The sixth book in James Clavell's epic Asian Saga tells the story of three weeks in Tehran in February 1979 - three weeks of passion, self-sacrifice, and heartbreak.
When the shah is thrown out of Iran, the nation's turmoil becomes world headlines. Caught in this shifting world of fanaticism, ambition, duplicity, and violent death are the foreign helicopter pilots who have been servicing the oil fields up and down the country. Their one objective is to make a bold, concerted escape to safety across the Gulf.
©1986 James Clavell (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Finally the unabridged version of this fascinating book from James Clavell ! I've read and loved the book many years ago and now I'm starting it all over again. I will write a full review as soon as I will have finished it, for now I am very happy from part 1 to say that the reader does a great job. Being my first listen to him I was afraid, but now I'm sure he is maintaining if not enhancing the magic of the book ! Highly recommended.
This is last of James Clavel's six tomes based on various parts of the Orient. This begins the day the Ayatollah lands in Tehran following the departure of the Shah. A British-Iranian helicopter company providing support services for the Iranian state oil company is Clavel's framework for this saga which ends prior to majority of the US embassy brouhaha.
As in all his tomes, Clavel utilizes his occidental characters to introduce us to his primary character - the country in which the story takes place, in this case, Iran.
What is difficult for many western readers to grasp is exactly how ancient these societies of the Orient are. In the case of Persian Iran, some 4,000 years old. The very maturity of all these oriental societies prejudice their outlook on the outside world with an ingrained chauvinism that is highly misunderstood and resented by the outside world. Clavel never says whether this attitude is good or bad, simply that it exists. (He does insinuate that parts are good in all his books).
The added f factor in the story is the various flavors of Islam conflicting. In this case there are moderates, socialists, extremists and Kurds fighting for supremacy. For most of the tome no one know which side the Ayatollah will support. All use the Takbir, "Allāhu akbar ", as their battle cry. The urban society doesn't want to surrender the freedoms exercised historically. The rural extremists desire to bring sharia to Iran. The smallest group of Iranians are the Soviet influenced socialists who are either students or live along Iran's northern border with the Soviet Union. Intermingled into this are the military, the secret police, various external spy agencies, the existing aristocracy, the desire to maintain the flow of oil, etc. All sides are completely convinced that what they are doing is "in sha Allah". Literally meaning, "God willing", but used colloquially to mean, "God's will". If one can grasp just this concept, one can understand much of what Clavel is trying to say.
Narration is superb.
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