As a whole, I liked The Overton Window by Glenn Beck. It took me a little while to get into it, but about half way through it I got to the point where I couldn’t put it down and looked forward to getting home from work so that I could take a few minutes to read. That’s one of the ways I judge a book. One of the other ways I judge a book (or movie) is whether I can predict the ending. Unfortunately, this was a pretty predictable book. That being said, I do look forward to reading the sequel, The Eye of Moloch by Glenn Beck. This was the original reason why I read The Overton Window in the first place. I heard a radio interview where Glenn was talking to someone about his new book and I was drawn to it immediately. When I got The Eye of Moloch, I realized that it was a sequel, so I had to go out and get The Overton Window.
I liked Noah Gardner, the main character. He was a likeable guy who (predictably) falls for the main female character, Molly Ross who is a patriot activist and part of a group of people who are trying to change the world. Or save the world, depending on how you look at it. Noah bounces back and forth between the life of luxury he is accustomed to, and the world where Molly lives. He is torn (briefly) between what his father is trying to accomplish and what Molly is passionate about. It seems that Noah has already become disillusioned by his father’s business, and although he seems entrenched in it, he really isn’t. Near the beginning of the book it is obvious that he is more of a glorified gopher within his father’s business, and is truly unaware of just how corrupt his father is. It doesn’t take a lot of prodding for the manipulative patriot to convince Noah to take her straight to his father’s office and hack into the system to show her all of his father’s secrets. This seemed a little far-fetched to me. Most people wouldn’t break into someone else’s office for any reason, even for a pretty girl.
The cover describes The Overton Window as a Thriller. I certainly didn’t agree with this statement until I got about half way through it. The inside of the jacket cover also describes how an “unprecedented attack on U.S. soil shakes the country to the core…” Well, the attack didn’t happen until right at the end of the book and took place out in the middle of the desert where no one really knew about it. The book even describes how no one got a picture of it and that the mushroom cloud had to be hand-drawn by reporters in order to share the story.
The reader feels the pull between the two worlds of the very, very rich and the patriots. It is never implied that the patriots are poor in any way, more that they are not ultra wealthy. There is an underlying theme that the rich can pretty much do anything they want or get anything they want just by calling the right people and flashing a little money around. Noah learns that being rich allows him the ability to help his new ‘friends’ in advancing their cause. I once read a book written by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki called Why We Want You to Be Rich wherein it is taught that it is much easier to help others if you have money yourself. Think about it, when was the last time someone on welfare was able to offer you a job at the business he just started? Whereas, if you are rich and have the capital to start a business, you can offer that person on welfare a job, thus lifting him up and helping him get off welfare. It’s a powerful upward cycle. The rich provide jobs and purchase goods & services, helping others to earn money and then those people can purchase goods & services, helping other businesses earn money, and the cycle goes on and on. Also, if you are rich, you are able to donate to causes you believe in, participate in local school fundraisers, give to the local library or art museum, support a local politician, etc. But it’s very difficult to support causes you believe in if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and can barely take care of yourself and your family. One of these days I’ll have to write a book review on Why We Want You to Be Rich! But in the book The Overton Window, the rich people are ultimately portrayed as the bad guys and, dare I say, the evil guys. This is an extreme example though, and obviously fiction. Let’s hope so anyway!
Like I said, all in all I liked the book and would probably read it again. That’s a good sign! There were a lot of unanswered questions and a bit of a cliff hanger at the end making me all the more excited to read The Eye of Moloch. Have you read The Overton Window? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer
Other books by Glenn Beck: