Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Rated 4.33/5 based on 39 reviews
"Not Black and White" is a fictional account of many events that led to the meteoric rise of a local charismatic street politician to become America's first African-American President. It puts the reader inside the campaign offices and smoke-filled back rooms where political deals are made. Inspired by true events, "Not Black and White" leaves it to the reader to interpret fact from fiction. More

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About G. A. Beller

G. A. BELLER has lived in Chicago for over twenty-five years, and is a self-professed political junkie. Chicago'€™s history of political corruption and incompetence prompted him to research a specific era of rampant criminal behavior. Utilizing articles that appeared in the press and on the internet, Beller created a fictionalized accounting of characters and events during this period, depicting through his imagination how things might have played out. He leaves it to the reader to interpret fact from fiction.

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Reviews

Review by: CamJones on July 07, 2016 :
I found myself wavering around while reading “Not Black and White” by G.A. Beller. At first I was immediately grabbed into the story, and became immersed in the dramatic and enticing opening and the overall plot development. But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some (some characters/subplots felt unnecessary). But at the same time, the pacing was fast (liked the shorter chapters) and there was pretty much nonstop action and some *definitely* crazy developments there toward the end. It felt fresh and unpredictable, even for a ‘familiar’ story which, always a nice experience, especially in a genre that is fraught with copycats. Would be interested in reading more from Beller in the future, and would recommend to anyone who wants a high-octane political drama that is disturbingly spot-on.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jean007 on July 07, 2016 :
I really enjoyed reading this book, “Not Black and White” by G.A. Beller. I thought it was excellently written, plot and pacing-wise, and it definitely kept my attention from the dramatic opening to the satisfying, somewhat bittersweet ending (enjoyed the epilogue where we see where everyone ends up). It is fast paced and easy to read quickly… finished it in the span of a few nights, but got a ton of story for my money, that’s for sure. This isn’t exactly what you would call a “PC” book, nor should it be… that’s the point. But if you are aware of the history of Chicago politics at all, or just want a better look into the seedy underbelly and corruption that leads all the way to the White House, then this is the perfect read for you. There are some harsh, ugly truths and realities here that are all too present in modern America. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book. Well done
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: CVasquez50 on June 29, 2016 :
4.5 stars
"Not Black and White” is a hard-hitting, evocative look at ‘real-life’ politics and Chicago-style corruption at its finest. G.A. Beller has the ability to keep the reader totally engaged throughout the entire story, and that is no small feat considering the various of multi layered plotlines, diverse set of characters that come and go, and wildly fluctuating scenery and events and time periods... You want to keep reading it but at the same time you have to stop to think about it all and let it sink in as it is intense in the subject matter at certain points, and heartwarming and charming at other times. The ending is nice and although not exactly what we hope would await each of the characters, it works well for the story. I’d love to read more from Mr. Beller someday. Great characters… great writing… great storylines. Fantastic!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Claire Middleton on June 29, 2016 :
first, I have to say that I don’t normally read these types of books but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. I was definitely impressed with the opening sample so I dove on it. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on G.A. Beller’s “Not Black and White: From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”! This was a brilliant novel and very impressive for a debut. The title comes from the rise of a local politician (Malik Alawi… aka Obama) as he is part of the Chicago scene that is well-funded and goes to the highest levels of Washington. Crazy. The opening scene sets up the connection between a huge corruption scam and the others involved. This sets out a chain of events and nonstop action that keeps going all through to the end. All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: DarleneCupp on June 28, 2016 :
okay, I really loved this book, way more than I expected to! Tight writing, riveting, fully-fleshed characters, and a truth that rings throughout the course of the book, “Not Black and White” by G.A. Beller is a brave and complex foray into the world of Chicago and National politics, and shows the good, the bad, and the very ugly. It kept my attention from the intriguing opening to the fulfilling ending. I could totally see this being a movie. There are more character drama scenes in this book than most I’ve read, but it isn’t overdone… just keeps you on your toes! Some unexpected twists, and even though it touches on the ugly side of human nature and our country in general, it gives an important look at what really is going on out there… and the consequences. Awesome. Recommend for fans of political dramas/bios and thrillers.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: TabithaParks on June 28, 2016 :
