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The Curtain - A Novel
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The Curtain - A Novel

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  334 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews

Have you met Henry Maddox? He knows you — not personally of course… he really only knows your data. But from that data he actually may know you better than you think you know yourself. Henry knows where you’ve been and what you’ve bought. He knows all of your friends. Henry not only knows your behaviors, he understands your tendencies. And fr
Paperback, 314 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Henry Maddox Publishing (first published February 27th 2013)
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Dec 23, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Wow. As a work of literature, this book is only mediocre, but as a lesson in digital marketing and economics, it is brilliant. I could not put this book down. I highly recommend it to anyone who uses the internet (ha!). I am really hoping that I can convince my book group to read this because it will be a remarkable discussion. I have never been under the delusion that anything I do online is private (when I receive an actual email from Amazon if I search for a product on google, it is clear tha ...more
Apr 19, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't leave many five-star reviews; those are reserved for books that blow me away with their plot, or move me deeply in some way. That said, I gave The Curtain a five-star rating because it scared the crap out of me. Yes, I know it's fiction, but there is enough truth behind the "science" to make it believable.

Data mining for marketing and other more nefarious purposes is pervasive; I see it every day on Facebook. You think those silly questions that make the rounds are fun and harmless, ask
Debbie "DJ"
Apr 27, 2014 Debbie "DJ" rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
The fundamentalists are at it again...thank goodness this was free. The book starts out really well, describing how powerful companies get us to buy their products. It also explains how our information is so valuable, and can be used in so many different ways. But then we are introduced to a man who works for Save The Family...hmmm...sounds a little like Focus on the Family? His ways are outdated, but God is telling him to continue to speak out about our declining morals, etc. We are told how co ...more
May 16, 2014 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I downloaded the Kindle version of this book for free in return for a review.

Was very impressed. Most first novels I read as free downloads are in desperate need of editing, but this was done well. The story is an interesting premise - especially for an IT geek like myself. It is about social media & the information that it holds about the participants. It indicates that beyond the directed advertising that we are already familiar with (and I personally think is clever & useful), there a
Dru Pagliassotti
Jul 08, 2014 Dru Pagliassotti rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
"No one is going to watch a show that preaches to them," says the marketing guru Prof. Henry Maddox around p. 81 of this novel (assuming my ereader paginates like your ereader). And that's really the biggest problem with The Curtain for the non-Christian reader. The novel has a lot of thought-provoking things to say about the problematic power of marketing and consumerism, but it risks losing readers as soon as it starts to preach ... which it does a little too often for my taste.

That said, I th
Sundar Raj
Apr 28, 2014 Sundar Raj rated it really liked it
my exact rating would be '3.5'.I got this book free of cost in amazon. thanks to bookbub.
Wow, what can i say about this book?. The plot which is chosen by the author could have been a best seller. but, somehow in the middle, he messed it up. The story is somewhat of an unusual in the sense that one man fighting against the whole corporate america. i could not deny the fact that i have enjoyed reading this book. but felt all the way that something was missing.
The ending of the book is not so
Jo-Ann Murphy
May 16, 2014 Jo-Ann Murphy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
The first half of this book is one of the best marketing books I have ever read. The second half explains how that marketing is being used against us to invade our personal privacy. It also lays out a method to help hide your personal information.

This book is SO relevant today. I am SO glad I picked it up. I wish everyone online would read this book to understand how their personal information is at risk.

I must admit I picked the book up because of the cover. I had no idea what it was about when
Lynette Sheppard
May 09, 2014 Lynette Sheppard rated it it was amazing
In this hyperconnected world where our preferences in just about everything have become known - by Facebook, Amazon, and more areas than we can count, Patrick Ord offers a frightening tale regarding abuse of data and its societal consequences.

