Cover Image: The Great American Cheese War

The Great American Cheese War

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Member Reviews

Thanks NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review. Not sure what I expected with this book, but it is a silly satire on right wing politics and conspiracy theories. Extremely fast read with some very good plot twists. Not so much laugh out funny as humorous. A bit far fetched to be believable. I now await the author to skewer the progressive left with the same sort of humor.
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Take a far right-wing appliance-making millionaire who starts his own private paramilitary company, the addled son he shoehorns into the governor’s office, and a network of scruffy militias with a hazy understanding of the Second Amendment. Mix in a virus that’s making the rounds, an amoral state police commander conspiring with the paramilitary magnate, and the rumor that the Wisconsin governor used prairie dogs to spread monkeypox through Michigan. Combine with the governor’s secretary who’s married to a militia member, and you’ve got the ingredients for a potentially sidesplitting book.

A daughter of the original Michigan militia, Miky Spike was raised in the movement, but by the time she graduates from college and marries her militia boyfriend, she’s starting to have doubts. That uneasiness is amplified when she and two other members, both lacking Miky’s fitness, education, and reasoning, are called upon to start the attack on Wisconsin.

The book is a comic powerhouse to this point, but loses steam when Miky and her mates kidnap a couple in a Hummer and start a shootout at that most flag-waving of interstate eateries, Cracker Barrel. All the characters are meltingly hot messes by this point, as is the narration, which ricochets between an increasing incoherent Governor, his irascible father, and the now FBI-targeted state police commander, with frequent flashes from the showdown at the Barrel Corral. Paul Flower tries, but fails, to juggle all these balls, and readers might reasonably opt to skim the latter half of the novel. What starts out as Michigan’s version of Carl Hiaasen ends up as dull as an appliance manual.
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	True to its mission, British publisher Farrago has found another wonderfully cheesy, Pythonesque, slapstick farce to share with us.  This one "takes the Mickey" (pokes fun at) the extremists on the political right wing.  Not the fundamentally conservative, careful, and prudent souls out there but the conspiracy theorists (and yes, they exist on both extremes) who see a plot in every news story.
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Prairie dogs, political conspiracies, an underground militia, and of course cheese -- those are the ingredients of the Cheese Wars, a distinctly over-the-top look at political rivalries in the upper Midwest. 

Fans of Carl Hiaasen and Christopher Fowler will enjoy this complex novel. While non-stop action is the big draw in this book, the characters are well developed. Relationships among the characters are central to the story, but more to move the action along than to increase enjoyment. 

The book is well written. There is quite a bit of violence.
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Reading the publisher’s description, I thought “This is a book aimed 100% at an American audience. I wonder if I, as a Brit, will enjoy it and appreciate the satire?” The answer is “Somewhat”.

I mean, is it really likely that Wisconsin is attacking Michigan, using prairie dogs that have been deliberately infected with monkeypox? Or that a right-wing militia group would take the opportunity to launch a retaliatory attack? Well…

Aspects of the book, like the militia, were so alien, that I didn’t feel really engaged for long stretches of the book.  Also, I didn’t like the fairly casual way that people were shot. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with the writing, just that I didn’t enjoy it.

#TheGreatAmericanCheeseWar #NetGalley
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You might guess from the title (which is what got me) that this might be a seriously tongue-in-cheek book and you'd be correct. If you are looking for something to read today that will have you laughing and shaking your head in disbelief, this is it. The author has a difficult time reigning in his politically incorrect observations and no one is safe from that jaundiced but critical eye, including Governor Hoeksma of Michigan, who is a gun-toting son of a billionaire eight cents short of a dime. 

He is easily manipulated, which is exactly why his billionaire dad put him in the office. The governor is convinced of the conspiracy theory that has ostensibly been launched against Michigan stemming from cheese research, quietly called the Cheesus program. 

The governor deciding on the Michigan militia introduces new characters that are as crazy, off-key, and ludicrous as those who argue over the possibility of a monkeypox-carrying prairie dog. The militia is populated by caricatures of what everyone's concept might be--and then some. The author artfully switches believable dialogue between an 83-year-old and his political buddy lesbian state senator as easily as he does between members of the militia. One of those in the militia is Miky, unwitting protagonist. On the other hand, the antagonists-politicians are as despicable as Francis in The House of Cards. 

The humor runs rampant into the conclusion, which turns a semi-serious cheek. A five-star book, my only problem, if there was one, was of the occasional four-letter language. This is a well-plotted can't put down book in a farcical satire unique to the genre. (As for me, I choose California cheese!)

I was granted this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. An absolute hoot of a novel and highly recommended. 4.5/5 stars
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This book is insane, but in the best way. If you like mysteries, wonky characters, conspiracy theories, and..well..cheese, this is the novel for you. Sometimes I laughed out loud at the characters, and sometimes I shook my head, but I constantly was reaching to turn the page to find out what was happening next. 

