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A Review Of The Book Not The Author
on August 16, 2011
Before I begin, this is a review of the book not the author. If you're someone who hates the guy and will just do everything they can to give the book bad reviews, consider for a minute if you'd like to see that happen to a Keith Olbermann if a bunch of right-wingers wanted to punish him for his politics. Don't be that guy. If you're not interested in giving this book a fair shake on its own merits then please just stop reading and go away. If you're one of Savage's listeners who likes everything that he does you might as well stop reading now and just buy the book because you're going to anyway.
I've read one of Michael Savage's previous books, political zoo, and found it mostly entertaining. So when I got a chance to try out an advance copy of this book I jumped at it because I was pretty curious if the guy could actually pull off fiction. If you want the short version, sort of.
The novel follows a reporter named Jack Hatfield who's life is loosely based on Michael Savage's. Jack was kicked off of his TV show for controversial statements, was banned from entering Britain, and has a general feeling that the government is overlooking the activities of Muslims out of political correctness. He ends up being a first-hand witness to a botched car bombing and from there his digging for the truth leads him on a multi-continent mission to try to stop a terrorist attack.
For me at least, the first couple of chapters were really hard to get into. I found the way the author introduced back story to be confusing and hard to read. I consider myself conservative, but I grew a bit fatigued being beaten over the head repeatedly with political views. However, once things moved on to focus on the people behind the botched bombing I really started to get into the story. The only problem being that his digs at enemies like George Soros, the UK government, and others keep creeping back. If you like seeing those or can filter it out you're good, if you can't then you'll want to avoid the book because I can tell you now that you'll just be annoyed too often.
As I read along I had to do a fair amount of skimming over and filtering out of details that seem to be filler and much of the political stuff, but what was left was an intriguing story that plays off of events in the news. Unraveling the conspiracy and seeing how far it went was well done with just enough revealed at a time to make you want more; the false revelations that led to some twists kept me guessing. At a certain point in the middle I actually lost track of time and found I'd been reading for a couple hours instead of the twenty minutes I'd planned. In short, the story was a little slow to pick up but after it got going it was quite enjoyable and worth the read. Though I won't spoil it, I thought the ending was a bit over the top and implausible.
I assume you realize this, but I'll mention it anyway, if you're expecting any kind of realism in the story you're going to be disappointed. Like most of the suspense novels you're going to have unrealistic last-second near misses, allies and enemies who behave just perfectly to allow the hero to succeed at a certain goal, "flesh wounds" from bullets that still allow the hit person full mobility, and people who believe or disbelieve a story in just the right way to add suspense. This can be said about just about any "thriller" book, but I felt some of the characters were a bit one dimensional compared to other books I've read and I would have liked to actually care about more of them.
This isn't the greatest book you're ever going to read, but if you can get past the politics or if you just enjoy them then it's worth a look, though maybe after it drops in price a bit. If not, you're better off skipping it.