Protagonist Henry Maddox consults with businesses on how to mine and use data - in ways that undermine not just our privacy, but our very way of life. Henry is amoral but meets a man who causes him to undertake an inner journey and change his life for one o
Ty Wilson
Apr 11, 2013 Ty Wilson rated it really liked it
I received this book as a First Reads giveaway. I found this to be a very interesting book. The story provides both a compelling plot as well as quite an education on modern marketing and data mining. Henry Maddox is a man that knows all the ways to increase market size, market share, and even how to create whole new markets. Companies pay Henry huge amounts for his knowledge, and his life is one of fast cars, fine food, and every extravagance money can buy. All is well in Henry's world until he ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Tess rated it really liked it
This book is written in a novel format for easy reading, but it is a warning of what is happening in our world with the collection of Big Data. It has some very good insights and information. Having a spouse in the telecommunication field where Big Data is a big deal and having personally experienced some of the scenarios in the book and with the "curtain" being parted regarding our country's NSA data collection it is hard to blow this book off as simple paranoia. However, it is up to the reader ...more
Julie King
Jun 16, 2014 Julie King rated it it was amazing
This book made me realize how data is the new currency. It exposed how companies market to individuals and can actually change how people view themselves. I thought the section about self-esteem vs. self-respect was especially enlightening. I read this book in a day and was truly hooked. I rarely give 5 star reviews, but this one was worth it-rarely does a fiction book make me want to change my behaviors in such an immediate way. If you use the internet, you should read this book. I loved the en ...more
Stephanie Watkins
May 08, 2014 Stephanie Watkins rated it really liked it
This is my first read in this genre (technothiller/mystery/suspense). Initially, I thought I would have to force myself to finish; hence, that was so NOT the case. This book had me from chapter 1, first paragraph. It provided insight on marketing & advertising strategies used to manipulate consumers purchasing behaviors. The information in this book will cause you to think about your purchasing habits and the persuasion behind them. Even though this is a book of fiction, the author provide i ...more
Gloria Johnson
May 14, 2014 Gloria Johnson rated it really liked it
This is a book that makes the reader think about how much the digital age has affected our lives. Did you ever really think about those pop-up ads that you see on Facebook or AOL that seem to be designed just for you? This book explores how we can be manipulated and also the power of the internet. Interesting premise and plot. I was not totally happy with the ending...would have liked an epilog. However, that would not stop me from recommending this book, especially to techies.
Nov 25, 2013 Janey rated it really liked it
If you already have a hunch about marketing ploys then you will be absolutely absorbed with the information Ord reveals--very interesting and troubling. The fictional story contained within the information wasn't bad nor good, maybe a 3-star. Ord's website has even more interesting information to study and consider.
Jan 20, 2014 Jennie rated it really liked it
Though the book is slow and has more explanatory material than story, it is fascinating and provides an excellent explanation of modern marketing techniques and the potential for good and evil in today's technology. I would recommend that everyone with a social media account read it.
Lorraine Campbell
Dec 17, 2014 Lorraine Campbell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very preachy.

The dialogue is very stilted and unnatural. The premise is good, but the characters are just too contrived to make it work.
Melissa Thomas
May 06, 2017 Melissa Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart and thought provoking!
Mike Hipp
Jun 25, 2017 Mike Hipp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting idea around the collection of personal data

Something we all face daily is how do we protect our data and information. It is passed around freely unless we stop it
Julie Bihn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2015 Heather rated it liked it
While this is a decent read, there are a few things that future readers should know before beginning:

-this primarily a dialogue-driven book. Nearly all of the information is given while characters speak.

-this is an agenda-driven book. The author clearly takes issue with marketing schemes that are prevalent on the internet. He's done his homework and presents his research in the guise of a fiction book. This could have easily been a non-fiction thesis paper.

-the author believes in redemption and
Elizabeth Baumgartner
I honestly wish the author or publisher would have been more upfront about this being an evangelical book. It is a good read when you think about the marketing schemes and ploys for buying power and controlling people via social media, the internet, etc. It is a less than mediocre read when there's bible verses at the top of nearly every chapter, the hero is a Christian, and it's too close in name to NOT get that it's playing at Focus on the Family.

It's the cliche story of the main protagonist w
Mar 06, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. At first, I was reluctant to read it because it seemed too "techy" but the author explains fascinating aspects of how corporations track our behaviors in an attempt to exploit us, which I found fascinating.