this was a very original take on ‘fiction’ for me, and at times it seemed like I was reading a recounting of something “real” that had happened, even though that is obviously not the case. I know that all fiction novels are like that (realistic-feeling stories that are made up), but this one was exceptionally so…. It starts off with some decent backstory to set up the scene and ground the reader in the world-building, which the author G.A. Beller does a wonderfully convincing job of creating a believable scenario… even if at times it does seem a bit far-fetched, one only has to have to have some knowledge of the history of the world to know that NOTHING is off limits or ‘too far-fetched’ to happen, ESPECIALLY when it comes to politics. The author also has a great “voice” in spinning these complex and intelligent plotlines all together where it keeps us totally hooked, but doesn’t get too convoluted. The writing was so easy to get lost in and flowed smoothly. Clean narrative and authentic dialogue with the characters lent a deeper layer of credibility against the fully developed and well-researched plot. Great job.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sophia Renee on June 28, 2016 :
I LOVE to read, but live a hugely busy life. It gets more complicated upon that rare occasion when a book is so captivating, so enthralling, that it is impossible to walk away. With only definitive hours in a day, something has to give. For me, that was sleep! And it was worth every sacrificed minute. “Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave” was the grand slam home run and exceeded my wildest expectations and I would bet, maybe yours, as well. It reads almost like a sweeping epic of politics in modern day America, biting and gritty, and ugly….. Characters we will recognize easily as modern day power players, as well as a look “behind the curtain’ to expose much of the ugly goings-on that most Americans are blissfully ignorant of. Politics is a corrupt game on the best of days, but Chicago has a reputation for being particularly dirty and it all comes to life here in this book that is a great mix of real life and invented scenarios that really makes you wonder which is which. Great job.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: April Dawn on June 24, 2016 :
I really enjoyed this story and could not put it down, and as I read this book I really began to care about the characters and was anxious to see how things would turn out for them. However, I thought sometimes the narrative went on too long though and would have liked to see more active plot progression through direct character dialogue instead of just reading about everything. And sometimes I didn’t feel like we needed to know “everything” about ‘everything”… beaning sometimes I felt there was too much backstory for the characters and events and felt like overall the focus was looser than I like. I prefer to have books have a more distinct arc, and while this one eventually did, it seemed to take some time to become clear wheat it was. But I did enjoy it for the writing and the characters and the fact that it felt so reflective of our current political scene. I would read more from Mr. Beller and would recommend to others.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Essieh on June 24, 2016 :
I enjoyed this ‘novel’ by G.A. Beller. I put novel in quotes because I feel its is more of a documentary than a made-up piece of literature. There’s lots of action, great character and plot development, flashes of humor, and some surprisingly emotional moments. Some characters are on occasion paper-thin, but they’re mostly likable and serve a purpose, and the heroes are easy to root for and the bad guys are easy to hate – although it’s not always easy to distinguish the two (it’s not black and white – more like a gray area). The political world Beller creates feels like a composite of familiar elements, but there is enough originality so that I don’t feel like I’ve read it before… Beller is great at breaking down the unfolding plot into manageable chunks so as not to overshadow the suspense element, and as the story unfolds and you put all those pieces together, you can see that there’s more complexity here than you’d initially expect. I liked the ‘local’ element and thought it added a deeper layer to the believable political setting. A fast paced read that I didn’t want to put down, especially towards the end. Hope there will be more like this soon!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: GillianHancock on June 21, 2016 :
4.5 stars
To be honest, it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going…after the intriguing beginning it seemed to sink into a really slow period of dense telling narrative that really slowed the pacing for me. But I knew from reading the other reviews that this was an amazing, complex story so I just kept going and let the book go where it needed to… and the more I read the more I got into it, and then by half way I was totally hooked!! Mr. Beller did a great job at creating some really interesting characters and also in keeping us on our toes… some surprising events at the end, and I was so curious to see how it would all work out, but it did in a way that makes you wonder just how much really goes on that the public at large isn’t aware of when it comes to the shape of our country, and how things really work! Intelligent, complex, visionary, and will force you to think outside of your comfort zone, “Not Black and White” is a compelling read that will have great appeal due to its relevant subject matter that affects all Americans, whether they want to realize it or not.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: CodyB77 on June 16, 2016 :
