By Anthony Petriello
The streets of downtown Huntington were buzzing the morning of June 28 as readers and fans alike waited patiently for a chance to meet former President Bill Clinton (D) and author James Patterson.
Security was tight at Book Revue, an independently-owned bookstore on New York Avenue, and excitement was in the air. A long line stretched around the corner Main Street before taking a turn onto Wall Street as patrons began lining up as early as 9 a.m. for the 11 a.m. event.
“I’m a big supporter of his,” said Chris Jones, who said he was elated to meet Clinton. “It’s not every day you get the opportunity to meet a U.S. President.”
Clinton and Patterson were signing copies of their latest joint novel, “The President is Missing,” which was released June 4. The thriller takes place in contemporary America, wherein the president goes missing only to become a suspect in a looming attack.
“It’s not every day you get the opportunity to meet a U.S. President.”
– Chris Jones
“As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America,” reads Patterson’s description of the plot posted on his website. “Uncertainty and fear grip Washington. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then goes missing.”
The book signing attracted a wide variety of people. Among the younger audience in attendance was Ryan McInnes, who was standing in line with his father.
“He’s inspirational to young people in this country,” McInnes said.
The president and Patterson were not available for comment at the event, but those who purchased tickets and waited patiently had the opportunity to meet the co-authors and have their copy of the novel signed.
This was Clinton’s second time appearing at Book Revue, which was founded in 1977 and is now one of the largest independent bookstores in the United States. The store has hosted many notable figures in the past including Hoda Kotb, Anderson Cooper and Bill Nye, among others.
Book Revue Owner Richard Klein was appreciative of Clinton’s cooperation.
“He is very personable, and we were happy to have him,” Klein said. “The event went very smoothly and we were happy to serve our customers and see everyone having a good time.”
Book Revue has several copies of “The President is Missing” that were signed by Patterson and made available for purchase after the event. The store is located at 313 New York Avenue in Huntington.