Book Review: The Last Patriot

Monday, September 22, 2008

I should know that any book that compares fundamentalist Islam to Nazism twice in the first half of the book is going to be a bit of a knee-jerk, flag-waving, post-9/11, pro-American piece of thriller fluff. That being said, The Last Patriot wasn’t the worst piece of knee-jerk, flag-waving, post-9/11, pro-American piece of thriller fluff that I’ve ever read: the plot was pretty interesting, I learned some things about Thomas Jefferson and the pirates of the Barbary coast, and the action kept moving along at a brisk pace. You can be sure that there’s a movie in the offing for this, and I actually think that it will make a much better movie than the book, with the help of a good screenwriter who can turn the crudely-drawn caricatures into proper characters (everyone who liked dogs, for example, was a “good person”; I’m fully expecting that the final print version came out with a picture of the author with his pet poodle, Fluffy).

The basic premise of the book is that the prophet Mohammed made a last revelation that could radically change the nature of Islam, then was killed shortly afterwards to hush it up. Thomas Jefferson, while still the US Minister to France, started to uncover some of this secret, then some present-day researchers get close to the secret and start getting bumped off. It’s an interesting story, and one reviewer called it the “Da Vinci Code of Islam” for the way that it purports to reveal secrets about a powerful religion that would greatly impact that religion and its followers.

However, I think that the author may be taking himself a bit too seriously: in an interview with the author just before the book was released, he claimed to be receiving death threats, and stated:

There has been a plot afoot that was set in motion by the Muslim Brotherhood in this country [the US] to undermine the United States and to basically destroy the Constitution and replace our democracy — as crazy and far-fetched as it sounds — with Sharia law.

Crazy and far-fetched? Yup. Worth reading? It’s okay, but you might want to wait for the movie.

Disclosure: this book was provided to me for free by the publisher, Simon & Schuster Canada, through a great program called Mini Book Expo for Bloggers, which allows bloggers to claim a book in order to receive a review copy, in exchange for writing a public review of the book. All books can be shipped for free to bloggers within Canada, and some now can be shipped to the US. You can find the author’s website here.

Update: I have no interest in discussing religion or US politics on this site; this was just a book review. I’ve closed comments on this post to avoid having others use this as a place to promote their religious or political views. Feel free to express those views, just not on my site.