The insider whose warnings about terrorism on U.S. soil went unheeded--and whose book "Against All Enemies" rocketed to the top of bestseller lists--now presents his first novel: an all-too-believable story of politics, oil, espionage, and the earthshaking consequences that may lie at the end of the road ahead.The insider whose warnings about terrorism on U.S. soil went unheeded--and whose book "Against All Enemies" rocketed to the top of bestseller lists--now presents his first novel: an all-too-believable story of politics, oil, espionage, and the earthshaking consequences that may lie at the end of the road ahead.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2006-01-02 At its most simplistic, the plot of Clarke's fiction debut pits an American intelligence analyst, a British station chief, a Manhattan newspaper reporter and a former Al Qaeda leader-turned-democracy lover against an evil oil-grubbing U.S. secretary of defense and his Saudi pals whose sinister plan could plunge us into WWIII. Preventing it from becoming a James Bond-style knockoff is the former White House adviser's seasoned knowledge of Middle Eastern geopolitics and his insider's understanding of how things work in the intelligence communities. Unabridged, it poses the daunting aural task of trying to keep track of dozens of characters; a multiplicity of political agenda; constantly shifting locations, schemes and counterschemes; not to mention the deciphering of presumably authentic yet perplexing wonkspeak. A judiciously abridged, less complex story may have made for a more accessible audio version. Reader Dean's eloquent locutions help to clear things up a bit, and he does leaven some of Clarke's more weighty didactic passages. But the author has painted his heroes and villains in primary colors, and Dean follows the numbers a bit too closely. His analyst protagonist speaks in resonant tones that echo truth, justice and the American way. The station chief delivers his plucky Brit lines through a stiff upper lip. Dean's voice develops a harsh edge for the ill-tempered, arrogant defense secretary, twists into a whining mew for his unctuous assistant and slips into a slithery near-hiss for the smarmy Saudis. Too bad the characters' personae aren't a little less obvious and their machinations a little more. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 1). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-01 It's 2010, and the newly established Republic of Islamyah-the former Saudi Arabia-is trying to destabilize Bahrain: the Diplomat Hotel has been bombed, and, as the first chapter of this intense debut thriller closes, the Crowne Plaza is "pancaking." Meanwhile, the deposed House of Saud is holed up in Houston; the Chinese are providing arms and training to Islamyah; the Iranians have the bomb. Secretary of Defense Henry Conrad thinks the time is ripe to invade Islamyah and seize its oil, for which the U.S. is locked in deadly competition with China. Cooler heads in the U.S. (and British) hierarchies are very, very alarmed. Sound familiar? Clarke's Against All Enemies delivered an apostate critique of the Bush administration's counterterrorism efforts, along with a vision of the future very much like today. The writing's nothing special; what is special is Clarke's passionate and deftly detailed version of the present, albeit one told in terms of its consequences. It's a brilliant conceit, and though it's sometimes drowned out by the din of various axes being ground ("It''s 68 degrees [in Washington]on January 28 and the White House still claims that global warming isn't a problem?"), the story is crowded with terrific double crosses, defections and deceptions. They're icing, though: Clarke's dramatic micro explanations of how things "really" work-from a hand who served Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes-are the true story. This is the first novel to shift all the way from Clancy's Cold War to the present war on terror. Agent, Len Sherman. 350,000 first printing. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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