The six (Rachel Paulson, Alexander Bonner, Branko Rosza, Mickey Dooley, Martin Booth, and Beijing exchange student Lee Tai Ling) first met at Stanford and realized they shared an interest in China; Barry Lavin served as a mentor father figure encouraging them. Thus these scholars formed the MANDARIN CLUB to discuss China and hopefully make a better world by understanding the culture. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter following up on President Nixon's opening the diplomatic door, recognizes trade with the People's Republic of China. Suddenly the club members are no longer inane nonentities as Wall St and Uncle Sam need experts, which The Mandarin Club members contain.
Over time, each became a success. Rachel is a highly regarded Beltway lobbyist. Alexander is an investigative reporter following leads on intelligence leaks. Branko is chief of the China desk at the CIA. Dooley sells technology to the Communists. Martin works for the Congress. Lee keeps an eye on his country and his five associates as he still hopes for a free China. These six and their mentor will soon be caught in an international game of cat and mouse in which China and the United States appear heading to war; they are the only hope to prevent pandemic catastrophe.
This is a terrific modern day thought-provoking character driven espionage thriller that enables the audience through the MANDARIN CLUB members to eavesdrop on the DC powerbrokers. The action is fast-paced and fun to follow, but it is keeping the sextet consistent and genuine that makes the tale worth reading. Gerald Felix Warburg will have the audience pondering over abstract concepts like what and who is truly the patriot and who is the ideologue wrapping exclusive labels within the flag. Anyone opposed to the Patriot Act is obviously an anti-patriot. This fabulous tale never slows down as the audience sees closely how DC and to a degree Beijing react to a potentially lethal crisis caused by one another.
Espionage has never been a genre I enjoyed. The characters tend to be flat, the plots similar, and for a genre that is supposed to thrill, the writing style usually limps. The Mandarin Club surprised me in that (1) it held my interest, (2) it was thrilling yet actually believable, and (3) it was obviously from an informed insider's perspective. This is not the rank-and-file spy/international intrigue novel that so many people lap up like so many bon bons. This is the thinking person's thriller.
I believe Mr. Warburg should take time to live in both China and Taiwan before putting his views in words for 5 billion people to laugh at. A Great book if Mr. Warburg is writing satirical fiction based on Washington D. C. stereotypes like himself. A quick read, perhaps too quick, filled w/ sound bites instead of what could so easily be actual hair raising facts, if written by any number of senior officials in the U.S. and abroad during these times of complex, futuristic twists that define the Chinese race, their chameleon lifestyles, and laws, in both Taiwan and the mainland. Pearl S. Buck's writing is more informative than this book. Just skip it.
written in novel form. very well done and a tight, fast moving plot to the end. i would recommend it as entertainment and as a booklet for help in understanding American and Chinese cultural differences, and the political ramifications to us, the USA.
The topic of Mainland China versus Taiwan could easily be the world's next major conflict, and the author has a head start. It is a engaging read about behind-the-scenes Washington. The characters are fictional, but the situations are real.
$17.00 for the Kindle Edition of this book...and for what exactly?? Am I paying for the ink? Nope. The pages? Nope. The man hours of packaging and delivery? Again, no. WHAT?? WHAT am I paying for????? For shame.