...it’s easy to distrust Cohen. On that score, Disloyal should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Its author is no hero. But that doesn’t make the book any less interesting. For all its black-hearted opportunism and self-aggrandizement, it delivers a readable and bile-filled take on Trump and his minions ... Cohen entertains, albeit at the expense of others: Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, for starters ... Jared Kushner also emerges worse for wear ... Organized crime pervades the book, and Cohen does not sound at all disapproving. Said differently, Trump’s world was the crew the author always dreamed of joining ... As expected, Cohen goes granular in narrating his efforts to buy the silence of the adult film star Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model ... In the din caused by Trump’s comments regarding the military, Disloyalty still cut through.
[The] revelations in Disloyal are significant. The advance hype for the book focused primarily on its depictions of Trump’s racism ... Cohen freely admits throughout Disloyal that he idolized Trump. He portrays himself as a Mini-Me, imitating Trump as he stiffed vendors and paid off porn stars on behalf of his boss ... Cohen promises that he will provide a portrait of 'the real real Donald Trump—the man very, very, very few people know.' Cohen’s links with Trump are indeed deeper and more intimate than those of other tell-all writers ... A great many skeletons are excavated ... Disloyal is best understood as a bildungsroman, a story of Cohen’s gradual awakening to Trump’s lawlessness and selfishness and the threat he posed to the country ... Disloyal is as unsavory a book as Michael Cohen is a character. His unseemliness explains, in part, why the revelations from the book have received considerably less attention than those in the Atlantic article ... in the upside-down world of Trump’s America, sometimes clowns have more insight than everyone else.
[A] revolting, contradictory, redundant and transparently faux-penitent memoir ... While he does proffer the eye-popping details and anecdotes required in any Trump tell-all, Cohen reveals little about Trump that is not already widely understood. Disloyal is an exercise in affirmation, not revelation ... Cohen revels in how much they share in common, and still channels The Art of the Deal ... The book is getting attention for its criticisms of the president. But Disloyal doubles as Cohen’s unwitting homage to the ways of Donald Trump ... The whole thing is written as a lament — but it’s really a lament that it’s over, a lament that he got caught.
Cohen’s kiss-and-tell account of the decade he spent at Trump’s side. It is an exhilarating and lurid story – part survivor’s memoir, part revenge tragedy. His verdict on the president is brutal. It is, for the most part, convincing ... There are gossipy sketches of the president’s family and flatterers ... illuminating on the theme of collusion with Russia ... There are a few things Cohen leaves out. We don’t learn anything about his meetings with the special counsel Robert Mueller and his FBI team, after Cohen broke with Trump in the summer of 2018 and came clean. Nor does Cohen say much about Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, who was slipping off to pass polling data and other pieces of information to a career Russian spy ... Ultimately, Disloyal is an artful work of self-reinvention. It is (ghost?) written in rollicking style and confected to give the impression Cohen is humbly repentant and ashamed. Maybe he is and his moral awakening is for real. Cohen, though, doesn’t dwell much on why he stopped being Trump’s 'gangster lawyer'. Perhaps we should merely be thankful that he is now ringer of the nation’s alarm bell and deliverer of cold truth to a complicit Republican party.
Over Disloyal's 400-plus pages, Cohen rips through accounts of dozens of incidents, ranging from Trump allegedly cheating mom-and-pop vendors for services rendered at Trump properties to those of the president making racist remark ... Tonally, Cohen alternates between taking accountability for his own behavior and trying to describe what he found so magnetic in Trump. That language sometimes skims close to erotic terms: 'It was physical,' Cohen writes, 'emotional, not quite spiritual, but a deep longing and need that Trump filled for me' ... As is typical in political memoirs, Cohen also saves space for some petty score-settling.