back to article Ex-US pres Bill Clinton has written a cyber-attack pulp thriller. With James Patterson. Really

Pop murder mystery scribe James Patterson has teamed up with former US President Bill Clinton to co-author novel about a commander-in-chief going undercover to prevent a catastrophic cyber attack. Neo The Matrix El Reg's favourite Haxploitation films READ MORE The President is Missing, already half-price on Amazon for £10, …

  1. teknopaul

    Ex-Pres writes book on "cyber", wheres the tech angle?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Tech angle

      The front cover will show a picture of a sex android going down on, er, its knees.

    2. Mark 85

      Bootnotes... no tech required.

    3. Fungus Bob

      "wheres the tech angle?"

      It's the obtuse one...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Billy boy may well want to see the situation in North Korea resolved, but how about the situation in the US? Couldn't we just ship them some 'u's as they seem to have a critical lack of them. Also, perhaps, we could send over some aluminium in case they want to make some things out of a lightweight metal?

  3. detritus

    I was literally this morning staring at this with a blank look of complete stupidity, wondering where or when I'd ended up. I was deep in a WH Smith store, mind, which didn't help.

    1. Kane
      Paris Hilton

      Sounds like you're in the middle of a PKD novel.

      Did everything turn pink when you looked up into the sky?

      (Icon temporarily morphed into "Where's the Perky Pat angle?")

      1. detritus

        @kane - this being WH Smith, when I looked up and about all I could see was the dull strobing of aging fluorescents throwing dusty ceiling tiles into stark, overly-gritty relief.

        So, yeah, perhaps a bit PKD...

    2. Matthew Taylor

      "I was literally this morning staring at this with a blank look of complete stupidity, wondering where or when I'd ended up. I was deep in a WH Smith store, mind, which didn't help."

      I read as far as "deep in a WH",and I thought it was an acronym for White House - so I looked again at your username, but the uncertainty remained. ;-)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if the main antagonist is a sexual predator..

    1. horse of a different color

      *insert joke about cigars*

      Perhaps that’s a poor choice of words.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cyber? As in cyber-sex?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No, I think they meant Khyber. So Khyber-sex!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe that's what Melania is doing?

    Apparently FLOTUS hasn't been seen for some weeks

  6. Baldrickk

    Terrible writer

    I'd wager that he's actually a pretty decent writer, if not one of the best. The problem comes from the fact that he has many ghost writers under his name. It's fairly easy to tell when it's one of his stories or just one using his name to sell the book.

    1. beep54

      Re: Terrible writer

      I've read one book by Patterson and that was enough. Also, just because someone is popular it does NOT mean they are any good. Dan Brown is extremely popular, bit dear lord he's awful. I've only gotten through 5 pages of him.

    2. strum

      Re: Terrible writer

      >I'd wager that he's actually a pretty decent writer

      Nah. Patterson delivers on quantity, not quality.

      And Clinton's contribution is unlikely to help.

      A few years back, I read a novel by Jimmy Carter - a man I rather admire, as an intelligent, humane man of affairs. The subject of the book was fascinating (Georgia's reluctance to join the Revolution) - but the writing was awful.

  7. steviebuk Silver badge



    For some decent books like this but still slightly cheesy check out Mark Russinovich's books. Start with Zero Day.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Sounds...

      You mean "Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools" or is that a "Trojan Horse"?

      1. ShortLegs

        Re: Sounds...

        One and the same person... I'll try the fiction, as the factual stuff was (and still is) pretty damn good.

  8. Not Enough Coffee

    Since you mentioned Stephen King... I haven't read anything of his in ages, but if you plan on reading his old stuff, the best way to enjoy it is to rip out the final chapter and imagine your own conclusion. He was excellent in character development but lousy with endings.

    1. Tikimon

      Write the ending first, please!

      "the best way to enjoy it is to rip out the final chapter and imagine your own conclusion. He was excellent in character development but lousy with endings."

      In fairness to King, this is true of a stunning percentage of books, movies, miniseries, you name it. So many times I've enjoyed the ride, only to be frustrated and annoyed by a panicky "crap, how do we end this?" conclusion.

      Extra negative points for a story with a thrown-together ending whose sole accomplishment is to set up the next $@&*! sequel. Crime against humanity.

      1. Not Enough Coffee

        Re: Write the ending first, please!

        @Tikimon One of my favorite movie endings is Aliens. I would have been very satisfied if it ended when Ripley returned to the ship. But then there's more!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "rip out the final chapter and imagine your own conclusion"

      Isn't that how they produce the scripts for french cinema?*

      *not a criticism, btw

    3. MonkeyCee


      "the best way to enjoy it is to rip out the final chapter and imagine your own conclusion."

      I found his novels to be a bit hit and miss, and I've not read any of the Dark Tower series, which I hear is quite good, possibly because he doesn't have to end the story arcs as quickly.

      He does write quite excellent short stories, which for me is the test of a good writer. Any idiot can put a story across in 100k words, but doing it in 10-15k requires real skill. Plus there is less need/desire to write a complete ending.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SKing

        Stephen King?

        Almost as obligatory as xkcd, a Family Guy take

  9. Chris G

    Well, he can doubtless spin a yarn, fiction is an important part of politics but the plot sounds like a Hollywood B movie.

    How exactly does a president go under cover?

    Or is he talking about blankets?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Does President Jonathan "Lincoln" Duncan ejaculate on an intern, then go on to ruin her life?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Spitting Image

    Nice title but why didn't anyone pick up the typo?

