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Glenn Beck's 'The Overton Window': incoherent and not at all thrilling

June 23, 2010 |  7:43 am

Glennbeck_mar09

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has written a novel. It's the story of a bachelor, his villainous father, a 100-year old liberal conspiracy and a stolen nuclear weapon. It is called "The Overton Window: A Thriller." It is not good.

Our reviewer Tim Rutten writes:

There is nothing even remotely thrilling about this didactic, discursive -- sporadically incoherent -- novel. The image of a train wreck comes quickly to mind, though this book actually has more the character -- and all of the excitement -- of a lurching, low-speed derailment halfway out of the station.

Rutten includes a sample of Beck's prose -- or rather, the prose from Beck's writing team. Glenn Beck himself is busy -- probably too busy to sit down and write a novel even if he really wanted to. But according to what he told USA Today -- "I don't write. I speak. I get bogged down in writing." -- he doesn't really want to.

Beck is an enthusiastic reader, though, so maybe he's just trying to distance himself from "The Overton Window's" prose. Rutten quotes from the scene when the protagonist first sees his love interest:

Something about this woman defied a traditional chick-at-a-glance inventory. Without a doubt all the goodies were in all the right places, but no mere scale of one to 10 was going to do the job this time. It was an entirely new experience for him. Though he'd been in her presence for less than a minute, her soul had locked itself onto his senses, far more than her substance had.

Goodies, soul connections and all, Glenn Beck's "The Overton Window" has climbed to No. 3 on Amazon's bestseller list. The only thing standing between it and the top spot is deceased Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, and his books "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

-- Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Photo: Glenn Beck in March 2009. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


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