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Inside Out: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

Barry Eisler on Inside Out

Black ops soldier Ben Treven is back, and I have to tell you, I love what he’s been up to.

What really fires me up about Inside Out--apart from the characters, the action, and (naturally) the sex--is the timeliness and relevance of the story. The ninety-two interrogation videos the CIA confessed last year to destroying, and which form the foundation for the book’s plot, are back in the news now, as independent prosecutor John Durham concludes his two-year obstruction of justice investigation. And the other subjects at the heart of Inside Out--torture, ghost detainees, renditions, the real nature of America’s Establishment--continue to be the most profound and controversial political issues of the day.

Various interviewers have asked me, "Do you really believe in the ‘oligarchy’ you write about?" It’s a strange question, suggesting as it does that the oligarchy is in the same category as, say, the Loch Ness Monster or UFOs. In fact, as one of the characters in the book explains, “The oligarchy is right out in the open. It’s just a collection of people in business, politics, the military, and the media who recognize their interests are better served by cooperation than they would be by competition.” MIT professor and former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson has written about the oligarchy in the Atlantic; Matt Taibbi has written about it in Rolling Stone. After Enron, the subprime meltdown and bailout, the lax oversight of BP that led to the Gulf oil spill--to name just a few--you’d have to be in fairly significant denial not to notice the oligarchy’s insidious presence, if only by its disastrous effects.

I’ve never written a book that so perfectly synthesizes my interests as a thriller writer and my concerns as a political blogger, or one that draws so heavily not just on my obsession with current events but on my background as a CIA intelligence officer. More than anything else, Inside Out is a reality-based thriller--as demonstrated by the list of sources and the bibliography I include at the end. Its emotional impact doesn’t derive from Jack Bauer fantasies, but rather from real people caught up in the real political machinations of the day. For me, the most gripping thrillers are always the ones that hew most closely to reality, the ones that leave you feeling, Good God, this could really be happening! That’s the kind of book I set out to write with Inside Out, and the kind of experience I think it delivers. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Eisler's rock-solid sequel to Fault Line finds black ops spy/assassin Ben Treven dealing with anger management problems that have landed him in a grim Filipino jail. To the rescue is his old boss, Col. Scott Hort Horton, chief of Ben's secret unit, the absurdly blandly named Intelligence Support Activity. Hort tried to have Ben killed in the last book, but no matter—in exchange for his release, Ben must hunt down fellow agent Daniel Larison, a rogue who's demanding $100 million worth of uncut diamonds in exchange for 92 secret tapes showing extreme torture, instigated and sanctioned by the office of the U.S. vice president. Caught in this rapidly escalating disaster are various high-level government officials, all of whom are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the tapes from being revealed. The open ending promises to unite Ben with Eisler's other series hero, John Rain, a matchup that should prove to be thriller gold for anxiously awaiting readers. 10-city author tour. (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.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505118
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A Note On The New Titles

Why have I changed the titles of the Rain books? Simply because I've never thought the titles were right for the stories. The right title matters--if only because the wrong one has the same effect as an inappropriate frame around an otherwise beautiful painting. Not only does the painting not look good in the wrong frame; it will sell for less, as well. And if you're the artist behind the painting, having to see it in the wrong frame, and having to live with the suboptimal commercial results, is aggravating.

The sad story of the original Rain titles began with the moniker Rain Fall for the first in the series. It was a silly play on the protagonist's name, and led to an unfortunate and unimaginative sequence of similar such meaningless, interchangeable titles: Hard Rain, Rain Storm, Killing Rain (the British titles were better, but still not right: Blood from Blood for #2; Choke Point for #3; One Last Kill for #4). By the fifth book, I was desperate for something different, and persuaded my publisher to go with The Last Assassin, instead. In general, I think The Last Assassin is a good title, but in fairness it really has nothing to do with the story in the fifth book beyond the fact that there's an assassin in it. But it was better than more of Rain This and Rain That. The good news is, the fifth book did very well indeed; the bad news is, the book's success persuaded my publisher that assassin was a magic word and that what we needed now was to use the word assassin in every title. And so my publisher told me that although they didn't care for my proposed title for the sixth book--The Killer Ascendant--they were pleased to have come up with something far better. The sixth book, they told me proudly, would be known as The Quiet Assassin.

I tried to explain that while not quite as redundant as, say, The Deadly Assassin or The Lethal Assassin, a title suggesting an assassin might be notable for his quietness was at best uninteresting (as opposed to, say, Margret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, which immediately engages the mind because of the connection of two seemingly contradictory qualities). The publisher was adamant. I told them that if they really were hell-bent on using assassin in a title that otherwise had nothing to do with the book, couldn't we at least call the book The Da Vinci Assassin, or The Sudoku Assassin? In the end, we compromised on Requiem for an Assassin, a title I think would be good for some other book but is unrelated to the one I wrote--beyond, again, the bare fact of the presence of an assassin in the story.

