One man leads this aging, ragtag crew. He has no known past and has taken the name "Oliver Stone". Day and night, Stone and his friends study wild conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government, hoping to discover some truth that will hold America's leaders accountable to its citizens. Yet never in Stone's wildest nightmares could he imagine the conspiracy the Camel Club is about to uncover.
After witnessing a shocking murder, the Club is slammed headfirst into a plot that threatens the very security of the nation, full of stunning twists, high-stakes intrigue, and global gamesmanship rocketing to the Oval Office and beyond. Soon the Club must join forces with veteran Secret Service agent Alex Ford, who becomes an unwilling participant in one of the most chilling spectacles to ever take place on American soil. It's an event that may well be the catalyst for the long-threatened Armageddon between two different worlds, and all that stands in the way of this apocalypse are five unexpected heroes.
In The Camel Club, best-selling author David Baldacci paints a frighteningly vivid portrait of a world that could be our own very soon, and the few people who have a chance to stop the chaos.
©2005 Columbus Rose, Ltd.; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks
"As fans of this writer know, years of experience have made him an author who promises a good story and then delivers it." (Publishers Weekly)
If you have read "Last Man Standing", you might be dissapointed with this one.
The Good: Great Narrator, priceless comedy scene half-way through the book. The Secret Service character was well developed.
The Bad: Author laid on the political message a bit too thick. The dedication to the Secret Service could have been a little more subtle.
The So-So: Many of the characters we just not believable. The dialogue between the 4 guys in their golden years was weak.
Lover of good ideas
I have read most of David Baldacci's novels. The Camel Club was a good suspense story, but not quite up to what I have come to expect of this author. While the characters where plentiful, David did not do his usual in depth character development. As a result, while some of the characters were interesting, I never felt draw or repulsed by any of them. Even the 'heros" of the story, didn't bring out my usual caring for what happened to them. I am not sure if the plot didn't contribute to my appraisal of this novel. While conceptually interesting, I found it difficult to follow at times, an experience I have never had with other books by Mr. Baldacci.
Worth a listen to. but if you have another choice, you might consider that one first.
Camel Club isn't nearly as good as others by Baldacci. Narration was excellent. Political speeches became a little hard to take and seemed repetitious. If this is the only Baldacci you have read/listened, don't give up on other - many are much, much better.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
The whole premise of retirement age intelligence operatives who have not lost their edge and dig into government misdeeds (despite a phobia here and an "off the grid" life there) is entertaining, the characters all very endearing. With a culture that focuses on youth so much, these wise geezers are fairly original characters (Clint Eastwood doesn't count he makes movies not books), and fun for action thrillers. This, of course, is the actual first book of the "Camel Club" series. Several book references to earlier events character' lives (that it sounded like I should have known) made me wonder so I checked his novels list. Also, Dang, I was really hoping the writer was a retired CIA man or black ops guy writing about a few non classified tricks..but blast it, the author is younger than I am! Still he writes riveting books. Well read and well produced. (my shorthand for solid narration with no sloppy mouth sounds.)
I have listened to all of Baldacci's books on Audible.com and usually find them very entertaining, so I was looking forward to Camel Club. This one was a huge disappointment and I do not recommend it.
It reads like he wrote the general plot outline and then contracted it out to a less-capable writer.
The expositions (coming every chapter) on why the Moslem world has a bone to pick with Britain and US are overkill with a capital O. OK, we get it! Plus, it is all stuff everyone has heard before, ad infinitum, and often it does not fit into the scene. It is far beyond character motivation and background.
The female Secret Service agent's constant whining and need to prove herself are an insult to female Secret Service agents. In the middle of stealthily crossing a darkened room that may contain assassins, she stops to complain that the male agent is going first!
The entire conspiracy at the heart of the book is quite confusing - what did the plotter really hope to accomplish? Given that he almost blew up the planet, I'd say it was flawed logic from the beginning. And, eek, it looks like Baldacci plans to bring him back in future books.
The actions of acting President were ludicrous in the extreme. The only person who would write that is one who truly thinks the other political side are evil simpletons without consciences. I found it completely unbelieveable.
The ultimate actions of the intelligence director were also beyond belief - I didn't see the motivation at all.
This all comes down to bad writing, and writing apparently colored by the author's need to expound on his own views of the world at the expense of a good plot and logical motivations for the characters. Baldacci needs to learn from authors who can do it right. I have found books like The Kite Runner very enlightening in understanding the recent history of the Moslem world. It can be done without insulting your audience.
I love it when an author can present a far-fetched story that provides such entertainment that we willingly suspend disbelief for the fun of the ride. Although Baldacci may have fetched afar for this plot, he keeps us gladly reading. I think he must have a knack, because normally when unskilled authors try that trick, I go, "Oh, please!" But, in this case, when presented with the prospect of a former C.I.A. assassin reduced to willing poverty and anonymous, underground activism, I go, "Yeah? Tell me more!" We keep rooting for this rag-tag band of aging misfits -- the eponymous Camel Club -- all the way through the book, as they uncover the truth. Plus, this story provides us some scary insights into how our government (probably any government) works, and how decisions are made behind the scenes. By the time we see the news in the media, we can forget about any grain of truth concealed therein.
Interesting characters, and an interesting tale have left me wanting to read more of the adventures of the Camel Club (I believe there are 3 more stories in the series)...
AUDIBLE: Please, add a way I can easily see the books in a series, and in which order they were written. I had to google it and then come back to Audible to purchase/wishlist the rest of the series!
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
What happens to worn out, disillusioned super spies? I love the idea of a reclusive hero gathering a group of functioning- mentally ill geniuses to work on conspiracy theories. It works especially well in DC. Four crusty bachelors, each with his own remarkable talents and tragic past, deserve to find each other!
I find it believable that the hero, Oliver Stone, would actually know powerful politicians who shared his CIA background. I absolutely fell in love with each member, (charter and honorary members), of the Camel Club. I think it is a "must
listen" for that reason alone.
OK. On the one hand, this book does not aspire to be literature. I knew that going in. It occupies a genre that the author himself distinguishes at one point through an observation of one of his characters: There's literature and there is "commercial fiction." I knew he was writing a formula book, he knew it, he even wanted you to know it.
On the other hand, maybe acknowledging that distinction was just an excuse for this particular novel that fills in all the open fields on the genre template, but not much else.
I mean, it was OK, but it didn't really engage me, and that is the genre novel's most absolutely indispensable tasks: A really interesting and sometimes thrilling plot, written by a journeyman producer of "commercial fiction" in a wooden but not distractingly so style. This book is not that. The plot was too preposterous. The characters were sort of interesting, but I remember feeling when I was listening, that I really couldn't wait till it was over.
But this guy's very popular, so maybe this is just what you are looking for. But it wasn't that for me.
The Camel Clubis no great book, not even for an adventure novel, it is however just perfect for playing during commutes or on a road trip. Momemtary distractions along the way won't cause you to miss anything important.
I guess the best thing I can say is I liked it enough to get another read in the Camel Club series for my daily commute.
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