In the NYT Janet Maslin of reviews Glenn Beck’s new thriller, The Overton Window. You might have missed it, however; it’s the fifth review in a roundup of “Newly Released Books.” Beyond summarizing the plot, Maslin makes little comment, except that the book “…combines lectures with action, makes an extreme point of avoiding political stereotypes and culminates in the prospect of a sequel.”

Thus, she may avoid the attacks that the Washington Post‘s Steven Levingston is receiving for calling the book a “paranoid thriller” in his review on Tuesday.

On the Huffington Post, Chris Kelly, a writer for the cable talk show Real Time with Bill Maher says the book resembles another thriller, “a pretty feeble self-published 2005 techno-thriller called Circumference of Darkness.”

Turns out that the author of Circumference of Darkness, Jack Henderson, gets credit from Beck on Overton Window for “pouring his heart and soul into this project.” In this week’s USA Today profile, Beck freely admitted to a “team approach” to writing his books. On the book’s title page, he says Overton Window is his story, but that Jack Henderson “went in and he put the words down.”

Henderson’s book was originally published by iUniverse in 2005 and later republished by Bantam in both hardcover and paperback. PW reviewed it, saying, “Though well researched, Henderson’s plot eventually crumbles into confusion and overly technical detail,” but  Booklist gave it a starred review, which ended with the line, “Henderson looks like the real thing; watch him closely.”

Circumference of Darkness is owned by 644 libraries, according to WorldCat.

There’s an amusing difference between the two books. In Circumference of Darkness, the heroes are liberals.

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