The day after Hana's call, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber - and soon Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder. Now David must make an agonizing decision: will he, a Jew, represent Hana, who may well be guilty, or will he turn away a woman he can never forget?
Ultimately David's quest takes him to Israel and the West Bank, where, in a series of harrowing encounters, he learns that appearances are not at all what they seem.
Culminating in a tense and startling trial with international ramifications, Exile is that rare audiobook that both entertains and enlightens. At once an intricate tale of betrayal and deception, a moving love story, and a fascinating journey into the lethal politics of the Middle East, this is Richard North Patterson at his most brilliant and engrossing.
©2007 Richard North Patterson. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
"Action abounds, culminating in courtroom drama." (Booklist)
"Exile is a novel worth reading by anyone who is trying to understand, at least in part, one of the Middle East's political nightmares....Through his artful writing, Patterson presents compelling arguments for both sides while avoiding a preachy tone - a pitfall a lesser writer easily could succumb to." (USA Today)
This is an excellent "read"...one learns so much about the middle east problems in a novel setting that is both informative and exciting at the same time...loved it!
I was very impressed with the authors ability to write whole heartedly from all perspectives. He took a volatile issue and gave each side of it a human face. They cease to be political and become someones life story. It's a love story, an adventure, a legal thriller, mystery, and a journey through Israel and Palestine. I would recommend the Unabridged version of this book - it's long, but a great listen! Through fiction, you learn about what is going on in Israel and Palestine from ALL sides - and you'll find there are many. It makes no judgments, and gives you the information to decide for yourself.
We hear from a Holocaust survivor, a Muslim extremist, and most importantly the two people (a Muslim woman and Jewish man) searching for a moderate answer to this complex situation - personally and politically.
As others have said, this book, as well as the narration, set a new standard in excellence.
As a fan of Richard North Patterson, I actually had the hardcover of "Exile" on my bookshelf, unread, for many months, somewhat daunted by its length and its background of Middle East politics.
I decided to see whether I could access the book more easily through the audio version, and I'm glad I did.
The story is both gripping and educational -- without the education ever over-intruding and hitting you over the head.
He does a great job of presenting both Israeli and Palestinian views of the Middle East conflict without proselytizing and without, it seems overtly choosing sides -- which, I can understand, may trouble some. But if you end up thinking some portrayals of characters are overly-sympathetic (and I did occasionally), I think it is ultimately a reflection of Patterson's success in conveying the very complexities of the Middle East players -- as well as the dangers and limitations to all of us from either pigeonholing or stereotyping them.
The story, while being thoroughly entertaining on all levels (plot, characterizations, love interests) makes you think about myriad perspectives on the conflict.
Then there's the narration! Let me just say that it was superb all the way through. I've looked for more of the narrator's books and am simply sorry that there do not appear to be that many.
Definitely a 5-star recommendation in all respects.
I admit that I am not a "demanding" reader - not a "pick it appart" critic. But I am an avid reader who enjoys the hunt for and the discovery of fiction treasure. Exile is such a novel. My first work by RN Patterson and I was blown away. His relentless and thorough research and interview process was evident. I not only was entertained and captivated, but also experienced the bonus of some great insight into US - Middle East relations and history. The narration was brilliant and absent the forced drama sometimes found in these recordings.
This book had something for everybody . . . be you male or female, academic or Joe the plumber, combat tested or homemaker tested, religious or agnostic. I hated it to end!!!
Now I am actually fearful of choosing my next book because RNP and Dennis Boutsikaris have set the bar so high! I am sure that I will get over my shopping anxiety . . . . I hope. Read or listen to "Exile" but do NOT ignore it!
More than entertainment, this book delves into the heart of the Arab/Israeli conflict by exploring the lives of David, a Jewish man, and Hana, a Palestinian woman, who met and loved each other while attending Harvard Law School. David finds himself defending Hana for the brutal assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister while the PM visited the United States. Having not seen her since law school he is conflicted in many ways about his feelings for her and, while on a political fast track before now finds himself a pariah among his Jewish friends who can not understand how he can defend Hana. The author explores how Palestinians and Israelis have come to behave the way they do and through the various characters expresses how tumultuous the situation in the area has become. However, he seems to also say that much of the tragic situation is being fueled by outside forces, and if these could be contained perhaps there could be peace. The book is long and gives one an appreciation for the horrors experienced on both sides of the conflict. Definitely a book that is very hard to put down.
This is an amazing book - definitely the best I have read in a long time. The plot is very complex and sweeping and is intertwined with the personal stories of the characters, but it is totally credible. For most of the book, the plot is extremely compelling - a real page turner. A section in the middle gets a bit more academic as the main character researches his case, and this part is less compelling but very interesting. It's a very clever and well crafted story that also does a very creditable job of addressing the issues of war and peace in the middle east in an unusually evenhanded way. Most everyone, with the possible exception of middle east scholars can learn a lot from this very thoroughly researched book. The interview with the author at the end is an extra bonus. This is a must read!
trying to see the world with my ears
I don't usually like action/suspense novels, but I loved this. As others have stated, it's as much an entertaining history lesson as novel - but I think he gets the history right, not sacrificing to the storyline. I think listening to this book was the only time I did not get a headache learning about the Middle East!
As action/suspense, we could pick apart the plot or charaterization, but I think the book still stands up well against usual bestsellers of the genre for all that. I like the narrator because I do not like "dramatic" narration styles.
I found this book both entertaining and educational. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about the middle east but is having difficulty wading through the complexities. This book provided a broad overview - from which I can now expand. From the entertainment side I did not want the book to end - I was left wanting to know more about the continuing story of David Wolfe, Hanna & their daughter.
Politically relevant, highly entertaining fiction. This book is well researched, well-plotted and well-narrated. I enjoyed Patterson's weaving of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict into each characters life. He obviously did significant on-site research in the West Bank and Jerusalem and it shows. This is right near the top of the 35+ books I have listened to this year...
"Interesting but not enthralling"
This book took me a long time to finish, as my title says, it was interesting to listen to, but it didn't keep me captivated. I predicted the ending and was pleased to be at the end, so I could move onto another book. I choose it though to learn more about palestinian-jewish-israel conflicts, which it does in a personal way. I gave it 3 stars because it is a very clever book, the author certainly researched a great deal and I liked the main character. But the story is lost on the detail, a large part not relevant to the story but informative...
excellent - I have listened to this more than three times, and it is still facinating.
I had to re-read parts to begin with trying to understand the various political factions/terrorist groups on the Isreali and Palestinian sides. It comes across as fairly unbiased giving a balanced view. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time!
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