there is much to be said about a novel that just reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book “Not Black and White…” has done for me. Typical of much of the political fiction I’ve read, it has much in the way of grittiness and high-stakes political maneuverings, yet it remains inventive. With twists and turns, you won't know who… or what… to believe and trust. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional thriller archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way, which is refreshing. There only a few parts where I thought the pacing dragged and could have used more tension (more toward the beginning) but really nothing that hindered my enjoyment any. A very strong effort by G.A. Beller, and I will be looking forward to reading more form him in the future.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Anabella Johnson on June 07, 2016 :
from the opening pages of “Not Black and White” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right! Mr. Beller sets up the scene and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in right away, but creates great visualizations and elicits emotional investments. The name of the book comes from the fact that much is done in the ‘gray area’ in politics, and corruption and shady dealings are prevalent on both sides of the aisle. The storyline is gritty, and truly scary if you really think about it, but it is no secret that the history of gangland politics in Chicago has left more than one corpse in its wake, and put some pretty suspect characters into positions of great power. I truly cared about the characters’ fates, and was shocked and saddened at certain things (no spoilers). An interesting and diverse cast of characters, flawed, and with power (some without) along with several intriguing and frighteningly realistic plotlines interwoven against a politically volatile setting makes this a moving and memorable read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jesse Thomas on June 07, 2016 :
I read a lot of books in this arena, so this is a genre I’m fairly familiar with. Although “Not Black and White” lacks the extreme detailing and depth of others I’ve read, nonetheless, it was an engaging novel that held my interest and made me think. I enjoyed the various POV’s Beller employs to show us the different motivations and ramifications of the unfolding course of action, and how the storylines weave together in a tension filled climactic ending. This author crafts an authentic, engrossing novel that haunts you long after you are done, and makes you questions how much is real. Looking forward to reading more from G.A. Beller.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: JTHACK on June 04, 2016 :
I thought it to be very good—excellent writing and a compelling, realistic plot set against a familiar background. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized political thriller, action adventure without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a complex book like this one. Beller fills you in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing, but still maintains great character and plot integrity. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into Beller’s strong narrative, and liked “Mars’ Memoirs”. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were authentic and move the story forward nicely. Some similar themes and motifs found in political thriller/suspense lore, but G.A. Beller does a fantastic job of putting his own unique spin on them. Recommend for mature fans of literary drama/thrillers with a realistic angle.(
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Kaylee Stevens on June 03, 2016 :
4.5 stars
I liked “Not Black and White…” by G.A. Beller for a few reasons. First— it was easy to read, not overly complicated, just a great story written with amazing subplots that tie together without dragging things out... It's one of the those books you pick up and just finish before you realized it's over, like eating comfort food, the simplicity, yet action packed pages and witty dialogue and unpredictable twists were great. I enjoyed the descriptive world and character building Beller uses, and really felt like I was inside this world of Chicago politics, for better or worse. This book has a depth rarely seen in the genre, and it does have its darker side. We never feel ‘safe’ as we are reading as the games were never what they seemed, but that’s what kept me so hooked. When I was finished I closed my Kindle and smiled, for it was a good read.... I'll want read the other books from G.A, Beller for sure.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: MarcellaGonzo on May 28, 2016 :
3.5 stars
For the most part “Not Black and White” by GA Beller was an enjoyable, almost intoxicating mix of an entertaining action adventure and a complex drama with darker literary motifs (if this makes sense). However at times the impersonal narrative voice made it difficult to get involved in the story, and I frequently felt emotionally detached from all the action. Seemed like it lost focus on several occasions and I really wondered about the need to have so many characters come and go,…While they're still interesting characters, sometimes they don't drive the plot forward fast enough. At times I thought there wasn’t enough tension, and the pace slowed down instead of picking up. The writing and world building is quite solid, however, and as far as the actual story itself I was hooked… after about 1/4 way through. But once I was in I was dying to see what would happen and the ending (the epilogue) was great. A very broad and astute look at the world of politics and the complexities of human nature under the best and worst of circumstances. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Brenda Maxwell on May 27, 2016 :
