cover image The Armageddon Project

The Armageddon Project

Tom Sancton. Other Press, $24.95 (357pp) ISBN 978-1-59051-252-4

Former Time magazine Paris bureau chief Sancton makes an awkward transition to fiction in this improbable political parable (after 2006's well-received memoir Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White) set in the present-day, as thinly disguised versions of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney plot with an Ahmad Chalabi clone to set up a pro-Western democratic Christian enclave in Iraq. Paris-based New York Chronicle reporter Sam Preston stumbles onto the administration's plot to accelerate the final battle of Armageddon and secure U.S. access to significant hidden oil reserves. Preston becomes the quarry of an international array of spies and bad guys, narrowly escaping death through numerous lucky escapes. With its transparent anti-Bush agenda and unimaginative renaming of familiar figures (e.g., CNN's Wolf Blitzer is called Fox Krieger), the novel's message may be heavy-handed even for liberals opposed to the current administration's policies.