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By the Rivers of Babylon [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Nelson Demille , Len Cariou
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 7 2001
Lod Airport, Israel: Two Concorde jets take off for a U.N. conference that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Covered by F-14 fighters, accompanied by security men, the planes carry warriors, pacifists, lovers, enemies, dignitaries -- and a bomb planted by a terrorist mastermind.

Suddenly they're forced to crash-land at an ancient desert site. Here, with only a handful of weapons, the men and women of the peace mission must make a desperate stand against an army of crack Palestinian commandos -- while the Israeli authorities desperately attempt a rescue mission. In a land of blood and tears, in a windswept place called Babylon, it will be a battle of bullets and courage, and a war to the last death.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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"THERE'S LEADERSHIP, COURAGE, ROMANCE.... WHAT A GREAT MOVIE IT WOULD MAKE!" -- Columbus Dispatch --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nelson DeMille is the author of 18 acclaimed novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Night Fall, Plum Island, The Gate House, The Lion, and The Panther. His other New York Times bestsellers include Wild Fire, The Gold Coast, and The General's Daughter. For more information on the author, you can go to
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Built around the interminable Arab/Israeli conflict in the Middle East, the plot is simply enough told. Two Concorde jets, packed with a small army of politicians, diplomats, security agents and a typical administrative entourage take off from Lod Airport in Israel. Their destination is a UN peace conference that many believe will lead to a final and lasting peace in the Middle East. But there are also some so filled with hatred that they will do almost anything to sabotage the conference and ensure that the wish for peace becomes a house of cards collapsing in a hail of bullets and blood. In a cunning plan that stretches out years in the planning, a team of terrorists blow up one of the jets and skyjack the other forcing it to land in the desert along the Euphrates River.

"By the Rivers of Babylon" tells a thrilling tale of survival and the guerilla-like commando tactics of the heroic passengers of the Concorde as they struggle desperately against their attackers and attempt against all odds to reach the outside world with news of their plight in the Babylonian desert. In his first novel, DeMille makes grand statements about the nature of courage and heroism under fire, sacrifice, loyalty, altruism and love. He has crafted interesting characters such as Jacob Hausner, the security officer who cannot forgive himself for his careless oversight many years earlier that allowed the terrorists access to the Concorde's inner workings. We witness Miriam Bernstein, Golda Meir's young and beautiful hand-picked political protégé evolve away from her roots as a far left wing advocate of peace at almost any cost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrorist's nightmare. Thank God. Oct. 6 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nelson Demille's story of a highjacking of two Concordes in the Middle
East combines action with detailed planning and execution that fortells
the Sept 11 hijackings. The story is compelling and believable.
Another 'can't put it down book'. Demille can combine exacting detail
with fast-moving action and believble characterizations. The tension
is impressive throughout the book.
I wish Nelson Demille could write as fast as I can read.
He is among the FEW authors whose books I keep to read
again later.
My second read will be right before the movie comes out.
Enjoy this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful first effort March 8 2004
By Larry
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is interesting and can be quite illustrative to go back and read the first novel of a highly successful novelist. What is it that they learned over the subsequent years and multiple forays on the bestseller list? In Nelson DeMille's case, he started immediately with a suspense thriller that would be considered impressive even if written by a veteran novelist. Written in 1978, BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON resounds with today's headlines. A peace mission is flying to New York in which a treaty is to be negotiated between the Palestinians and the Israelis. High-ranking dignitaries are flying on two Concorde jets from Tel Aviv. What they do not know is that in the tail of the planes are explosives placed over a year ago as the planes were being built. Rish, a terrorist approaches the planes with his jet and threatens to blow them up unless they follow him to an unknown destination. What ensues is a standoff in the Babylonian desert between the Arab terrorists and the Israeli diplomatic team, which includes members of the military and Israeli security force.
Nelson DeMille's first effort is a fast paced and extremely clever tale that is in some respects surprisingly claustrophobic. Almost the entire book occurs in this Babylonian desert region. The book can be divided into prebattle, battle and post battle. It is obvious that Nelson DeMille was stretching the simplistic plot in an effort to bulk up the book. However, the pacing is relentless and the book can almost be consumed in one lengthy sitting. The author revealed almost twenty-five years ago that he could write a competent thriller and has perfected that task over the ensuing decades. A wonderful first effort.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
DeMille is great and several of my favorite books, "Word of Honor" for example and "The Lion's Game," are DeMille classics. He is most successful at taking an international issue, the IRA from Belfast, national, domestic letter agencies warring with eachother, and telling a tale about them, around them and through them.
Often there is a love story about which to hang other issues, and Babylon is no exception.
The peace mission . . . by that I mean THE PEACE MISSION, is about to take off and two Concords are flying from Lod Airport in Israel to New York. And as in every disaster movie, the planes are filled with people who aren't who they seem to be or who they are telling other people they are. What's new?
Security has been lax in the fetal stages of the aircrafts' building, and bombs have been placed in the tail of both aircraft.
The tool by which DeMille gets us there, in this case Babylon, is nearly irrelevant. What he does is put dozens of different people together, hawks, doves, traitors, heroes, cowards, zealots, and then throws in an untested Palestinian force (the Ashbals) with their great numbers attacking the defending Israelis. Hmmmmm. I wonder if Nelson fell asleep while watching John Wayne's "The Alamo" on cable before he began this prodigious effort?
And of course the story is brought together by DeMille's capacity to describe everything from the aluminum mesh in the baggage compartment of the Concord to mascara. And to do so very well.
The other DeMille characteristic is dialogue. He has a gift of making his characters speak in a manner in which we can nod our heads and say, 'yeah, a guy in that fix would probably have said something like that.'
If there's a drawback to Babylon I believe it is that it doesn't go anywhere. Physically I mean.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening Read.
As an ex-RCAF aircraft salvage tech/mechanic I appreciated the aircraft operational and mechanical descriptions and events.The book gave me feelings of empathy for Israel.
Published on Nov. 12 2011 by John Wiley
4.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHINGS NEVER CHANGE...
Two jets on a peace keeping mission take off in Israel. Their ultimate destination is the United Nations in New York City. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2009 by Lawyeraau
4.0 out of 5 stars Has its moments
The last third of the book really picks up, but when reading the book, it just feels weak. I do love the history that he includes and the description of Babylon. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2005 by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Awesome book! However there are some things that I didn't like. One is how Hausner, the leader of the Israel's died. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2005 by DesertWater
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much Time Has Passed and Yet . . .
I ran across this book while getting my house ready to sell. I saw that it had a 1975 copyright date and wondered if, while all that has gone on in the region since then, whether... Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by J. R Selfe
4.0 out of 5 stars Concord - what an irony
Israel's first two Concord airliners await at Lod airport to take governmment delegates to New York. Read more
Published on May 15 2003 by A. J. Cherrington
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, exciting, written a while ago, but still timely....
I loved this book and it would make a great movie....Demille hits another home run....This is one of his earlier books, but doesn't miss a beat....The story could happen today.....
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by Jeffrey Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great movie this novel would make!
I've just discovered Nelson Demille (having read "Charm School" first) and what a marvellous discovery he is! Read more
Published on Dec 14 2002 by Joelline
5.0 out of 5 stars By the Rivers of Babylon
THis review is short and sweet - the book is FANTASTIC! Ranks right up there with Word of Honor, which I also loved. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2002
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