I was hooked from the first pages of “Not Black and White: From The Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” and my interest never faded for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build with tension and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I hate books that are super predictable. And this one isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, and you will recognize real figures and events (thinly disguised) the author brings a fresh attitude and literary style and makes it all his own and doesn’t just rehash ‘real life’. But there is plenty of that here too, which makes this book unique. I’ve read a ton of political-action thrillers & suspense over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it. I appreciated the brisk pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – authentic world building (and character development) is absolutely crucial in selling a believable story and it is done quite nicely here… Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, true-to-life political thriller with unexpected twists.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Darla Ortiz on May 27, 2016 :
wow, “Not Black and White” By GA Beller was awesome! I haven’t read anything like that in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the stock, ordinary typical hero/protag guys, but instead all had demons, motivations, secrets. I like watching shows about all the game playing and corruption of our government, and we all know there are some crazy people out there who would do unbelievable things to further their agenda. This book brings it all home and I was totally invested until the very end. This was a standalone novel (not a part of any series, it appears), but I hope Mr. Beller writes more like this in the future. I’d be reading it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: LauraClarke on May 26, 2016 :
I thought that his book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. It pulls you in from the beginning, and I enjoyed the author’s “voice” and style of writing, and he certainly can create descriptive and dramatic scenes! The dialogue was good and authentic and did a great job of “showing” not “telling” which is imperative for a book such as this. The interweaving plotlines were well-developed and not predictable, and the element of political shenanigans on every level was a new angle for me, and it shed light on things I’ve only heard about in the news in passing, (even the Obama/Malik birth certificate controversy). The characters were all interesting and well-written, and I know that many were based on real people, there were some who weren’t and they all came together seamlessly to tell an engaging, eye-opening book that entertains and informs. Highly recommend for political junkies or anyone who likes a dramatic, well written book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Samantha Ryan on May 26, 2016 :
4.5 stars
I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that is what the description is for) so I’ll just say that even though this isn’t my normal type of book (but I do follow politics as much as the next person) I loved the plot line, and thought it felt as real as it could be…I did get a bit lost on some of the characters, and thought that at times there were parts that when something really crazy happened, it just sort of got glossed over (don’t want to reveal more for spoilers…) But I was really invested in how it would all turn out, and was shocked (horrified, sad) more than once. Sad to think that this is what really goes on ‘behind the scenes’ and even when it is revealed to public, so much gets forgiven, forgotten, or just covered up to promote agendas. I thought the ending was perfect, and overall it was a genuinely good book. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jenna Brewster on May 18, 2016 :
this is an excellent novel that captured my attention from the beginning and never once let it go. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well-described (where we feel like we are there) and added to the progression of the overall storyline (no needless filler fluff here!). The descriptions were good and kept to a minimum. There was no lull in the action…All in all an amazing story with a powerful, provocative message that kept me eagerly glued to my kindle until the late hours of the evening. I liked how the story covers a long period of time and shows events as they develop through different character perspectives. I liked “Mars’s” narrative, and it was certainly interesting watching the ascendency of “Malik”. I really did enjoy this book and would read more from this author. He has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and delivering on the drama, making us wonder what is fact and what is fiction.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: LaylaM1 on May 18, 2016 :
