A plan to destroy America, a hundred years in the making, is about to be unleashed . . . can it be stopped?
Political? Certainly. Great Read? Yes!
By C. Paul on Nov 14, 2010
Not particularly liking or disliking Mr. Beck, I took a copy of this book from a co-worker with some reluctance, and it sat on my desk for several days before a trip caused me to pick it up for airplane reading. About 25 pages into the book I was hooked and finished it in a few short days. It is a great story. It is very well written. It is thought provoking. It is full of interesting facts and observations. And contrary to expectations, it is not a bashing of Democrats or a celebration of Republicans. Yes, there are political overtones but these can be dismissed, or considered, as the reader desires since this is just a great story.
A thinking person's philosophical thriller that went flat.
By Robert C. Olson on Jul 01, 2010
A thinking person's philosophical thriller that went flat. Glen Beck's new literary work is a thinking person's political thriller that went flat. Not to denigrate my favorite novel of all time, but Glen Beck's Overton Window is Atlas Shrugged "extremely lite". Mr. Beck attempts to coalesce his political philosophy around the conflicted world of the protagonist Noah Gardner and his "originalist" girl friend Molly Ross. The story starts strong but soon spins out of control as Mr. Beck tries to cover too much complex political philosophy in too few pages. The basic thesis is good, self-centered naive son of tyrannical self-possessed father meets political purist young woman and falls in love. But then the story begins to fall flat, as Mr. Beck injects his political views-much of which I agree with-without proper foundation. Still I found myself ambivalent of the Overton Window. I liked the message just not so much the vehicle. What is The Overton Window? In Mr. Beck's words, "....it's a way of describing what the public is currently ready to accept on an issue, so you can decide how best to move them toward what you want." At any given moment the "window" includes a range of policies considered to be politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, with "acceptable" defined as something a politician can recommend without being considered too "extreme" or outside the mainstream to gain or keep public office. From this concept, Mr. Beck extrapolates his story using the age old battle of good versus evil in the political world of America today. Good being the "original intent" of the Founders, versus the bad being the current move today toward bigger, more intrusive "nanny" government. This is where Mr. Beck' story breaks down into superficiality. Ideas such as Mr. Beck's needs a broader mosaic to work, hence the reference to Ayn Rand's tour de force Atlas Shrugged. The Overton Window needed more depth with political ideas developed through stronger individuals. Simplistic presentation of deep philosophical political ideas and principles become caricatures of themselves when presented too shallowly. Still, Mr. Beck raised some intriguing thought provoking ideas of our corrupted political scene today. Mr. Beck has an interesting mind and I personally wish he would have gone into more depth with this novel. I realize there are literary pressures in book length and content complexity, especially with political views, but come on Mr. Beck you can do better. You have the knowledge and the passion so next time let it ALL hang out. No gratuitous language, sex, or violence. Character development was weak to mediocre which hurt this novel. This was a target rich character environment that was left wanting. So much opportunity so little done. I am ambivalent in my recommendation. I did like the book for it's all too brief examination into the hyper-corrupt political world of today, and also Mr. Beck's investigation into the Overton Window theory. But overall the story was rather superficial and the characters generally lacked development and were one dimensional. Basically, it was a terrific opportunity missed. So I'd say wait for the paperback or get it at your local library. There simply is not enough there to justify the price of a hardback. I like Glenn Beck and I hope he learned something through this initial foray into the world of the political novel. Because of Mr. Beck's passion 3 stars.
Great Read, Ended Too Soon
By Daniel J. Gary on Jun 16, 2010
I will say this much, this book was a great read for its entirety. It was gripping in its conspiracy theory, and without a doubt it deserves a sequel. I pegged it one star because the book has no conclusion whatsoever. As a standalone book, it is worthless, however, Beck has already said that he has a sequel written and will publish it if this one sells well. So please, for my sanity, buy this book and read it. I can't NOT know what happens to Noah and Molly.
Can't wait for the next one!
By Ab In Sc on Jun 15, 2010
I ordered a signed copy of this book through Glenn Beck's website and was surprised to actually receive it last Thursday--almost a week before it was supposed to be released. I read it within 24 hours! I'm not a huge reader of fiction (one or two books a year), so I can't provide a trained critical review. But, as a concerned citizen of this country, it was refreshing to see an author correctly portray who the viliians of our society really are, and who the heroes are. Some may call it a book filled with wild conspiracy theories, but it's not about trying to prove any particular conspiracy. The purpose of this book is to educate the reader to dig deeper beneath the propaganda we are exposed to on a daily basis and "question everything". It challenges us to find out for ourselves what to take on face value, and when to be a skeptic. And it does it all through a creative and entertaining storyline. I can't wait for the sequel. I will be purchasing copies for friends and family. By the way, unlike most thrillers written these days, this book is clean and appropriate for all audiences!
Taught me things I thought I knew...
By J. A. Huss on Jun 18, 2010
I am a regular Glenn Beck listener, watcher, and reader so when I opened the book I thought it would be a good story but I pretty much knew all he had to say. So I started reading. The story-line is good and kept my attention. I was drawn into Noah - liking him and even liking the father for a substantial portion of the book. In fact, it took me a long time to warm up to Molly as she definitely had an agenda. I think the biggest surprise was that it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be - and when I got to the part about the "plan" the last entry on the list just stunned me. I won't give it away - but that really has been my lingering nagging question. Anyway - if you hate Glenn you'll hate his novel - if you like Glenn you'll probably like his novel. If you're like me and think you've heard all he has to say - you'll be very glad you read it. He's not done teaching just yet. The Overton Window was a fast paced, easy to read thriller that humbled me back down into learning mode...definitely worth your time.
