• The Storm Is upon Us

  • How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything
  • By: Mike Rothschild
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (322 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Its messaging can seem cryptic, even nonsensical, yet for tens of thousands of people, it explains everything: What is QAnon, where did it come from, and is the Capitol insurgency a sign of where it’s going next?

On October 5, 2017, President Trump made a cryptic remark in the State Dining Room at a gathering of military officials. He said it felt like “the calm before the storm” - then refused to elaborate as puzzled journalists asked him to explain. But on the infamous message boards of 4chan, a mysterious poster going by “Q Clearance Patriot”, who claimed to be in “military intelligence”, began the elaboration on their own.

In the days that followed, Q’s wild yarn explaining Trump’s remarks began to rival the sinister intricacies of a Tom Clancy novel, while satisfying the deepest desires of MAGA-America. But did any of what Q predicted come to pass? No. Did that stop people from clinging to every word they were reading, expanding its mythology, and promoting it wider and wider? No.

Why not? Who were these rapt listeners? How do they reconcile their world view with the America they see around them? Why do their numbers keep growing?

Mike Rothschild, a journalist specializing in conspiracy theories, has been collecting their stories for years, and through interviews with QAnon converts, apostates, and victims, as well as psychologists, sociologists, and academics, he is uniquely equipped to explain the movement and its followers.

In The Storm Is upon Us, he takes listeners from the background conspiracies and cults that fed the Q phenomenon, to its embrace by right-wing media and Donald Trump, through the rending of families as loved ones became addicted to Q’s increasingly violent rhetoric, to the storming of the Capitol, and on.

And as the phenomenon shows no sign of calming, despite Trump’s loss of the presidency - with everyone from Baby Boomers to Millennial moms proving susceptible to its messaging - and politicians starting to openly espouse its ideology, Rothschild makes a compelling case that mocking the seeming madness of QAnon will get us nowhere. Rather, his impassioned reportage makes clear that it’s time to figure out what QAnon really is - because QAnon and its relentlessly dark theory of everything isn’t done yet.

©2021 Mike Rothschild (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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What listeners say about The Storm Is upon Us

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Great book, lousy narrator

Good book but unfortunate choice for narrator. Joe Barrett doesn't even sound like his other books, his voice is both higher and more raspy. He sounds like an old character actor cold-reading a script that he's never seen before. The real shame is that I've heard the actual author on podcasts and he has a great voice, he would have done a much better job himself. Still, excellent book if you want to understand the weirdest and scariest social movement around.

13 people found this helpful

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I've read about cults and love this book

I've read about cults, scientology, FLDS, Nxvm, Rajnishies and this book is amazing. you will find a really in depth overview of what makes Q well, Q. I've been on the conservative leaning side of the political fence in some shape or another for a long time. until last year I hadn't exactly heard of Q or even could put a face to Q (so to speak). this book helps untangle the mythology and create a comprehensive look into a social phenomena. for those of you who like reading about alex jones or David Icke (or like minded conspiracy nuts) you'll be in for a rich and rewarding read.

11 people found this helpful

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Awesome book on QAnon

The first thing I must say about this book is that Mike Rothschild is an incredible writer. This is the first book of his that I’ve read, and it’s difficult for me to really get into books like this, but a great writer like Mike can keep me engaged. Rothschild covers everything from top to bottom when it comes to the QAnon movement, so if you’re curious about what it is, how it started, and all of the stories that came from it, this book’s for you. I’ve been following the QAnon news for a long time and have even done content around some of the stories, so I thought I knew just about everything and figured this book wouldn’t tell me anything new. But I was wrong. There were plenty of stories in this book about QAnon followers that I hadn’t heard before. Although this book didn’t have as much psychology as I typically look for in books, Mike covered some big ideas when it comes to cognitive dissonance, how people get sucked in, and most importantly, how to get a loved one out. So, if you’re curious about learning more about what QAnon is or want to hear some new stories written by a great author, you should definitely get this book.

6 people found this helpful

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for the uninitiated

Thorough and entertaining, given the 6th, everyone should understand more what this movement/cult/ideology is...

great job! lays it all out.

5 people found this helpful

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Knowledgeable and entertaining

I couldn’t stop listening. I really enjoyed the way Mike lays out Q and really dives into the origin. Good for those who are very aware of Q related lunacy and those who’ve no idea what they’re in for.

5 people found this helpful

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Skip this book

I don’t want to be a hater but this book offers nothing. Save yourself the time and go down a more enjoyable route... watch Q: Into the Storm on HBO or HBO MAX.... way better

3 people found this helpful

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informative and crisply read

love the reader and the content. I highly recommend. insightful, caring, and not judgemental

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Very Disappointed

One of the very few books I chose not to finish. I didn't find it very insightful and while I always prefer an authors own voice in telling the story, not this time at all as the naration made listening challenging. My fault though, I didn't listen to the sample.

1 person found this helpful

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Mixed Bag


THE STORM IS UPON US is a mixed bag.


The Audible reader with his Midwestern Tennessee twang initially seemed a perfect fit for this material. However, this plus was quickly offset by his ignorance of spoken English. For example, when you're reading a sentence out loud, and you come across a comma, you're supposed to pause.

And this was but one flaw among many.

Secondly, his limited narration abilities exacerbated the shortcomings of the writer.

Mike Rothschild's clean prose is perfect for a murky subject such as QAnon. He has a fine sense of chronology. He has the above average skill of dredging up little-known threads and weaving them into the tapestry that is QAnon. However, his writing strength is overshadowed by his limited vocabulary. This was made worst by his misuse of obscure words. How I wished he owned a physical thesaurus--and used it!

I picked this book because I had heard about it from a prominent radio talk show. Though, I learned a lot about the QAnon phenomenon, I wish I had chosen a different book. It would have made the experience more enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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Actual Patriots should read this book

Make no mistake, Q is not a patriot, and he doesn't care about America. We're in jeopardy of losing our republic, either to breakup or authoritarian barbarians.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ian Ranson
  • 08-14-21

A fascinating deep dive into the world of Qanon

A truly fascinating book about a phenomenon which is increasingly dominating politics both in the US and around the world. Mike is truly the expert in all things Qanon - while I'd listened to a number of podcasts and read a number of articles before, I learned so much more from this book. Very well written and researched - highly recommended if you're looking to understand more about Qanon and what the rise of the phenomenon means for the world.

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  • elena collins
  • 07-12-21

Ties up a lot of knowledge loose ends

What I like best about this book is how it treats facts with compassion. I learned a lot, even though I was already pretty well informed. History, logical explanations as to why and how anyone, let alone potentially 6 million Americans (plus Australians, British etc) could transform into a Q devotees, easily understood in this book. Finished off with advice on how to help loved ones to return from the depths of Q,, willingly. highly recommended and much needed book in the current times.