This was the first book I’ve read by this author G.A. Beller, but I certainly hope it’s not the last. He has a gift for writing descriptive and life-like scenes that make us feel like we are really there inside the story, as opposed to it all just being rehashed to us and keeping us away from the action and the character’s emotions as so many rookie authors make the mistake of doing. I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative, but instead like a new niche of ‘real life’ political suspense that serves well to help diversify a somewhat cookie-cutter genre (in my opinion). I did think some parts could have been pared down a bit more because on occasion there would be things that would “happen” (or talked about) but didn’t really serve a specific purpose. But overall the entire novel was one that I thought was impressive and kept me reading night after night. Thought the ending was perfect, and I am looking forward to more from G.A. Beller.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: NicolaFlood on May 02, 2016 :
warning…when starting this book make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off with an explosive, unforgettable beginning and just keeps going from there as the thread of corruption begins to unravel for all to see. Mars Gregory is a great narrator and when we see the story through his eyes (in his “memoirs” throughout) we are able to see almost a bird’s eye view of the political corruption and the going’s on of the Chicago (and other places) government and the influence and corruption that is widespread, but often covered up. The characters of “Malik” and Mars and Sam and all the others were genuine and believable, and I think what I liked the most about this book was that it really held nothing back in terms of shining the light on a darker side of politics and human nature. It is scary because it feels almost too real. Was impressed with the polished feel of this book from the cover to the layout to the editing – all very top notch. I am looking forward to more G.A. Beller, and I can see fans of political/action drama eagerly gobbling this one down.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jhonni Parker on May 02, 2016 :
4.5 stars
First, I have to say that I don’t normally read books that are about politics, but considering what is happening with our elections today and the state our country is in because of Obama, I was curious to see what this book had to say. Color me impressed!! And I was surprised to read that this is the author’s first fiction novel. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own problems. Liked Mars, Sam, Malik…Everything just felt “authentic” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions…All in all a very good read that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! And you may notice some familiar “characters” as well.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: James Masters on May 02, 2016 :
lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “Not Black and White” by G.A. Beller! From the very beginning of the book we are drawn into this seedy political underworld and the action flowed seamlessly from one page to the next, and was unpredictable and shocking enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of “familiar elements” necessary for a political action thriller. I was impressed with Beller’s writing style and will look for more works from him in the future
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: MegKing on May 02, 2016 :
awesome. Once I started reading “Not Black and White” I didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished. Seemed never a good place just to stop for a while as the action continued to build and build. Some ‘not far out there’ scenarios that come to life, in a way that makes you wonder what is really going on behind the scenes, and just how much corruption and shenanigans affect every level of politics. I personally feel that there could have been a bit more depth to some of the characters, and some scenes seemed a bit too rushed. Liked the ending, though, and didn’t expect some things to happen that did. For those who enjoy drama and politics this is a good one for you.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: LeoG009 on May 02, 2016 :
"Not Black and White: From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave” is a timely, compelling read, and one that will definitely appeal to fans of political novels/biographies (like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Joe Klein, Bill O’Reilly…). Although the concept isn’t entirely new, G.A. Beller brings an exciting fresh voice and infuses a unique blend of political turmoil, emotional and personal backstory (with the characters and their motives) true-to life events and characters, corruption, and shocking twists. The story itself was fairly fast paced, and even though some parts were sort of predictable, there were some things that honestly surprised me. The writing and plot is dynamic and VERY relevant and I recommend for fans of political books who’d like a crazy ride on the dark side.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Steph Coleman on April 30, 2016 :
I totally liked this book way more than I even expected to! I was looking for something a little different than my usual reading fare, and this really hit the mark… in fact, now other books will seem boring by comparison! I like that it felt very plausible and ‘true to life’ on the sense that this is probably stuff that happens in real life, yet is presented in a way that is ‘entertaining’ (for lack of a better word!) and is exciting. I literally could not put my kindle down for the last half of the book, at least. I would describe this book as being a very ‘realistic’ thriller, political-action book, and I thought it was awesome! I do think reading this helped me to appreciate and understand certain aspects of politics, local and national, that I never much thought about, and ideologies that I’m not very familiar with other that what I hear on the news, so that aspect was interesting. This was a fast paced book and I highly recommend it to others.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Decker on April 30, 2016 :
