READ PDF ♘ Dynamite Fishermen (Beirut Trilogy, #1) ⚕

ExcellentA proper good tale, so much better than the majority of superhero buckshot out there purporting to be espionage Thanks As a long time reader of classical spy fiction from the likes of Graham Greene, John Le Carre, Eric Ambler and Alan Furst, I will admit to judging Preston Fleming s new spy novel, Dynamite Fishermen, by a rigorous standard So I am pleased to report that it passed with high marks Like those other notable spy novelists, Preston Fleming has a gift for creating an extraordinary sense of time and place And in choosing for his setting the Beirut of the early 1980 s, nearly halfway through Lebanon s fifteen year civil war, he has created a uniquely vivid backdrop for his tale of spying, terrorism, civil unrest, hedonism, and international intrigue While the novel s central plot revolves around the efforts of a journeyman CIA case officer at the U.S Embassy in Beirut, Conrad Prosser, to discover who is behind a series of vicious car bombings in West Beirut, Fleming weaves in several intersecting subplots involving Prosser s colleagues, agents and lovers The genius of the book is that it shows, in a highly concrete and realistic way, how an intelligence case officer exploits everyone and everything around him to gather the information that his superiors expect from him if he is to keep his job On the other hand, a possible drawback is that finding the connections between seemingly random events requires thought from the reader, as it does from real life spies The protagonist, Prosser, is also not easy to like at first Though he learns and grows as the story goes on, his chilly detachment kept me at a distance early on and led me to ponder whether such detachment is a prerequisite for success as a case officer or just commonplace among them since old spies tend to create new spies in their own image But as the plot line unfolds, Prosser s apparent insensitivity to others and his heedlessness toward the suffering around him made complete sense and pointed to a conflict within Prosser between his professional and personal values In the end, one is left with a residual sense that Prosser s way of life is twisted, inhumane and unsustainable But then, that appears to be a central theme of the novel, as Fleming draws a clear analogy between Prosser s exploitation of others and the wastefulness of the dynamite fishermen plying their trade in the waters offshore from his seaside apartment, killing a dozen fish for every one they deliver to the seaside restaurants of West Beirut What appealed to me most about Dynamite Fishermen was how Fleming s understated prose style captured the richness of life in Beirut and the exhilaration shared by Prosser and many of his friends and acquaintances, both despite and because of its daily ration of violence Though danger colors nearly every aspect of the characters daily routine in Beirut, nearly all of them soon become desensitized to the danger, sometimes with tragic consequences Fortunately, one does not have to risk one s life in a place like wartime Beirut to gain an experience of it, because Fleming delivers it up so well on the page If I could only persuade my wife to come with me, I would make Beirut our next vacation spot just to get a glimmer of what it must have been like when the Paris of the Middle East was a modern day Dodge City An added plus to this novel is the insights offered into today s Middle East conflict As Fleming points out, Beirut was and remains a microcosm of the Middle East, with many of its regional conflicts shadowed on a smaller scale in Beirut between Sunni and Shiite, Palestinian and Israeli, Maronite and Druze, Iranian and Iraqi, Armenian and Turk, and so on I believe that the insights Fleming offers into what drove sectarian fighting and terrorism in 1980s Beirut remain relevant for the rest of the Middle East today From the very first pages of this novel, it was clear to me that Preston Fleming must have lived many of the experiences he describes The richness of the detail goes beyond what even the most painstaking research can offer For that reason alone, this novel is an extraordinary reading experience Dynamite Fishermen earns my highest rating I recommend it strongly to readers who enjoy realistic spy fiction, to those with even a passing interest in the Middle East, and to anyone curious about what it was like to live in one of the world s most intriguing cities when one risked violent death merely going about one s daily business. READ PDF ♸ Dynamite Fishermen (Beirut Trilogy, #1) ♵ Beirut, Conrad Prosser Is A Skilled Arabist, Expert Agent Handler, Prolific Intelligence Reporter, And A Connoisseur Of Beirut S Underground Nightlife But, As His Two Year Tour At The US Embassy Nears Its End, Prosser S Intelligence Career Is In Jeopardy Because He Has Not Recruited An Agent While In Lebanon, A Sine Qua Non Requirement For PromotionSurveying His Many Contacts, Prosser Selects An Attractive Lebanese Doctoral Student And Her Idealistic Brother As Candidates For Development At The Same Time, He Holds Clandestine Meetings By Day And Night With His String Of Lebanese And Palestinian Agents, Pressing Them To Discover Who Is Behind The Latest Wave Of Car Bombings That Has Terrorized Muslim West Beirut But When One Of His Agents Supplies Information Used To Capture A Syrian