The Dick Cheney Code: A Parody


Author: Henry Beard

Title: The Dick Cheney Code: A Parody

Genre: Humor, Parody

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 208

Geographical Setting: Washington DC

Time Period: around the 2004 United States presidential election

Plot Summary: This book is a parody of the Da Vinci Code satirizing the 2004 Bush re-election campaign and Bush-era conspiracy theories. Borrowing plot twists and formulas from The Da Vinci Code, the book opens with a murder. The two main characters, Sandra H. Damsel and William Franklin are working to solve the murder of Hemmings Dumont, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and slave Sally Hemmings, who was murdered with a poisoned dart in the Smithsonian Museum where he was a curator. Dumont was a guarding a document passed from Benjamin Franklin through generations of Franklins. Among other things, the document shows that the title to the Louisiana Purchase was to pass to the descendants of all American slaves in October 2003. Realizing this would likely turn red states into blue states costing George Bush re-election, Dick Cheney and the Republican Party set the force of the government to protecting the secret. Meanwhile, our two main characters are on a wild goose chase, following a trail of simpleminded and outrageously silly clues, riddles, and puzzles left by the deceased in a plan to reveal the documents secrets in the event of his murder. The wicked humor and wordplay in this political parody and Da Vinci Code spoof and will engage readers and have them laughing out-loud at the absurdity of it all.

Subject Headings: Alternate history – Parody; American political parody; Cheney, Richard; Codes and Riddles; Da Vinci code – Parodies; Elections – United States – 2004 – Parodies; Murder investigation; Political crimes and offenses; Political corruption; Political culture – United States – 21st century; Political leadership – United States – 21st century; Popular culture; Republicans; Secrets; Secret societies; Skull and Crossbones Society; Suspense stories – Parodies.

Appeal: a romp, absurdist humor, accessible, enjoyable read for everyone, breakneck speed, captivating, civilized jest, clever, sarcasm and wry wit, compelling, contemporary, conversational, detailed, edgy, energetic, fast-paced, good-humored, humorous, laugh-out-loud funny, light amusing satire, plot twists, political, quirky, satirical writing, silly, wickedly funny, wicked sense of satire—but never mean or angry—it is silly and gentle humor, wordplay and puzzle-solving.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: Authors: Jon Stewart, Al Frankin, Maureen Dowd, Molly Ivins, and publications from The Onion (all: for details of the current American political scene, humorous commentary, center to left political slant, and political satire). Works: Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Barton Gellman (details of Dick Cheney’s Vice Presidency, details of Cheney’s redefinition of the VP responsibilities, details of Cheney’s history-making/changing power and influence as VP, popular treatment – reads like fiction); and Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power by Alexandra Robbins (details of the Skull & Bones Society, details of secret societies, details of the Bonesmen’s theft of Geronimo’s bones, details of Skull & Bones members, vivid & witty descriptions).

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors: The Da Vinci Mole: A Philosophical Parody by Ian Browne (Da Vinci Code parody; “wordplay-laden dialogue”; plot twists involving conspiracy, puzzles, and cryptic messages; humorous; pokes fun at The Da Vinci Code; fast-paced suspenseful story with pop culture references). Hotline Healers: An Almost Browne Novel by Gerald Vizenor (comedic plot twists involving government corruption & conspiracy, series of adventures, parody of American historical & cultural perceptions, satiric style, humorous pop culture references). Goodnight Bush: A Parody by Erich Origen (political parody; parody of iconic book–Goodnight Moon; recreates the feel of the classic book; satirical commentary on the Bush administration; quick read; fast paced; picture book; layers of satire with political details in both the illustrations and the prose).

Name: Amy


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