played in was closing because the politicians wanted to construct a big tower on it and that Percival T. Duckholm, the British Prime Minister was visiting his school. In school amidst all the children, teachers and news reporters staring in awe, the usually shy Joe gives the surprised PM a good piece of his mind. After this incident Joe goes viral on all the news channels and for once Joe is the centre of attraction. In the end the there is to much pressure on the PM, he gets annoyed and calls Joe for a meeting. With the world wondering why Joe has been called the PM makes Joe unknowingly sign the papers to becoming the Prime Minister. From a normal school going kid, Joe is catapulted to success and to one of the most famed people on earth. Joe takes advantage of his leading position and vows to make the country an enjoyable place. Joe faces many challenges along the way, almost loses his job but in the end Joe fulfills his ambition and emerges successful.

I read his book because I want pursue a career in politics myself and because the title managed to attract me. Throughout the book the author ridicules the politicians by employing sarcasm, wit and humour. “Duckholm liked to shout, he was one of the rudest men you are ever going to meet and he would sell his own grandmother for money.”

He embodies the kind of ministers who are detested because they are lazy, don’t do anything for the country and are churlish. “Violletta, is a chilling woman, has a steely look on her face that makes everyone feel puny and unimportant.”

She represents the kind of politicians who are greedy for money and power, are callous and want to further their own personal interests and ambitions giving it priority over the nation’s.

In the book Tom McLaughlin is trying to convey that we need to treasure happiness and compassion just as much as materialistic things like money and factories. There are plenty of examples of disconcerting things splashing in the newspapers and making headlines every day. Examples of politicians making fools of themselves, getting embroiled in controversies, bickering over small issues, ceaselessly accusing each other and manifestos being just mere words plastered on walls during the elections are not uncommon.

The crux of the matter is that people expect politicians to give them a happy and well managed country. All politicians do have the potential to grant everybody what they want, happiness and a well managed space. It’s just that some of them don’t.What stops them is their greed and hunger for power. There is a dearth of politicians to look up to and admire these days. This book is funny throughout, entertaining and extremely topical.

The Accidental Prime Minister by Tom McLaughlin. Oxford University Press, 2015. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!

Have you read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? Let us know in the comments below!

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