    's Brain

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrible Writer

    The one and only time I have had my hands on one of his books, it was a book club bundle; it was so bad I actually sent the bundle back and cancelled.

    And when I say bad, the ingredients list on a tin of beans is more enjoyable than that POS.

  13. viscount

    Okay, I have not read the book but how does POTUS possibly go "undercover"?

    1. John Savard

      I presume he dyes his hair and combs it differently. Perhaps he also puts on a pair of glasses.

      But for this and other similar considerations (isn't there a Navy SEAL he can trust?) it does sound like my disbelief won't be capable of being suspended far enough for this one.

  14. Milton

    Hope Clinton's doing the writing ...

    Hope Clinton's doing the writing ... because Patterson is a truly awful writer. He'd even give Dan Brown a run for his money. Their stilted, cliched rubbish and "mysteries" that wouldn't befuddle a brain-damaged sheepdog are painful to read. (An unplanned transcontinental flight and too little time in an airport "book" shop cured me of any desire to pick up a Patterson ever again.)

    Since bookshops group stuff by "5-12 Years", "Teen Fiction", "Young Adult" and so on, do you suppose they could helpfully section off a few shelves called, say "Trash for Mouthbreathers"?

  15. KLane

    Amazon Deals

    This book came up as my daily Amazon Truck deal today.

  16. Chairman of the Bored
    Thumb Up

    Is it too soon to say...

    ..Billy C is now an 'up and coming' author?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is he actually writing anything, or is an intern writing it and allowing the gentlemen to take credit? Unfortunately this is very common in these large author franchises.

  18. FozzyBear

    Yep like everyone else my mind went into meltdown at the mere thought of reading this.

    However, I am an evil bastard. So that you can continue the journey into utter despair.

    I want to see this made into a movie

    Director : Michael Bay

    Starring the main cast from the twilight series (Couldn't even force myself to google who they are)

    Gerard Butler can make an appearance

    I'll leave you to other horrid picks for parts in the movie

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Yep like everyone else my mind went into meltdown at the mere thought of reading this.

      In 3D. Packed with product placement and winking pop-culture references. Lots of pointless CGI effects. Action scenes "filmed" (or more likely rendered) in extreme closeup with many cuts, so there's no sense of what's actually happening or how the participants are arranged in space. Music and sound effects mixed very loud, with dialog low, so you can't possibly make sense of the latter if you're watching at home or with headphones. (This last may be considered a benefit.)

      And, of course, it must adhere strictly to Scripture. I refer, of course, to Blake Snyder's Save the Cat, which determines how every screenplay must be structured and paced, down to the minute. But this is already required by law for Hollywood movies anyway.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not as scary as reality...

    The book should star a couple of actual Presidents from recent history.

    The ones responsible for things such as Patriot Act, PRISM etc.

    The nasty "virus" being unleashed could be Facebook, any app on the Google Play Store, Windows 10, EternalBlue etc.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Stevie


    This the same Stephen King as the one who re-issued The Stand with all the pages editors had removed put back in, thereby showing the world the absolute necessity of editors?

    I think I agree that in many cases King's endings let down the book (Tommyknockers is an example) but sometimes he hits one out of the park (Firestarter worked very well for me, as did Christine).

    But the real king of "Ruin a Good Idea with The Explanation" is Dean Koontz. I had to stop reading his books. I loved he set-ups but hated his trite reasons why things were happening like they were.

    Never read any Twilight books, largely because in a post "Vampire LeStat" world I feel Vampires Are Stupid. There isn't anything anyone can say about them that is new and interesting no matter what you say they eat or when they can or cannot go abroad amongst people. I *did* read a short in which vampires kept herion-addicted humans for the high, but the rest of the story simply wasn't worth the idea.

    And for me the sooner the current craze for Zombies is over the better. The Dead rise. Yawn. Even the White Walkers are tedious. We know this because GRRM stopped writing about them yonks ago, having baited and switched the reader at about halfway through book one of A Game Of Pagecounts.

    I'll watch GoT on TV next year just for the spectacle, but to the idea that the dead are taking over Westeros I say "about time", and I'm done with the books since book 5: A Blithering with Behemoths.

  22. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "it will apparently shut down every operating system in America once it's activated"

    How's it going to shut down my Master 128? Or my A5000? Or my neighbour's Amiga? How's it going to shut down my Android tablet *AND* my Windows XP PC?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stephen King eat your heart out !!!

      The obvious twist is :

      The virus is a *real* virus not a Computer virus.

      While everyone is pucking their guts up ..... and worse, they realise that the world exists outside the 'shiny shiny' in their hands and 'wonder off' to have some 'Real life' experience after they have recovered from the virus.

      The sudden loss of all the geeks that run the IT world will lead to it all collapsing and failing from a lack of care. (Constant tweaking and fixing etc) :)

      The collapse of civilisation ensues .......... or does it !!!???

      [Buy the next exciting installment to find out *if* the world survives ??? ]

      The follow-on volume will be co-authored with Ghandi, Rasputin, Billy the kid and Adolf Hitler's 3rd favourite author [Mystery guest/ghost writer], all via a 'Genuine Psychic' author (An ex part-time Homeopathic Dentist who recently discovered his unique and valuble skills. ) ....... not forgetting James Patterson, of course. :)

      Place your orders now !!!

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