Some ….interesting...people in our government believe...or pretend to believe, that there is a conspiracy about the cheese production and we have domestic terrorists using a disease called monkey pox to take out the rest of the country. 

See? You have to keep reading. I know I did.
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An offbeat humour type of book based on satire which somehow falls just short of being good. Keeps you interested enough to finish it but the ending is a bit of a damp squid
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I had so so much fun reading this book.Humor satire at its best. A wild ride of a read so well written so unique quirky an entertaining wowvof a book,#netgalley #farrago books.,
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I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would.  I loved the ideas of conspiracies in politics, the story was well-written, just enough truth in the story so it hits home.
The pace dragged some in the middle, but I enjoyed it and recommend this book to everyone of voting age.
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I enjoyed The Great American Cheese War.  It is a clever satire on right-wing conspiracy theorists, the way they may influence gullible politicians and provoke conflict for their own ends,

The story is, in essence, rather familiar from real life but here made absurd because the fabricated “threat” and subsequent conflict is between neighbouring US states and is over cheese.  A dim, incompetent governor of Michigan, in post because he is the son of the state’s richest man, is manipulated by a ludicrously absurd conspiracy theory into launching “pre-emptive” attacks on Wisconsin.  (As one character says, “It had to be [absurd] or the Tea Party wouldn’t have believed it.”)  Private militias and his father’s big private security company become involved as it all spirals out of control.

It is clever, witty, scarily timely and sometimes painfully near the knuckle.  I didn’t find it laugh-out-loud funny as some others have done and there are some aspect which I was less happy about – the pantomime farce involving the Police Chief rather blunted the satire, for example –  but it’s a very enjoyable read.  Recommended.

(My thanks to Farrago for an ARC via NetGalley.)
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Paul Flower has written a Very Funny Book! I laughed, I screamed, I giggled through every chapter. Best humor/satire I’ve read in a long time. The blurb is accurate, the book was great fun. Kind of like Dr. Strangelove meets The Three Stooges. Loved it.
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This book was a lot of fun, I laughed out loud, and it's a clever satire book.
You cannot help thinking about the current world affair while reading it.
It's well written, engrossing and entertaining.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This book was a rollicking riot of insanity and I mean that in the most wonderful sense!  I laughed my way through this story that has to be read to be understood. I have tried to think of a synopsis for this and I can't.  Government idiots, idiot citizenry, conspiracy of the lowest order (involving cheese) , all a hoot.  I will say that the conversations with Lindquist (or was it Limenuts?) had me rolling in laughter. 
Enjoy your summer, read this book!
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Very different and somewhat entertaining. I have to thank #Farrago and  #NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this crazy story about to US states fighting a war against each other.
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Good satire

I enjoyed this book. The story is interesting, and there is great character development. There are some good action scenes and the story is mostly well-paced although it did lag a couple of times. I didn’t like some of the characters at the beginning of the book and I was a little discouraged, but then things picked up and I’m glad I didn’t stop. The book wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it is clever at times and downright blunt at others.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes.
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I received an advance copy of this from the publisher via Net Galley.  

I asked for this book because of the title and the premise.  I love cheese.  Wisconsin initiates war against Michigan?  It reminded me of the idea behind Canadian Bacon, and I love that movie too.  When I started reading, I was a bit worried.  I wasn't sure if it was meant to be satire, and the first character introduced was not someone I thought I would want to spend a whole book with.  Fortunately, there were many other characters, some more likable than others.  Then, it became clear this was satire.  Whew!

The author did capture the things I love (and hate) about the Midwest.  He transported me right back home.  My only complaint is it made me miss Wisconsin cheese.

#TheGreatAmericanCheeseWar #NetGalley
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This is the publisher's blurb first because it is invisible on Goodreads at this time.
"Governor Bill Hoeksma of Michigan is a simple, gun-loving son of a billionaire who idolises George W. Bush.
When a mysterious illness afflicts members of his inner circle, his conspiring advisors point to a rumoured viral weapons attack - via monkey-pox-carrying prairie dogs - launched by the Wisconsin government. Governor Bill decides the Michigan militia should lead the military response, chaos ensues, and he falls unwittingly into a scheme of his powerful father's making. That scheme begins with cheese research and a Hollywood movie star. How it will end all depends on two unlikely heroes: an aging lesbian state senator, and a high-school teacher born and raised in the Michigan militia.
When the conspiracy runs out of road, and guns are drawn in a showdown outside a Cracker Barrel, will anyone emerge victorious from the Great American Cheese War?"

Satire at it's finest, says this lifelong CheeseHead. The whole book had me rolling on floor laughing! No sense recapping the plot, just laugh yourself silly!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Farrago via NetGalley. Thank you!
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