And not long after that, brother Martin's manuscript about a terrorist organization mounting attacks against targets on the American mainland, which some accounts say had been mostly finished a few years earlier, found a publisher and hit the shelves with a weighty thud in 1996. That publisher, for the curious, is Logical Figments Books. According to the Library of Congress, the only other title published by Logical Figments Books is Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights, the 1995 autobiography of Burt Ward, who played Robin on the 1966-68 TV show Batman.
In any event, Keating's book has provided plenty of fodder for conspiracy-minded folks who believe there is way more to both the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 terrorist attacks than public information has disclosed. Keating had worked for several government agencies, and Frank was a high-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice during the Reagan and first Bush administrations. These experiences are touted to give The Final Jihad an aura of real-world connections, and for all I know Keating had the intelligence stuff and such down to the last jot and tittle.
It doesn't really matter. Keating's hammer-handed writing style, next to which even Clancy's obtuse prose flows like honey, kills a reader's interest quickly. Mine lasted about a hundred pages, or almost a sixth of the way into this doorstop, before flagging and telling me to flip to the end to see who survived. I found out, and then realized I didn't care. As observed before, nobody grabs airport or thriller novels because they want to cavort 'pon the pages amidst the dancing words from the author's lyrical pen. But even by these lower standards, The Final Jihad stinks.
Keating's picture of how this series of terrorist incidents came about is outlined in a three-page expository discourse by the president, and it was probably pretty intriguing at the time. Now, 14 years later and with 9/11 and Iraq in our rearview mirrors and and Afghanistan still in front of us, it seems kind of odd. I won't spoil it, on the off-chance you find yourself stuck reading The Final Jihad and making it all the way through. But if you do make the attempt, be sure to tell me how many pages you get through before flipping to the end.