Now that I have my rights back and no longer have to make ridiculous compromises about these matters, I've given the books the titles I always wanted them to have--titles that actually have something to do with the stories, that capture some essential aspect of the stories, and that act as both vessel and amplifier for what's most meaningful in the stories. For me, it's like seeing these books for the first time in the frames they always deserved. It's exciting, satisfying, and even liberating. Have a look yourself and I hope you'll enjoy them.


Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. To learn more, please visit Or Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Eldred VINE VOICE on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In 2007, operatives working out of the Vice-president of the United States' office were informed that there were ninety-two missing videotapes. Those tapes documented the extreme torture of ghost detainees, individuals captured and whisked away to secret prisons, people who simply disappeared. Waterboarding, while documented on the tapes, was not the worst thing that happened to the ghost detainees. Ulrich, the lead operative, crafts a plausible story to spin to the media, which allows everyone else to sigh in relief.

Two years later, someone surfaces, contacts one of the operatives, and tells him that he is in possession of the ninety-two videotapes. He will release them to the world's media in five days if he is not paid $100 million in small, uncut diamonds.

In a Manila jail, Ben Treven is awaiting his fate for the killing of an Australian sailor. Ben was a member of an elite squad of men who "fixed" problems. He was hand picked for the squad because of his skills in stealth, observation and tactics, and use of deadly force. Waiting out his days, he is visited by his old commander, Colonel "Hort" Horton, who has a proposition; find and detain the person that is blackmailing the United States government. There are not many clues, however Hort believes that a dead man has the tapes, a person who died in an explosion in Pakistan in 2007.

Treven wants out of the jail, but he also wants a measure of revenge from Hort, who tried to kill him, his brother, and a female lawyer when an advanced encryption software program was being readied for market. Treven accepts the offer.

It isn't long until Ben discovers that he isn't the only person looking for the tapes or the blackmailer; the FBI and CIA are on the case as well.
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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful By GameMaker VINE VOICE on June 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've really enjoyed Eisler's John Rain books, but this one is a pretty far departure from those (unfortunately). The biggest problem I have with this book is that it comes off as mainly a political rant against torture of war criminals/terrorists. It seems like there are a zillion references in the book to Abu Gharib(sp?), and the book spends much of its time with stupid politicians discussing political coverup strategies (yawn).
Then at the end of the book, we are "treated" to the mother-of-all rants, where he discussed (through one of his borderline crazy characters) the role of government, corporations, etc.

The other thing about this book is that it has no third act at all! None! It establishes the characters, presents the conflict, and them boom, the book ends with nothing really resolved from the first two acts. You can't help feeling kind of cheated at the end. It seems like Eisler mainly just wanted to rant a bit about an issue he felt important, rather than trying to entertain us with a coherent story.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr. Eisler, you have now joined my exasperation club of authors that don't finish a story within a novel.

I don't have a problem with characters continuing from book to book . . . but, please, I beg of you, find a way to end your plot within each novel, or you're going to be deleted from my buy list.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. B. Waugh on August 12, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are thinking about buying this, read the Author's Note at the top. He warns you that he has decided to put his oligarchy conspiracy and anti-detainee views in a suspense novel. It doesn't work. As other reviewers have noted, he abandons all but his preaching in the last third. If you are part of that choir, you might enjoy it. But if you are looking for the suspense of his John Rain books, you will be completely disappointed.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rutteric on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Eisler's John Rain books were taut, action-filled stories with exotic locales and interesting characters. The previous Ben Treven book was better, while this book's characters are so busy preaching about the war on terror (bad) that the book forgets to tell a real story. Sure, pedantic politics is a failing of right-wing superheroes of Flynn and Thor, but Eisler has proven he can do better than this. You know you're in for trouble when his book jacket author bio highlights his blogging exploits more than his intelligence/martial arts background. I will still look forward to his next book, but if this trend continues, I will seek other authors.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By rnymph on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read all Barry Eisler's books, and Inside Out was another great Eisler read - zero to ninety in three seconds, and hang on for the ride, right up until the last part of the book, when Eisler stopped writing and started ranting. I understand that Eisler feels strongly about certain political issues; that came through in the dialogue of the book. I didn't need to be force-fed the information as a way of concluding Inside Out, though. It felt like Eisler couldn't contain himself any longer and gave up trying to get his beliefs across within a novel; he just needed to state them outright. I get it, Mr. Eisler, and I appreciate the references and bibliography at the book's end so I can research these topics myself. But please, don't confuse writing novels with writing blogs. Rain, Dox, and Treven together? Bring it on! Just please leave out the rants and give me the non-stop action I crave in Barry Eisler novels.
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