Backed Bombing Team, Prosser Sets Off A Cycle Of Retaliation That Threatens Than His Career And Cherished Way Of Life At First Denying, Then Later Concealing, Apparent Attempts On His Life, Prosser Sets Out To Save Both His Job And His Skin, Exploiting His Agents, His Best Friend, A Former Lover, His New Girlfriend And Her Enigmatic Brother In Doing So, He Puts Their Lives At Risk And Discovers Too Late The Effect Of His Heedless ActionsDYNAMITE FISHERMEN Offers Complex Characters, Fast Paced Action, A Vivid Portrayal Of Human Intelligence Operations And The Pungent Flavor Of Beirut During Its Dark Days Of Civil Upheaval This weekend I strayed from my plans to read the sequel to Preston Fleming s Forty Days at Kamas and sat down with Dynamite Fishermen, one of his two espionage thrillers set in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War And what a remarkable experience it turned out to be Though the writing style and certain aspects of the storytelling were identifiable as those of the Kamas author, this debut spy thriller was quite unlike Kamas or, for that matter, any other spy novel I have come across Call me old fashioned, but when I read spy novels, I prefer those in the classic tradition of Graham Greene, John Le Carre and Alan Furst rather than the sensational shoot em ups that tend to dominate the genre today I like the gritty realism and the sense of time and place that those writers brought to their fiction And I value the moral dimension to their characters choices and the blunt impact of the authors minimalist prose Perhaps because of his low key prose style, or perhaps because Fleming writes about the Beirut of thirty years ago, Dynamite Fishermen was able to create for me a richly imagined setting that teemed with romance, sensuality, and terror and resembled no place I had ever been For me, the novel s many brilliant snapshots of a city that is alive with vigor yet fraught with danger put this novel into a class of its own But Dynamite Fishermen offers than violence, titillation and exoticism The story also lays out with effortless mastery the subtleties of the espionage trade and the treacherous politics of the Middle East Fleming s protagonist, a journeyman CIA case officer named Conrad Prosser, at first seems to move through this real life shooting gallery with heedless abandon, exhilarated just as much by Beirut s dangers as by its sensual delights But as the story unfolds, we see Prosser react and learn in ways that we sense must lead before long to deep personal change, and perhaps to crisis Prosser s change, as I see it, is summed up aptly in the book s title And though the title refers primarily to the life of a spy, it may also apply to many of us non spies who hold responsible positions and must difficult moral choices as a result On another level, I found this novel to deliver insights about the Middle East than a shelf of textbooks Perhaps this is because Lebanon was and remains a microcosm of the Middle East Nearly all the region s assorted conflicts have been played out in this tiny country to one degree or another, and sometimes when these imported conflicts heat up, domestic tensions boil over The main action in Dynamite Fishermen centers on a wave of car bombings that has set the city s nerves on edge While Lebanon s Syrian occupiers are everyone s prime suspects, the lineup also includes Christian Phalangist militiamen, Lebanese leftists, the Palestinian fedayeen, Iranian backed Shiites, and even Armenian exiles At the book s end, the car bombings are brought to a well crafted climax and the story s loose ends are tied up as neatly as can be done in a place like Lebanon But while the bombings, shootings, shellings and kidnappings rage, the reader discovers early on that, when Prosser not writing reports or running off to agent meetings, he is a red blooded young American with a life to lead He drinks, chases women, hangs out in nightclubs, even plays baseball yes, all this in Beirut , and acquires a modicum of self knowledge along the way In fact, one might even say he grows up For me, what makes Dynamite Fishermen extraordinary is how richly colorful, dense and textured it is It is than a spy thriller one might say it rises to the level of spy literature To appreciate what is going on at various levels, the reader must pay close attention and not just hang on for the ride In this sense, how Prosser copes with uncertainty is also a part of the story in real life, an intelligence officer faces an abundance of information and opinion but a dearth of pattern and meaning He must not only look for answers but also figure out what are the questions He realizes that nothing in Beirut is as it seems and facts often turn out the opposite from what people claim In reading this novel, one experiences the intelligence officer s dilemma at first hand Even when the story s loose ends are finally brought together, doubts linger and issues are left with ambiguous conclusions If you enjoy quality spy fiction or harbor an interest in the Middle East, or if you ve ever wondered what it s like to live in a country in the grip of civil war, I recommend this novel without reservation I believe it is as true a book about spying as you ll find and that its portrait of the Middle East in microcosm is relevant today as it would have been thirty years ago when the events were fresh For