Friday, 18 December 2009

Book: The Shell Game by Steve Alten

This is the second Steve Alten book I have read (see review of The Loch elsewhere here) and he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
In a change from his usual subjects he tackles the very real problems of diminishing oil reserves and the truth behind 9/11 in this fictional tale peppered with very relevant real life quotes from some very notable people.
The story of Ace Futrell, a former American Football player, carrying out his wife's final wishes to expose the truth behind Iraq war, 9/11 and the oil crisis is secondary to the facts that Mr Alten uses within it.
For that reason the book suffers, there isn't really a lot here that hasn't been (or could better be) covered by a documentary and for anyone interested in the subjects I'd recommend A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, The Corporation and Loose Change, all well worth seeking out.
The story it'self is still enjoyable as we join Ace on his mission to Saudi Arabia where he meets some very unsavoury characters but back in the U.S.A it's all a bit confusing with too many characters all of which seem to have an ulterior motive.
To sum up, this is excellent if you have an interest in any of the subjects covered but as a stand alone fictional novel it doesn't quite seem able to decide which type of story it is.
Rick's Rating: 61%

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