James Comey and the Chamber of Secrets

The former FBI director has written quite the Y.A. adventure

James Comey.
(Image credit: Illustrated | United Archives GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The 21st century has put to rest Marx's dictum that history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce. It was a farce when former FBI Director James Comey went in the span of some six months from being regarded as a selfless public servant who refused to cave to right-wing pressure and charge Hillary Clinton over her damned emails to being excoriated as a crypto-fascist spook who swung the election to Donald Trump to becoming the unofficial leader of the #Resistance after the president fired him last year. Now the saga continues, and this time it's a Y.A. fantasy novel.

The question is which sort of Y.A. fantasy novel. Does it belong to that subgenre, the rise of which I find more than a bit creepy, in which desperate teenagers fight for their lives in mazes in order to win a prize promised by the dystopian corporate overlords (i.e., the 2016 election)? Or is it one of those books in which a talented adolescent confronts a mean wizard? Certainly it is easy to imagine Lord Voldemort encouraging one or more Russian witches to urinate on some mythical item and later trying to convince Harry Potter that he hadn't done it. In any case, the most important generic criterion of having a bland but noble white protagonist onto whom we can project all our hopes, dreams, and anxieties has certainly been met.

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Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has also appeared in First Things, The Spectator of London, The Catholic Herald, National Review, and other publications. He is currently writing a biography of the Rev. Montague Summers. He is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.