The Shell Game

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The Shell Game, by Steve Alten

Reviewed by Rocky Reichman

Sweetwater Books

2373 W. 700 S. $26.99

ISBN #: 978-1-59955-094-7

      This story is no game. Conspiracy? Maybe--no, hopefully.

      The Shell Game is a story that seems too real to be fiction. Author Steve Alten is a master at weaving together factual information and fictional narrative. The author has done an impressive amount of research for this book--and it shows. The novel is replete with quotes and anecdotes in every chapter, and the book is littered with valuable information that every American should know, regardless of their political affiliations.

      And The Shell Game does not stop there. The book is a model of excellence--both in writing style and dialogue. Alten effortlessly moves back and forth between what characters actually say out loud and the thoughts they voice to themselves.

      Conspiracies and controversial stories are popular in modern fiction. The Shell Game can even be compared to Dan Brown’s bestselling The Da Vinci Code. Why? Because both do a marvelous job at convincing readers that their conspiracy theories could be true.

      The plot? The Shell Game tracks a former oil expert--Ashley “Ace” Futrell and environmentalist politicians working to stop America‘s dependence on foreign oil. Their enemy? Repressive regimes in the Middle East. The CIA. But the worst enemy of all are the--drum roll please--Neoconservative Republicans: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, you get the point. The battle is over how much oil is left in the world’s reserves--and how the planet should best cope with the depleting oil reserves and the spreading global warming. While this is all unfolding, Iran develops nuclear missiles and the world seems on the verge of destruction….

      Powerful enemies. Resourceful heroes. Nuclear weapons and politicians of mass destruction.

      The “neocons” caused September 11? Conspiracy or truth? You decide. Either way, the pawns are already moving out.

      The Shell Game has begun.


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