Barry Eisler’s “Inside Out” is Faction

When you were a kid, scary books weren’t that scary because deep down inside you knew there were no such things as monsters.  As adults we read thrillers and take them at face value…over the top heroes, over the top plots and no real situations that we, as average people would have to face.  Oh, we fantasize ourselves into the story line and revel at our ability to out-think the hero or out-smart the villain. We know these books are works of fiction; and by definition not real.

Good fiction should contain possible plot lines, not necessary probable ones. And a good author will try to make his story lines as believable as the plot allows. Dan Brown did an excellent job with his  “Da Vinci Code”.  He took some well known urban myths along with obscure historical references and wound them into a fictional story. People related to the plot because they were aware of some of the background and the book to on the aura of  “plausible fiction”. Some over-the-top readers saw too much into the work and actually started “researching the validity ” of the book. But that’s for another blog at another time.

What’s important to understand here is that sometimes fact can be, and is, disguised as fiction. The author has important information to get out and is restricted by liable, contract or in some cases national security. Still, he feels the need to disseminate this knowledge to the general public. The answer is fiction based on fact or fact hidden as fiction… FACTION.

Barry Eisler’s “Inside Out” is fiction.  Ben Treven, the returning lead character in Eisler’s earlier work “Fault Line” is a fictional black ops soldier in what appears to be another’ CIA-Who’s going to rule, or destroy the world as we know it?’ plot. But hold on a minute! “Didn’t I just read about this occurrence?” “Didn’t I hear something about that on CNN?” Aha! The plot thickens. The bibliography sites press releases, interviews, news items and non-fiction recommended books on the very subjects that are key to this work’s plot line.

This book is so riveting and scary because it is not just possible is is probable and very likely disguised truth. Add to the mix is Eisler’s personal history with the CIA and as a lawyer and suddenly the veil between what could’ never be’ and what ‘ is ‘ becomes very thin.

We all want John Wayne to run our country. We want the good guys to wear white hats and ride into the sunset with the girl. That is the fantasy most of us have about our government leaders.  We’re the good guys; ‘they’ are the bad guys. No middle ground.  But what if , in order to maintain just the status quo, required various shades of gray? What if an over zealous need to project your idea of what is right and good for the country required actions  that would seem reprehensible in  world’s eyes? Are we still wearing those white hats? Are the powers-that-be wearing those hats while requiring their minions to where black ski masks? Sound ridiculous?

Read “Inside Out” with an open mind. Don’t think conservative. Don’t think liberal. Just think.









About H.L.Benoit

Woodstock survivor, critic-at-large. "After three days without reading,talk becomes flavorless" View all posts by H.L.Benoit

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