The Shell Game Mass Market Paperback – Sep 8 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Even die-hard conspiracy theorists will be dubious about the sinister government-led plots that form the shaky foundation of this political thriller. Alten, best-known for his gory novels featuring giant prehistoric sharks (Meg; The Trench), goes well beyond the already far-fetched idea that the Bush administration let the devastating 9/11 attacks happen to further the neoconservative agenda of reshaping the Middle East. In 2012, with centrist conservative David McKuin in the White House, the federal government plots to detonate a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city and blame Iran as a cover to take out that country's radical leadership. Standing in the plotters' way is Ace Futrell, an energy expert whose murdered wife was possibly targeted by U.S. intelligence. An awkward mix of actual and fictional political figures (Hillary Clinton is still in the Senate in 2012, having lost the 2008 election to McKuin) doesn't make this paranoid and superficial book more plausible. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Steve Alten is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Loch, Meg, Domain, and Mayan Prophecy series. His work has been published in more than thirty countries and is being used in thousands of middle and high school curricula as part of Adopt-an-Author, a free teen reading program used nationwide to encourage reluctant readers.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While the public at-large is largely ignorant and believes only what is presented to them by the multi-corporate owned media outlets, the written word in books has not yet been taken away from us.
Steve Alten has done every American a favor by writing this book.
This book is the most important book yet written with regard to where this country is being led by its own government. Although a novel in form, it is a thinly veiled history of current and probable events. Each chapter is prefaced by actual quotes by actual people that should scare the beejeezus out of every American.
If after reading this book, the reader's mind isn't opened to the presented probabilities of what "could" happen in this country, then this country is toast.
The United States of Advertising exists and exists to divert the attention of its pathetic citizenry. Citizenry who are conditioned to think that consuming things and Brittany Spears are important in their lives, enough so that politicians and law makers get away with just about anything they want. One day, if we're all lucky, or enough people read books like THE SHELL GAME, we may overcome this horrendous monster that used to be OUR government. It isn't any longer folks, The Emperor is indeed not wearing any clothes.
Read this book, pass it around, tell everyone you know about it. Then
Go to [...] and give Steve the thanks he deserves for
trying to open everyone's eyes and mind!.
I thought that Mr Alten had all the mechanics of a thriller down pat. He doesn't spend much time at first focusing on the exposition of the rather complex underlying themes, rather he weaves them into the narrative. When background information is needed he used the device of Kelli Doyle's exposé of her time in the White House. I preferred this device to the incredibly long "conversations" that Dan Brown used in "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons". The factual quotes at the head of each chapter were well chosen and apropos.
I found the main characters fairly well sketched out, but there were necessarily many peripheral characters who were not described in detail. The pace of the book followed the usual thriller model where the pace and excitement build to the end.
I would like to think that the scenario that Mr Alten presents for a new 9/11-type event is incredible, but I fear that something like what he presents is only too possible. The scenario in the book is actually less complicated and involves fewer people than the first 9/11 obviously did. The only thing that would make it less likely is for the American public to wake up and educate themselves on the first 9/11 and other false flag events that have been used to sway public opinion in favour of wars. The unfolding of events at the end of The Shell Game suggest that the public can be awakened at least to some degree, but in this case it was only after a cataclysmic event. Maybe if enough people read The Shell Game and follow up on Mr Alten's suggested reading, the regime of the day will be afraid to try to fool the American public again.
I first heard Steve's name about two years ago while researching sharks. I needed one for a story I was asked to write for a magazine; knowing that I was hauling in lobsters (and `other things') from the Bahamas and Caribbean for several years, the editor figured I'd seen many sharks.
True! I had...the two-legged land variety and many of the aquatic species, but nothing like the star of MEG...thank God. A shark the size of a locomotive with an appetite that is never satisfied? C'mon Steve. A little digging and there she was. Megalodon Carcharodon ruled the oceans for a long time; and maybe. . .?
That's when Steve became my latest favorite author. I finished The Shell Game during this morning's early hours, Wednesday 9 April 2008...when I shoulda been working on a difficult chapter in my book. That's okay, it was worth it.
I can tell you a little about the book and not spoil it for you, because the characters and scenes that Steve creates in The Shell Game will keep you turning pages, and you'll forget all about what I tell you here.
I'm also a Vince Flynn fan, and honestly didn't think any current author would be able to build tension and characters that could keep me from working on my latest novel, like him. Wrong! I put down The Shell Game several times, thinking, I've gotta get some sleep. CLICK, light off. (ten minutes later) What's he gonna do if...CLICK, light on. Splash a little cold mountain water on my face, nuke a cup of coffee, and back to The Shell Game.
We all know that one day we're going to be forced to make changes in our energy source, because fossil fuel, primarily oil, is not endless. If we know it, then they know it. They! Who? The people who own it and the people who control it; both making fortunes from it. "Control the world's oil and control the world." I don't recall where I read that, years ago or who said it, but they certainly understood mankind's basic motivation. "Get rid of one of my cars? Replace my twin outboard engines for one smaller engine? Don't run my air conditioner year round? This is Florida, man, are you crazy?"
As you progress through this novel you'll begin to understand more about the consequences of allowing our lives to become dominated by oil; the fossil fuel source that dictates how modern 21st century humans will fare in a world soon to lose that source.
Steve is a master at creating characters that we love and become attached to and understand what their role in the changing plots will be, AND characters that we despise and can't wait for them to `get theirs', AND then he shakes the bag and dumps them all out on the page...and they're not at all as we had pictured them in our mind.
I have enjoyed reading a book by many good authors who disappointed me by not adequately wrapping everything up as my eyes approached THE END.
Steve has done a brilliant job of bringing everything to a great conclusion in all of his books, and doesn't fail his readers this time either.
I closed this terrific novel with only one question. How is he gonna top this one?
Author: DARK CARIBBEAN
Could be closer to history than fiction..