Techdirt Reading List: The God's Eye View

from the snowden-inspired-thriller dept

We're back again with another in our weekly reading list posts of books we think our community will find interesting and thought provoking. Once again, buying the book via the Amazon links in this story also helps support Techdirt.


This week's book is (I think...) our first fiction book in the series. It's also not out yet, but it's coming out on Tuesday so you can pre-order it now. It's Barry Eisler's new Ed Snowden-inspired thriller The God's Eye View. Barry was kind enough to send me a pre-publication draft of the book and it's wonderful on multiple levels. First off, it's a "can't put it down, have to keep turning the pages" thriller that you'd expect from Eisler, whose previous thrillers have ended up on the NY Times best seller list. He knows how to keep you totally gripped to the story and in a state of suspense throughout.

But it's more than just a page-turner thriller. The book is clearly inspired by the Ed Snowden revelations, and not only does it have tons of little Easter Eggs for people who have followed the surveillance debate, but it also includes at the end details of how many of the "crazy" and outlandish spy programs and tactics described in the book are actually happening today, based on the Snowden leaks and other related investigative reporting and whistleblowers. So it's an educational book as well, that helps highlight why we should be so worried about the kind of power and surveillance the NSA is capable of pulling off today. If you want to convince someone why the NSA's powers are so concerning, and want to do it in a truly entertaining way, this is the book for you.

It's also pretty cheap for a new release these days. If you're signed up for Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, it's actually included so it doesn't cost anything extra. But if you're not, the ebook is just $5.99, which is way below most ebooks these days. If you don't know Barry Eisler, he's a former CIA spook, who became a best selling novelist, and who famously turned down a huge publishing contract to self-publish. He's also written a bunch of guest posts for us and been on our podcast (twice!).

Finally, if you're in the California Bay Area, on Wednesday night, I'll be interviewing Barry at a Commonwealth Club event about the new book and probably lots of other topics as well (surveillance, publishing and who knows what else...). It'll be a fun discussion, so if you're in the area, check it out. And, either way, I highly recommend the book.

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