This book is a skillful blending of current events and scripture to create a scenario of what the future may look like.
Voracious reader & listener. I have a typically brutal Southern California commute so I have ample opportunity to listen (although I also listen while washing clothes or my car or other mundane chores). Currently, I have 238 titles in my Audible library. History, biographies, historical fiction, and hyper-realistic espionage are my favorite genres but I'm open to other topics & genres.
Disturbing read. With a hardcover home library of a couple thousand books and an Audible library of almost 450 titles, I must admit to never reading anything quite like this book. It's an odd mix of Christian fundamentalist doctrine (complete with long quotes from the bible), rabid Zionist Israel first doctrine and good old American 'let's go to war' jingoism. While I'm no fan of President Obama, I find the barely disguised swipes at he and his administration's preference for peace and negotiation over reactionary war both distasteful and anti-patriotic. The plots foundational premise is highly implausible, the basis of which has fundamentalist with thousands of years of built up animus united behind a pseudo-mystical fanatic with delusions of grandeur and an insatiable lust for power. The authors' prose is adequate although I found the stories' pacing a bit uneven. I'm an agnostic and while I can respectfully appreciate an authors's religious sensibilities creeping into their narrative, never before have I consumed a book with such naked, rabid proselytizing. Further, the author's knowledge of the tradecraft, tactics and strategy seem painfully lacking for a book set in the realm of espionage. There is very little action, (perhaps owing to the amount of bible versus liberally sprinkled through out) and while the primary characters seem mostly three dimensional, they do seem patently predictable in both word and deed. While the protagonist is likable enough he is very self unaware and prone to moments of gross hypocrisy. He justifies his actions using his interpretation of the bible. Behaviors which are essentially the same actions that he condemns in his enemies. Admittedly I could only make it to the third chapter from the end before gratefully deleting and quicky returning this book.
Narrator was very good. The story was one sided/far-fetched. The good things happen to the good guys and the bad things happen to the bad guys. that said, the book was interesting I like the character development in David, Eva and more. it did take a while for the book to get going.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
There is a reason 15% of 1.5 billion Muslims are radicalized (225 million) and fervent to "push Israel into the sea."
The reason is Islam.
Saudi Arabia money and the Mullahs teachings are that the poverty, pain, and misery of the people they rule are as a result of Israel and America--a type of blame shifting practiced by Hitler and the Nazis.
Joel Rosenberg rightly espouses that Christ Jesus (Christianity) teaches us to love the sinner but hate the sin. "The Tehran Initiative" gives us an insiders look at "that other religion."
is what I thought as I read this book.
This book is chock full of blind American patriotism, irrational unquestioning Christian dogma, and "different-is-bad" ethnocentrism (did you know that Islam is Satanic?). It left a nasty, lingering taste on my brain. Yuck.
I love listening audio books. I listen to between 20 and 25 per year while I work. Sure makes the days go fast.
Overall a good listen and a good story line. I am a Christian, but even so, thought all of the religious dialog and "recruiting" was out of place. It would have been just as good a story without about 80 percent of it.
The characters were will defined. The story, although a little towards the impossible in some places, was well worth the listen.
Christopher Lane always does a good job. His reading of this book is no exception. It actually overcame many of the shortcomings of the book. He is the reason I give an Overall rating of four stars instead of three.
There was plenty of action, but definitely, for me at least, not a "sit on the edge of the chair page turned" many books are.
I have read two other Joel Rosenberg books; "The Auschwitz Escape" and "Death on a High Floor". I liked both much better than this one, and the religious stuff was kept to a minimum.
Non Fiction Reader
This book is confounding. More than once I was tempted to chuck it and start another book. The story line is frequently interrupted with religious (Christian, Islamis and Jewish) reflections. At times it's infuriating. It's not just private musings but whole sections of the spies introspection with copious quotes from scripture, more introspection,more copious quotes of scripture and so on.
The end leaves one hanging...possibly for a sequel (and more internal ruminations). In many ways it's difficult to square a book about nuclear weapons, imminent destruction of the mid-east and a spy's reflections on biblical ad infinitum quotations and personal introspections, personal salvation while planning and killing the killing or an enemy..
I liked the reader
First, be sure you know this is the middle book in a series of three. I don't remember when I bought it but it must have been a special and I didn't know ... so it would have been helpful to have listened to the first book first, and if you want to know "the rest of the story", you'll have to buy the third book. If I had liked the book better, I would have been glad to buy both, but I didn't and I won't! I was quite enjoying the book until it got into proselytizing. It was really hard for me to finish it. Part way into the second half I even looked it up in Audible to find out if it was in the Christian category. I'm not anti-Christian, but it really took away from the book and the flow of the story for me. That's also when I found out it was the second in a series and as I said, I didn't like it enough to buy either the first or third books ... so you jump into an ongoing story and end without it being complete.