International Feedback on The Race!

Yesterday I posted a quick little request that summarized my thoughts on the U.S. elections. And of course, I wrote a book about a politician, based on some personal experience I had ghostwriting the autobiography of one of our nation’s gems. The politician in my book, a former governor recovering from a sex scandal, exemplifies everything bizarre about our system.

What is it about democracy that produces such creatures? Is there something about the process itself that turns people into these aliens? Is it an American phenomenon or is it true of democracies everywhere?

Well, I’m happy to report that at least some of the ideas in The Race translate rather well. Here’s a report from a reader in India.

Some highlights:

I admire the governor’s character-someone who is more than determined to fight and make a comeback no matter what people think of him. Even after being humiliated by his Italian mistress, his sons and his wife he still goes strong with this character, smile and determination to fight against a stronger opponent.

Yes! There is something admirable about the governor. Something sympathetic. A pathetic creature. But dogged. He exists.

The story has its own pace and takes you by surprise on every shameless and unplanned statement the governor has to prove himself.

Thank you! I know this will sound a little self-serving, but it took me by surprise as well. I vividly remember the day when I thought, “Wait, we’re ending every chapter with someone telling him how much they hate him…well, all right then! Let’s get it on!

The story showcases a lot of American humour which clearly shows how people from different parts of the country think and behave differently in a particular situation.

Glad you liked it! It’s Wisconsin, for sure. But it’s also Anywhere, America.

All in all a hilarious piece of work…


…with two different characters who come together to shape up the life of the governor in words and in turn realise how sensitive and greedy can human nature be at times.

Readers, could I ask for a better review? It’s so generous!

A great political comedy wrapped with insight on changing human nature.

Thank you!

You can check out The Race at and elsewhere. Paperbacks still less than 5 bucks, e-book versions still less than three. And of course, free books available to all reviewers. Aha, you say: I don’t review books for some fancy news organization or million-hit blog. Discrimination in action! No, dear reader, you’ve misunderstood. Any review counts – even on your own blog, even at Goodreads, even a plain customer review at Amazon. It all works for me!

My thanks to Janak Mistry for the wonderful book review (which I lost in the shuffle for a while – sorry for the delay, Janak!). And check out Janak’s writings about Tibet, we all need more Tibet in our lives.

Onward and upward!

Election Day Request

A request for Election Day:

On this national day of voting
Can’t we put aside our differences
And recognize the great source of our unity:
We all hate politicians

Go vote, everyone!

And then, after you’ve recovered from that, take a look at my book The Race, which is about a disgraced former governor trying to make a comeback after a sex scandal. He has it all: name recognition, funding, political savvy…and the hatred of a nation.

Onward and upward!

Goodreads Giveaway: Politicians Are Human Beings. Maybe.


Hello everyone! Some of you may recall the last time I did a Goodreads Giveaway, where I shipped off five free copies of The Promotion. I think it’s fairly common to recap these things, with a mathematical analysis of how many people requested the book, how many reviews it led to, what the impact was on sales, and finally some conclusions about lessons learned. Far be it from me to prevent information from reaching you, my loyal readers! So with apologies for the delay, here’s the list of conclusions I reached from the first Goodreads Giveaway:

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Review of The Race: “Absolutely Fascinating”

People! It’s another great day here at the Jacke Blog. We’ve had a few of those lately – I have truly been fortunate to receive such positive reviews and feedback. I’m simply overwhelmed by it all.  Thank you, readers!

All right. Enough, enough. The good news for those of you who enjoy the more miserable Jacke, is that I have to force myself to announce my worst post of the year. That’s right. Number one is around the corner (or should I say just over the cliff’s edge?).

Also the best. I’m counting those down too as part of the Blogiversary celebration. Number one is on the way!

I do notice that my countdown of the worst blog posts of the year are much more popular than my links to the best. Ha ha! Misery loves company. And Jacke. Especially when he’s flaming out with his attempt to write pen reviews. Or stirring up the Haiku mafia.

But today’s not miserable, because I received a very flattering review of my book The Race from the excellent Jennifer Sahmoun over at her site A Line From a Book. If you haven’t checked her out, you should head over there soon.

I’ve talked before about all my failure, my years of zero audience, my ups and downs, all the agony and doom. I won’t rehearse that little speech again. But I do want to frame my gratitude: it is such a wonderful feeling to have connected with a reviewer like Jennifer. Storytelling is magic!

And The Race is a story about failure! The failure of a human, the failure of a politician, the failure of the system that creates people like him, and the failure of an observer who cannot help and cannot stop watching. Jennifer gets at this in her review. Let’s take a look:

I found this book absolutely fascinating. There was no crime to investigate, no thrills, no action scenes, no romantic scenes just a compelling story that is a journey through what motivates a man to do what he does.

Amazing! I love this. The power of story!

The story is told by a lawyer who is asked by a disgraced politician to help him organize his biography. Then the politician decides he wants to run for office again. He has no support from the media, no support from his party and especially no support from his family. Why? Because while serving as the governor of the state of Wisconsin he had an affair and disappeared for a few days to be with his mistress.

Concise summaries are hard to pull off. This really nails it. A side note: I think it’s especially difficult for an author to summarize his or her own work. We should all adopt the exchange that my wife and I worked out long ago: I update her resume, and she updates mine. It’s a much easier task when someone has some built-in distance. Back to the review!

Only in this story, his wife does not stand by her husband on stage or anywhere else and neither do his children. People turn away when he walks down the street. And yet he continues until the last moment to be optimistic that the voters will come through for him. Our storyteller is with the candidate through every step of his campaign because he has no manager and no staff.

Yes! The perfect summary continues. And it makes me feel that pull all over again. The Governor is such a pathetic creature. But don’t feel sorry for him, reader. He’s too elliptical for that. His personal will deflect your pity!

I couldn’t help but feel that there is a lot of truth in the author’s portrayal of the candidate that confirms my personal opinion that some of them seem to live in a bit of a fantasy world.


I also found the author’s writing style to be very approachable, like a friend relating a story.

I love this. Just love it. EXACTLY the style I was trying to achieve.

Bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. And since it’s a novella and doesn’t require a huge commitment of time, those of you that might not typically pick up a book in this genre should really give it a try. I hope to read more from Jacke Wilson in the near future.

And I would be honored to have you as a reader. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You can read the review in its natural home at A Line From A Book. Or buy the book at Amazon or other bookstores. My thanks again to Jennifer for really nailing this review. If you’re interested in a free review copy of one of my books, let me know! Onward and upward!