Ultimately the story is moral: do corporations use their propaganda machines (media arms) and data tracking abilities to shape our individual identities -- all in an attempt to produce attractive consumer demographics? And what impact does this have on our cultu
Stephanie  Bishop
This book is really scary in the sense that a lot of this stuff could be/is true. I'm in no way a conspiracy theorist, but I also think that people would be naive to think that companies don't use some of these techniques. It really makes you think about all of the data about ourselves that is out there, in this technological world that we live in. I thought this book would be a little too "techie" for me, but it wasn't at all. And as some other readers said, it does have a more conservative vie ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Holy crap. This book is both fascinating and horrifying. Most interesting first couple chapters of a book I've read in a long, long time. I was curious about some of the statistics the book uses (90% of what we listen to, watch, or read is controlled by only six media giants, for example), and looked them up... totally true, all of them! This really opened my eyes to data and how people can be manipulated, but it was written in a way that wasn't boring (at all!) to read. Very impressed. And scar ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Jodi rated it liked it
Shelves: book-group, adult
This novel was intriguing, but felt more like a nonfiction book at times. The author obviously had an agenda and wanted to share his knowledge of market fragmentation and data collection. The story held my attention and kept me engaged, but it didn't seem very realistic. I do realize that many companies collect data about the public that we might not be aware of, but this book really took that idea to an extreme. It was an interesting book and I'm curious to see how our book group discussion goe ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I think everyone who uses the internet or social media or store loyalty cards should read this book. It pulls back the curtain on corporate greed and technology and invasion of privacy. did you know that marketing gurus are purposely dividing the family to make more households, who need to buy more stuff? And purposely pushing women to work outside the home to have more disposable income? Recommended.
Jul 18, 2016 PRINCESS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Once you take the book you do not want to keep it down till you’re done. I finished reading The Curtain while I was on leave last Jan.2016 and one of my friends who was my travel companion she borrowed it and we had a remarkable discussion after that. The Curtain is a book of Data, technologies, techniques and all other stuff that we are seeing in our “internet” existing world.
It might scare you in a way as lots of things that are mentioned could be true.
The Sample Reader
Aug 25, 2014 The Sample Reader rated it did not like it
Shelves: deleted
Despite picking an interesting subject, The Curtain strikes me as both preachy and artless, not to mention lumbered with an off-putting protagonist who never shuts his smart mouth.

Read the full ebook Sample Reader review here.
Apr 25, 2014 Cindi rated it liked it
for some reason this book was not what i expected.. however once i realized that is was about how all of our info is just take and grabbed from us ,in so many places..most of the time we are completly unaware its happening.. it caught my interest!! thisis supposed to be fiction.. but id say its closer to what is really happening, than we'd all like to believe!! very scary!!
Aug 01, 2015 Martha rated it liked it
Not typically my go to kind of book, but It was fascinating and very thought provoking. It made me want to delete my social media accounts and start a new life! If Ord writes a sequel I will read it!
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People who seek to profit at the expense of others have never had it so good. Tools exist in today’s digital economy that allow the knowledgeable and motivated to manipulate and even enslave the less sophisticated. Patrick Ord was so concerned about educating others to these dangers that he wrote THE CURTAIN.

Though the content of THE CURTAIN could have been conveyed in a nonfiction format, Ord wan
More about Patrick Ord...

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“Henry revealed the strategies Entz Media used to break marriages apart. Entz programming pushed the idea of marriage being stale and uneventful and then glamorized a freer and more exciting life outside of marriage. Institutions that upheld chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage were ridiculed. Storylines relating to religion centered on religious conspiracies and how people gained enlightenment apart from God, not from Him. The idea of commitment -- to a wife, a child, a religion -- was ridiculed. Selfishness was championed.” 0 likes
“Entz Media went after children as well. The sexualized and gender confused teen ranked highly on the demographics ladder. So did the impressionable tween. Television shows used exaggerated character types to encourage children and teenagers to label one another. Shows featured skaters, goths, gays, jocks, nerds, etc. Children and teenagers were encouraged to identify with one of the labels. Once an identity was embraced, corporations would then define the group's attributes and charge for compliance. Kid's programming was calculated to make them consume. Entertainment was no longer about story telling; it was story selling -- social engineering.” 0 likes
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