Tag Archives: Glenn Beck
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a book signing in Little Rock, AR with Brad Thor. Brad is wrapping up a promotional swing in support of his latest release “Full Black”. (If you haven’t had a chance to read “Full Black”, it’s one of Brad’s best books to date. You can read my review of it here.) It was the first Brad Thor book signing I’ve had a chance to attend and after my experience – it definitely won’t be the last.
The signing was held at Books-A-Million in Little Rock. That meant a 3 ½ hour drive for me. I was a bit tired when I finally arrived, but the staff at Books-A-Million were all very helpful. The setting for the event was casual and intimate. When Brad arrived, he greeted the crowd and thanked everyone for coming out to support him. He then spent the next half hour talking about a wide range of subjects; everything from the inspiration for “Full Black” (“I went out to people I knew in the intelligence and special operations community and I said – I write about what keeps me up at night. This time, though, I want to know – what keeps you up at night?), an update on the adaptation of his Scot Harvath books into films (“We signed a big deal with Warner Brothers in November.”), and his views on Islam (“I’ve never been anti-Islam. I’m definitely anti-Islamist. There is a difference. If you say your religion compels you to go kill people – your interpretation of your religion sucks.”)
After a few questions from the audience, Brad jumped in to signing books. He was genuinely excited to meet and talk to his fans. He took time to speak to everyone personally as they reached the table, he took pictures with anyone and everyone who asked, and he was happy to sign as many books as people had brought with them. In short, he showed true class and an appreciation for those that have read and loved his books over the years. (In another classy move, he invited any veterans and any parents with small children to come directly to the front of the line. That, more than anything, impressed me – and spoke to his character.)
As the evening was wrapping up, only I was left, along with quite a few active members of the Thorum – Brad’s online discussion forum. As I sat and listened to Brad talk with them, I was struck by the camaraderie they all shared. It was more an easy conversation among friends than a book signing between author and fans. I realized that I was seeing the true secret to the success of Brad Thor – a desire and willingness to truly connect with people. To have a conversation – not just give a lecture.
After the event was over, every book signed and every picture taken, Brad was kind enough to spend some time talking with me. It was great to sit down and chat with him in person. He has an infectious energy about him and an engaging personality. It was late, he was feeling a bit under the weather, but he was more than gracious with his time. I hope you, faithful reader, enjoy our conversation.
In my review of last year’s “Foreign Influence” by Brad Thor, I said the following:
If I have one criticism of the book it is that it reads like what it really is – a prologue. The story is engaging, fast paced, and well written – but you can tell that it is essentially the foundation for a deeper and more far reaching narrative.
Tomorrow marks the release of that more far reaching narrative. With “Full Black”, Thor pays off the promises found in “Foreign Influence” and delivers a thinking man’s thriller. There’s plenty of action, military insight, and even more action – but there’s also a cogent political, social, and economic story woven into the fabric of the book. Taking a step back and looking to the horizon, we find that while still dangerous, radical Islam is not the only enemy we face. At times nuanced and at other times blunt, Thor pulls no punches in deconstructing the broader adversaries aligned against us in the world today. It’s a story about layers, and serves to lay the foundation for the continued evolution of both Thor as a storyteller and Scot Harvath as a character.
I’m a pretty politically aware person. I keep up with current events, I have a decent sense of history, and I am a voracious consumer of news and books. I’ve read Glenn Beck’s other books, and looked forward to reading his new release, “Broke”. As I worked my way through it, there was quite a bit of information that I was already aware of. There was also quite a bit that I had never heard before. What struck me, though, was the powerful message in putting all of the information in the book together, weaving a narrative through it, and connecting the dots. This is one of the best non-fiction books that I have read in a very long time. My only complaint is that it’s non-fiction. I wish Beck was making this stuff up – I could sleep better at night if I knew that none of this was true.
“7 Events That Made America America” offers up a collection of historical moments that helped define the American experience. These slightly larger than bite-sized morsels give you a taste of some of the turning points in American History – turning points that might not be obvious on their face. Moments that had ripples far beyond a single point in time. It’s a fascinating read.
“Foreign Influence” is not a story for the weak of heart in matters of national security, or squeamish in the matters of intelligence gathering. If you are the person that turns from the screen when Jack Bauer holds an ink pen to the eye of a terrorist on “24” – this is not the book for you. It takes an unflinching look at situations and people that many folks, sleeping in their warm beds at night, want to believe don’t REALLY exist in the world. Well – these people do exist – and without them, the warm beds would be few and far between. It is unapologetically conservative, and takes on both radical Islam and Liberal groupthink alike, without concern for political correctness. In short – it’s a great book.