Book Review – How The Hell Did This Happen?


How The Hell Did This Happen? by PJ O’ Rourke (Grove Press) ISBN: 9781611855227

People are still wondering how Trump made it as a president. Heck, so is Clinton (the wife, that is). Hilary Clinton was the better of two bad options. Reading through O’ Rourke’s account of the elections I could not help thinking that America got what they deserved. Why should South Africa be the only country with a president who belongs anywhere else but in the ruling hot seat.

The author’s style is satirical with an inimitable voice. His chapter headings are creative. His chapter entitled ‘Cruz Control’ reminds me of another crazy America celebrity (not politician which this chapter is about). Ted Cruz? Who is he? Cruz gets quite a thumping in this chapter and so does Clinton who is described as the “worn out, bitter, sarcastic second-wave feminist adjunct professor teaching your gender studies class”. This helps us poor South Africans get to know more about the American politician. We do not know much about American politics except that it is much the same as watching reality TV.

And that is the problem about this book in South Africa. Although the 2016 American elections captured our attention, I feel that O’Rourke should wet his satirical pen in the ink well of the current South African political arena. Our politicians are far more interesting, and that story would have more relevance for me.

Ulrike Hill
2.5/5

Click to buy at raru.co.za