these reasons I give Dynamite Fishermen five stars. A short while ago I read and reviewed a phenomenal book called Maid of Baikal A Novel of the Russian Civil War which is written by Preston Fleming and my verdict was that the book is an intriguing novel that will keep readers entertained for hours on end thanks to the wealth of history and dramatic literature Maid of Baikal was awarded five stars by me, and ever since finishing it, I have been desperate to read another book by Fleming You always know when a novel is great when you are keen to read another book by the same author that already shows us readers that Preston Fleming is a talented author and worthy of all of his positive reviews Dynamite Fishermen is the first book in the Beirut Trilogy, and I am so excited to have read it Never before have I been so bewitched by an espionage thriller I was not only impressed with its action packed moments but also its terrific plot and so if you love being taken on a memorable but terrifying adventure then Dynamite Fishermen is the novel for you Dynamite Fishermen follows the protagonist of the novel Conrad Prosser in 1982 in Beirut, and he is defined as being a skilled Arabist, expert agent handler and prolific intelligence reporter Conrad for the past two years has been working at the embassy in Beirut however, his service is ending, and this is proving problematic for him especially because he is currently failing at his one task Conrad was tasked with recruiting a worthy person to become a field agent however, he has not been successful in his assignment which is leaving him in a tricky predicament If Conrad does not succeed in his mission, then he will not receive the promotion he so desperately wants The reader will follow Conrad as he tries to find a worthy recruit all while he tries to uncover a string of deadly car bombings that have been devastating Beruit The journey is a fascinating one that is full of razor sharp prose, and enigmatic characters so do not miss out book lovers The story of Dynamite Fishermen is just as incredible as Maid of Baikal, both books are sensational because they both explore original themes that captivate and intrigue the reader from the start Dynamite Fishermen just like Maid of Baikal is an in depth novel with many plot avenues, scenarios and characters, however never once do all of these factors become too much for the reader instead, every element is weaved flawlessly together by the phenomenal author Preston Fleming Fleming, despite his expansive story that continues to expand as you read, keeps track of the plot and never loses sight of the end goal in other words, you won t find the plot too chaotic That is because Fleming has written a book that has a steady, streamlined, well thought out plot that will entertain you lovely readers for hours on end.Preston Fleming is an author whose work I have grown to love, ever since finishing Maid of Baikal I have been hooked by his literature because it is original and in depth and takes the readers on an unforgettable journey Fleming writes his story in a descriptive, fluid, and captivating way that ensures that the reader is entertained from beginning to end as well as enthralled and amazed.Dynamite Fishermen is a dramatic terrorism thriller that has all the components of a perfect story elements such as breath taking moments, enigmatic characters, a stellar plot and lastly, flawless writing Because Dynamite Fishermen weaves all of these themes flawlessly together, I have no choice but to award this fantastic book five stars If you are a reader who might be interested in the story but is debating whether to read it, then please take my advice and give the book a chance as it is quite simply exceptional The thing that really struck me about this book was how Fleming brought to life the sheer insanity of living in the middle of a city at war. Very good book,hard to put down I found it very interesting , learned a bit about a different culture I have some friends who are lebonese so had a special curiosity of their problems. Entertaining ReadI enjoy intrigue and spy stories, especially if the writer has the ability to keep you guessing as to what is next around the corner While I liked this book, it did get heavy on the details at times. An authoritative account of a US intelligence officer s life in civil war torn Beirut, Lebanon, in the early 1980 s But this might well be a current account of life today in many Arab countries where Syrians, Iranians and others operate in and out of the shadows promoting their own interests on the soil of alleged friends Early chapters build a foundation which then is followed by chapter after chapter of detail rich experiences of the young officer as he seeks through others to find out what is happening or will happen in Lebanon We improve our understanding of daily life in the region within the complex weavings of groups wanting to express their hatreds in violent terms Woven into this are personal stories of caring individuals in professional and personal relationships who are coping with a storm around them. 800 pages and way too much detail Took me forever to get into it and had to force myself to continue reading it at one point Definitely wouldn t have read the 2nd in the series if I hadn t already bought it Could have been a better read if the length and amount of detail was cut in half.