whoa,… what an insane book! Holy bananas!! Okay, I don’t even know where to begin because so much happens and I don’t want to give anything away… “Not Black and White…” by author G.A. Beller is one of the most original and just flat-out interesting thriller fiction novels I’ve ever read. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was stellar. The strong word choice and fluid, fast-paced narrative and witty dialogue makes it a very easy book to sink into. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. Because of the overarching storylines relating to real events (or plausible hypotheticals) it just felt more “intelligent” than I expected and extremely relevant to today’s political landscape. It makes you think a bit what’s really going on, and worse – what could possibly happen. Recommend for fans of political thriller/suspense.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Nicole Hastings on April 30, 2016 :
great writing, great action, great characters, great plot…. Overall a terrific read that I feel really opened my eyes to the seedy underbelly of corruption on every level as it permeates our political system from different perspectives. I admit this isn’t really my normal genre of reading, but the sample pulled me in, but considering this is so closely based on Obama’s ascendency (and others as well) it was really worth reading more about and learning more about the way the system really works. This isn’t a nonfiction book, but there is enough truth in here to give you pause. I thought the writing was descriptive and the characters (especially Mars) really helped bring the story to life in a relatable way. I can totally see this book as being a movie. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Carla Biggins on April 24, 2016 :
it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, the more wrapped up I got in this world and characters G.A. Beller created. It’s weird to think it’s actually fiction as parts really seem real, and are relatable to current times. I have a feeling that this book and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. I thought the overall plot and narration was good, but it could have used a bit more polish as there was some long stretches of ‘telling’ of the events (as opposed to ‘showing’ us to bring us closer to the action). It’d didn’t ruin the book, but would make it better if was more intimately connected, in my opinion. Nevertheless I look forward to reading more from Mr. Beller in the future as he is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing…)
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Karen Matthews on April 19, 2016 :
I absolutely loved “Not Black and White”, and I’m usually pretty on the fence about a lot of these types of books…The characters all had their own distinct personalities and enough quirkiness so as not to feel like the cliché stereotypes, but you can tell when they are being based on a real person. All the characters were very different and we never knew their motives entirely so the book left you guessing as you read without making it predictable. Plot was never boring and kept on rolling. (I would give you a summary, but there were so many subplots that it would take forever). Writing was smooth and the descriptions made you feel like you were right there in the action, especially because there are so many character povs, and Mars’ journal entries gave added insights as well. Though the epilogue was great – nice touch. A compelling read and definitely worth my time. Recommend for fans of Bill O’Reilly, Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, Joe Klein…
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: JohnGoldman on April 19, 2016 :
this book “Not Black and White” by G.A. Beller seems to have something of everything… seriously. Action, suspense, drama, political strife, personal struggles, family life, humor, and sadness….but I was impressed by the seamless narrative and various POV transitions with the different characters, and while I’m not usually a fan of dense ‘telling’ narrative prose with little dialogue for stretches, it didn’t bother me here much as I enjoyed Mr. Beller’s skillful word-play and the way that the characters did a great job of progressing the storyline. A modern day/ loosely ‘biographical’ novel that blends fact with fiction and with more tangents and sub plots than many others I’ve read, lately. There is a dynamic cast of characters who have their own stories to tell and conflicts to overcome. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a place I’d get to and then wanted to “stop”. This is good too. This book will have wide ranging appeal, with its great mix of fact and fiction and flawless editing, I can see fans of literary drama and political suspense gobbling it up.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cale Owens on April 15, 2016 :
4,5 stars
