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Empire of Lies Mass Market Paperback – June 29, 2010

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593155980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593155988
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar-winner Klavan (True Crime) delivers a wickedly satiric thriller with political overtones. Jason Harrow was cynically immoral before he found God and became a conservative Midwestern family man. Now his former lover summons him back to New York City with the news that his teenage daughter (one he never knew about) is in trouble, mixed up with terrorists who are plotting a major atrocity. To save his daughter and thousands of others, Jason must confront the buried fear that he's inherited his mother's insanity and can't control his own dark urges. As Jason's insecurity intensifies, so does the novel's nightmarish mood. Disgusted by the excesses of the liberal media, Jason discovers that he's not just paranoid, he really is a persecuted outsider. The action builds to an explosive climax at the screening of a 3-D movie at a Manhattan theater. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Jason Harrow is a prosperous midwesterner living a picture-book life. A single phone call, though, recalls him to New York City, to a past when he did things he’s ashamed of, and to reminders of his mother’s madness. An ex-girlfriend’s plea for help finding her wayward daughter plunges Harrow into a conspiracy in which Muslim terrorists are planning something dire that only he can stop—he just prays he’s not making it all up. Klavan (Damnation Street, 2006) certainly knows how to construct an exciting thriller and has done so again here. But Harrow’s conservative worldview is likely to turn off liberal readers. In this near-future world of political correctness gone mad, the rise of violent “Islamofascists” has been abetted by an unholy trinity of higher education, Hollywood, and the media—and, by inference, the declining influence of strong, Christian men. But after so much venom, neither Harrow’s Christianity—nor his revulsion at his own ultimate act of violence—is quite convincing. The political polemics don’t subvert Klavan’s thriller instincts, but they are likely to limit his audience. --Keir Graff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Andrew Klavan has been nominated for the Mystery Writer of America's Edgar award five times and won twice. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Don't Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas, True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Empire of Lies. He is currently writing a series of thrillers for young adults called The Homelanders. The first two novels in the series are The Last Thing I Remember and The Long Way Home. Klavan is a contributing editor to City Journal and his essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other places. His satiric video commentaries can be seen on PJTV.com.

Customer Reviews

The plot is obvious, the suspense patchy, and the conclusion weak.
C. Martin
Klavan is clearly a conservative but this is really a book for liberals like myself.
I enjoyed it very much due to the exciting story and the interesting characters.
thomas olsinski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Henry W. Wagner VINE VOICE on July 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Klavan evokes both Cornell Woolrich and Alfred Hitchcock in his latest thriller, telling the story of middle aged Jason Harrow, whose extremely conservative present conceals an extremely reckless youth. In trying to keep his past from ruining the life he's so painstakingly built for himself, Harrow becomes involved in a nightmare scenario that would challenge even the most competent among us. Add in the fact that this scenario seems almost designed to press his particular mental buttons, and you can easily see why Harrow eventually begins to question his own sanity.

Although he's been criticized elsewhere for pandering to the far right in his choice of protagonist, and, for that matter, antagonists, Klavan does a great job in evoking empathy for Harrow, who comes off as likable in spite of his headstrong nature and his often pompous posturing. This comes from Klavan's skill in steadily kicking out the foundations of his hero's life, until Harrow comes to feel that it's literally him against the world--his courage in facing and solving his dilemma when the odds are clearly against him are inspiring. Klavan is also canny enough to provide some welcome comic relief by throwing in an outrageous character obviously based on William Shatner--once you meet and recognize him, you can't wait until his next appearance in the narrative.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By rgregg VINE VOICE on July 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Klavan's books never fail to entertain. He has taken a bold step with this novel. Jason Harrow is the center of this novel about a good man who confronts his past and his future with strong opinions about both. What starts with a phone call from his old girlfriend about her missing daughter twists into a tale of reunion, disappearance, celebrity, politics and terrorism. Clearly drawn characters many of whom are not quite what they seem to be populate these pages. What are their motivations? Who can be trusted? To give much away would be unfair to readers. A stunning climax with even more drama in the final few pages make this one of the best of the year.
Klavan's honest view of modern media and it's penchant to find fault with America's policies and how they cause people to want to commit vile acts is bound to be controversial. Make no mistake, this is a page turning thriller with a message that is so often ignored but needs to be told. The risks Klavan takes should be admired and celebrated.
Twists and turns galore populate this stunning story and open minded readers will be left with a great deal to think about while being completely entertained at the same time. Buy this book, read it and decide for yourself.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By screenplay writer (and lawn care specialist) on August 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm an English lit major who has read my share of the classics, but my tastes lean toward men's fiction... hard-boiled detective stories, westerns, etc. I've seen talk show host Glen Beck interview a couple of authors who sounded like they might be up my alley... "men's fiction" authors who write stories with something other than generic terrorist characters, authors who show their fictional terrorists as having radical islamist leanings, and I've checked out two of the authors I've seen on the Beck show: Brad Thor and Andrew Klavan.

Maybe it was just the Brad Thor booked I picked up, but I thought Thor was a fairly bad writer and I found his dialogue very stiff. Klavan, however, is a different story. He's won writing awards and recognized writers such as Stephen King enjoy his work. I found this book tight, brutal, current-as-today's-headlines, and just a real joy to read.

My only complaint with the book, or maybe I should say "reservation" rather than "complaint", is that Klavan has a character in the book who is clearly modeled after actor William Shatner, and Klavan's descriptions of the Shatner character are unflattering beyond all reason. You would think that Shatner must have killed Klavan's dog or slept with his wife. Other than the "Shatner character assassination" though, I thought that this book was a five-star read. The venom directed at Shatner was confusing.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Klavan has brought us some very fine novels in the past, True Crime coming immediately to mind (which was also turned into a very fine Clint Eastwood movie).

But I've come to the conclusion that in this book, Klavan was more interested in putting forward his thoughts on the current political scene in the country than in actually writing a true "thriller" in the traditional sense; it strikes me more as dark satire than anything else.

In reality, if you're a Liberal, you're simply going to hate this book; there are no two ways about it. If you're conservative, you're going to find yourself nodding along and muttering "right on!" to yourself throughout.

I'll say right here, I'm a conservative, so I found his observations very sharp and accurate. The hypocrisy of the Left in refusing to acknowledge that Islamic fanaticism even exists, let alone is at the root of so many of the problems in the world today; the blatant hypocrisy of American academia; the self-involved shallowness of the "arts", particularly Hollywood and its empty-headed denizens; the "blame America first" mentality. It's all lampooned with great effect.

Great stuff!

I do think that in some respects Klavan sometimes goes overboard, specifically in that his main character is deeply engaged in his Christianity, so for traditional conservatives who don't fall into the "evangelical" category this can sometimes be slow going. Had I written the book, I'd have made the character's conservative values be based more on the principles of the Constitution, and less on the Bible.

Nonetheless, the satire of the Left was as accurate as a laser-guided smart bomb, and blows their pious sanctimony to smithereens.

That ALONE was worth the price of admission!
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