‘The Eye of Moloch’ is bafflingly bad

In the first sentence of Glenn Beck’s new thriller, “The Eye of Moloch,” Beck manages to abandon what it means to be a writer. “As it passes close by your head,” he writes, “a hypervelocity bullet makes a little snap that’s hard to describe until you’ve heard it for yourself.”

His description of the “hypervelocity bullet” is that it’s hard to describe.

Somehow accomplishing the impossible, “The Eye of Moloch” only gets worse from there.

Following Beck’s first novel, “The Overton Window,” “Moloch” is set in a dystopian future and follows the exploits of returning protagonists Noah Gardner and Molly Ross, resistance fighters in a Founding Fathers based rebel group called the “Founders’ Keepers.”

Gardner and Ross attempt to dismantle an evil corporate public relations firm that is plotting to destroy America. The PR firm is led by 132-year-old aristocrat Aaron Doyle. Somewhere in the firm’s headquarters is a secret vault that holds plans detailing all the conspiracies plotted against the American people.

After being captured by the firm, Gardner is held captive inside one of their prisons. His punishment is to copy edit fabricated columns and stories to send out to the unknowing masses. Soon, Gardner breaks out and, along with Ross, must take down the PR firm before it destroys America.

This 404-page libertarian sermon is filled to the brim with awful writing. While Beck may be one of America’s leading TV and radio personalities, he has no talent or skill in crafting characters or coherent stories.

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Gardner and Ross are brutally uninteresting political sketches. There’s no depth to them and their interactions with each other and supporting characters are difficult to distinguish. No one character’s voice is different from the next, save for antagonist Aaron Doyle’s proper way of speaking.

Take for example this line delivered by Doyle, “Let us discuss how we shall finally bring the brief and teetering empire of the United States of America to an unceremonious close” detailing to readers just how evil he is with little to nothing to show for it.

But even he remains uninteresting. He lays bare his intentions with minimal reasoning behind them, and it’s the reader’s job to follow the protagonists to his doorstep. When they finally reach it, it seems the story may kick it up a notch and become exciting.

There is no hope for betterment in a book like this, sadly.

The action scenes are wrung dry of all excitement and drive. They’re hastily described in stunted prose as if Beck can’t wait to bore the reader to death for another 35 pages of sermonizing.

Calling “The Eye of Moloch” clichéd wouldn’t be giving it the credit it deserves. Are there clichés? Of course, but “Moloch” is a unique kind of awful. There are turns of phrase that achieve new and markedly jarring lows.

For example, Beck writes, “What they’d all forgotten — the globalist elites, the predator class, the puppet-masters, the kleptocrats, the red-carpet mafia, call them what you want, what they’d forgotten about pandemonium is that once you set it loose to rampage you can’t as easily whistle it back into the box again.”

Whistling into boxes aside, “Moloch” is not a, “visionary work of fiction,” or, “A rip-roaring read of the first order” as authors Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille respectively claim on the back cover.

Good stories can be butchered by wooden prose, but there is no good story in this novel to butcher in the first place. It’s convoluted and unforgivingly self-congratulatory at many turns.

Reading this book is the ultimate exercise in patience. It’s boring, contrived, and poorly written.

“The Eye of Moloch” would not exist had there not been a pre-determined audience for it. For the general public, there’s no value in reading this. If you manage to wade through this trash heap, you may come out a more patient person, but not without a struggle.