No lack of explosive drama here! Try and be bored reading this… just try. I dare ya! But seriously, this was one roller coaster ride that I was not expecting. It’s a fast read, one I finished in just a few settings, and the brisk narrative is perfect tempo for a book of this genre. Mr. Beller uses great word economy and doesn’t bore us with too many unnecessary details. Fast, focused, and to the point, “Not Black and White” is a frighteningly realistic look at what happens in our country and how corrupt and unethical many political entities and people can be. It’s all just a big game, and one that is fascinating, and somewhat depressing to read because it is clear that much of this is all too real, even though this book is supposedly ‘fiction’. Riveting and addicting, “Not Black and White” is sure to please fans of political thrillers and contemporary drama.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: SherriWarner on April 15, 2016 :
a fantastic read by G.A. Beller. Overall the pacing was decent, with adequate action and elements of danger and mystery, and the book just flew by very quickly for me. I appreciate the energetic manner of storytelling that was employed by Beller. Reads very quickly, even literary almost, even when covering ugly scenes. Very true-to-life, like you can tell that Beller knows well the subjects in which he writes. There are lots of characters here, with nary a ‘dull’ part…… plenty of high stakes at hand to keep us engaged throughout, and an unexpected ending to the climax. I like how ‘big’ this book feels, in terms of geopolitics and locales and characters and plotlines. A riveting read and while it’s not perfect, it’s very eye-opening and entertaining.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: MaxGgg on April 09, 2016 :
fast-paced, high-stakes thriller with exciting twists and turns that keep you in suspense for hours! In a way this is modeled after a classic political-suspense, but it really impressed me by its originality in many areas and terrific detailing and a substantial (and genuinely clever) plot. Belller is a talented author whose creative vision breaks new ground but follows comfortingly familiar elements. This is a story that kept me glued to the pages for hours, lost within an interesting world that fascinated (and sometimes frightened) me to no end. I have to say that I noticed the editing was perfect, there were some times where I felt there could be some cutting down of some subplots that seems to just add more confusion than necessary , and the last 10% or so felt strangely anticlimactic after the intense buildup… Still a riveting journey that entertained, and I will gladly read more from G.A. Beller. Recommend to mature fans of literary political thrillers.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: StephanBeacher on April 09, 2016 :
one thing I like about this book by G.A. Beller is that his narrative prose is some of the best and most authentic I’ve read in a while, the way he brings the scenes to life and the attention to historical and cultural and political details that gave this story genuine authenticity. I actually feel like I learned something about political affairs and perspectives had a fun time doing it.. It is action/drama/philosophy/adventure all in one, and while it still has the familiar vibe that most political thrillers have and with events (like the Obama birth certificate among others) and characters that we will clearly recognize, it still feels fresh and original enough and is definitely unpredictable, especially towards the end. It is more than just the classic story of “right and wrong”, (as the title itself implies) and really encompasses so much more of the human condition – and it is also funny at times, despite being so ‘dark’. I chuckled at some of the dialogue and really enjoyed watching the characters evolve as the story progressed. Thought it wrapped up well and I was satisfied with how it all played out. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Cory Banyan on April 07, 2016 :
4.5 stars
"Not Black and White” was an addicting thrill ride of action, intrigue, drama, and political/personal conflict. I liked how the author G.A. Beller managed to weave together this complex, but not confusing, story of political games in this country, and the shocking lengths some people will go to achieve their goals. It definitely held my attention throughout, but I admit at times I thought there were so many characters and it was getting hard to keep track of who was who. I found myself enjoying the chapters that were from Mars the best, as I felt they had more focus and insight. But overall this book was a great mix of fact/fiction (“inspired by real events”) and the author G.A. Beller delivers an entertaining, somewhat disturbing, well thought out read that hits a little too close to home at times. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: ElizaB9988 on April 07, 2016 :
"Not Black and White…” is one of the most interesting, action-packed and well-crafted novels I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go, and absolutely loved Beller’s description of the different scenery and Chicago locales, and his attention to historical/political detail, even when recounting in a thinly disguised ‘fictional’ manner. Reminded me of an Obama version of “Primary Colors”, and also includes other key figures in Chicago politics. I was impressed with the perfect editing and formatting (I notice these things) and the wide-range of intriguing characters (all various shades of corrupt and ‘gray’). The story is strong and frighteningly believable. So is its message. A great addition to the genre. Hope to read more from Mr. Beller in the future.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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