Crooked (Hardcover)

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This is the story of Richard Nixon, America's last defense against a supernatural Cold War.

Richard Nixon's life is a compellingly human story: historically epic, richly strange. His career spans World War II, the Cold War intrigue, theMad Men sixties, and the turbulent seventies. He went from political phenomenon to master schemer to a joke, sobbing in the Oval Office.

But what if Nixon was actually a man who had stumbled on a terrible supernatural secret? A leader who did what he had to do to protect humanity, at the cost of disgracing the entire nation?

What if our worst president was really a pivotal figure in the secret history of the twentieth century, caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality?

He's not a crook. He's a hero. So cut Nixon some slack. He saw the devil walk.

Though he may have done a few good things with his presidency, most people remember Richard Nixon as a crook, not a hero. In Crooked, Grossman reimagines Nixon as an unlikeable, but ultimately compelling, antihero trying to save the U.S. (and the world) from a secret war of unknowable horrors. Though clearly researched, the novel glosses over much of the real world Nixon’s actions, making it much more accessible to anyone interested in supernatural spy thrillers, not just Nixonian scholars. The action is sometimes slow, but the nature of the mysteries and the authentic cast will keep readers going to the end.

— David M.



Richard Milhous Nixon lived one of the most improbable lives of the twentieth century. Our thirty-seventh president's political career spanned the button-down fifties, the Mad Men sixties, and the turbulent seventies. He faced down the Russians, the Chinese, and ultimately his own government. The man went from political mastermind to a national joke, sobbing in the Oval Office, leaving us with one burning question: how could he have lost it all?

Here for the first time is the tale told in his own words: the terrifying supernatural secret he stumbled upon as a young man, the truth behind the Cold War, and the truth behind the Watergate cover-up. What if our nation's worst president was actually a pivotal figure caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality? What if the man we call our worst president was, in truth, our greatest?

In Crooked, Nixon finally reveals the secret history of modern American politics as only Austin Grossman could reimagine it. Combining Lovecraftian suspense, international intrigue, Russian honey traps, and a presidential marriage whose secrets and battles of attrition were their own heroic saga, Grossman's novel is a masterwork of alternative history, equal parts mesmerizing character study and nail-biting Faustian thriller.

About the Author

Austin Grossman is a video game design consultant and the author of You and Soon I Will Be Invincible, which was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His writing has appeared in Granta, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316198516
ISBN-10: 031619851X
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: July 28th, 2015
Pages: 368
Language: English