Glenn, Stick to non-fiction
By Laura Metzger on Jul 15, 2010
I really like Glenn Beck, but I recommend he sticks to non-fiction writing. The story improves toward the end, but the plot and character development are really weak. The book comes off very "preachy" and it just doesn't compare to other popular novels of this genre. I had higher hopes....
Beck fan-yes / This book-no
By Robbie Ashmore on Jun 24, 2010
First I would like to say that I am a huge fan of Glenn Beck's. I loved "Arguing with Idiots"...but this book....I'm trying to think of a nice way to say "not that good"...There was absolutely NO character development..You know how when you read a really good book, you sometimes forget you're reading, and when the story is over, you kind of miss the characters...well that won't happen with this book. I'll be honest, I read a lot..I finished this book in 7 hours...and as a conservative libertarian, gun owner and pretty much just an anti-government guy..I was pretty pumped about this book...it wasn't awful...just not very good...sorry Glenn, I love your show though!!
A Review of the BOOK not the MAN
By Kim Albert on Jun 17, 2010
I am writing this review, because every review on here seems to be about the author and his biases and not about the BOOK itself. Let me first say that I am an avid reader. I read everything from Stephenie Meyer to Bertrand Russell, Chuck Palahniuk to Freakonomics. I read 3-5 books per week, fiction and non-fiction alike. I knew very little about Glenn Beck before I purchased this book. Of course I had heard his name, and that he was a radio personality, but that's about it. I read a little about him before beginning the book, learning that he is a "conservative libertarian." With that being said, it didn't really matter to me, a good book is a good book, no matter the political implications or insinuations. About the book: The plot was weak, it could have used a lot less quoting and preaching and a lot more character development and background. I found myself being thrown into a whole lot of speeches and little narrative or story development. The original character descriptions were good, but I found myself wanting to know more about them, who they were really, where they came from, and what they were thinking. The protagonist of this story was the only character that was explored deeper than a name, physical description, and a little about their backgrounds. I wanted to know more about them ESPECIALLY what they were thinking. The writing was a little below average. Mr. Beck just isn't that good of a story teller, I found myself drifting through the quotes and preaching, wanting them to be over so the story could continue...which it never really did. There was never a climax in the story, and the ending left a lot to be desired. You would have expected to learn a lot more of the elder Mr. Gardner(the main character's father) before the last chapter. Additionally, I felt that it ended without anything being solved. It just kind of ended in what I would think of as the middle of the story. All in all this was not worth the day and a half I put into reading it, and I suggest if Mr. Beck wants to share his political ideology, he stick to non-fiction. I would be happy to read it, and would probably enjoy it. Why write a fiction book, when really all you want to do is write a book of facts regarding the corruption of our country? That's what we really need to hear and read...hiding all of that in the guise of a fiction story(dubbed a thriller, no less) is disappointing to those of us who want to read a good novel. ***NOTE: For all of you who are going to call me a biased liberal hippie, I am a former employee and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association(thanks to Mr. Beck for the kudos in the book), and a member of the libertarian party.
Good but not great
By L. Hicken on Jul 08, 2010
I am conservative, but not a major Glenn Beck fan. I figured the book would have a lot of conservative political doctrine in it, and it did. For about the first half of the book, I would have given it 2-3 stars. The attraction between Molly and Noah seemed a bit contrived and the plot seemed to be kind of meandering. I was worried it was going to be a weak book that was just written as a vehicle to preach politics. However, about half way through (and I will not give away any spoilers) Beck starts to put the first half of the book together in a way that made me understand what he was doing. It really starts to get good. The last half was a complete page turner for me. Also, make sure to read the afterward at the end of the book. It was interesting to know how much fact was in the book. He also discusses how facts can be twisted (even by conservatives). IE, not all the conservative spiels in the book are what Glenn himself believes. Overall, I was very happy I read it.
I'm a Beck fan, a conservative, and this is a horrible novel.
By Bill Garrison on Aug 09, 2010
THE OVERTON WINDOW by conservative star Glenn Beck is horrible. While it makes some valid political, social and economic points, it fails to deliver the thrills promised on the book jacket. I read 60-70 thrillers a year, I always vote conservative, and I'm an agented, but unpublished novelist. I say this because I'm not a Beck hater, I just feel this novel has serious issues, and want readers of this review to take it seriously. The plot summary in the book jacket mentions PR man Noah Ross and his meeting with Molly Ross, a politcally active young woman involved in patriot groups. "AND THEN THE WORLD CHANGES" from at attack on US soil. That's the plot I'm expecting, only it never shows up. The attack promised in the book summary occurs very, very late in the book. The extremely misleading summary is only part of the problem. Because of what is mentioned above, the book only has a beginning. The conclusion of the novel should be the opening conflict that drives the rest of the novel. Basically, in this novel. Nothing happens. The action that occurs could happen in 60 well-written pages. But Beck drags it out forever. Part of this occurs because of the several long political rants that appear every other chapter. These are informative and at times entertaining, but do not belong in a novel. People looking to have their beliefs reinforced will like this novel, as will ardent back fans. But true thriller writers will find the quotes on the back of the book "perfect All-American thriller," "Best thrillers I've read in years," and "turning pages well into the night," quite comical. Bottom line, judging Beck's book by the standards other novels are judged, it fails. I give it two stars because Beck's writing is professional and he seemed like he knew what he was doing (or he had a good editor, or good co-authors.) I think this book has gotten such high reviews the same reason that many Christian novels I read have gotten such high reviews. The books really aren't that good, but they're reviewed by people that know the person (Christian books) or they're reviewed by people who don't read many thrillers, or have blind allegiance to the author. I really can't recommend this book to anyone but the most hard-core Beck fans. Because of its limited action and extended scenes of political speeches, it just isn't that good.