The Last Days Hardcover – Oct 21 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Rosenberg's sequel to the bestselling The Last Jihad (2002) is a near-clone of its predecessor: an action-packed Clancyesque political thriller with paper-thin characters. Presidential envoy Jon Bennett returns as the protagonist, along with his bodyguard and love interest, Erin McCoy, an "Uzi-toting, Arabic-speaking CIA supermodel." Their efforts to broker a Middle East peace, whose centerpiece is a fortuitously discovered deep oil reserve with the potential to make every Israeli and Palestinian wealthy, are literally blown to pieces when a suicide bomber claims the life of the U.S. secretary of state and Yasser Arafat himself. The surviving members of the American delegation, along with the Palestinian and Israeli entrepreneurs behind the oil-drilling venture, are scrambling frantically to escape from the Gaza Strip when civil war breaks out among the factions grappling to succeed Arafat as leader. Meanwhile, the sinister forces behind the attack seek to wreak further havoc by dispatching teams of terrorists to America while provoking the Israeli government to trigger a wider conflagration by invading the West Bank and Gaza. The author singularly fails to suspend readers' disbelief with his baffling decision to set the action in the year 2010 while simultaneously placing real-life events from 2003 such as the invasion of Iraq and the appointment of Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) as Palestinian prime minister seven years in the future. His efforts to make the book a relevant, "ripped-from-the-headlines" tale are already dated-the real Abu Mazen has resigned his post-and the fantasy solution to the intractable political conflict by a deus ex machina will strike many readers as silly.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It's the near future. Osama bin Laden is dead; so are Saddam Hussein and his sons. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been wiped out. Iraq is in ruins, and it's up to Jon Bennett, the U.S. president's senior advisor, to find a way to rebuild it. Central to this effort is a "massive and spectacular tract of oil and natural gas" discovered in the Mediterranean, a source of wealth that could bring peace to the Middle East. But will 81-year-old Yassar Arafat let peace reign? That becomes a moot point when Arafat is assassinated by a suicide bomber, and our hero, Bennett, is suddenly all that stands between peace and global destruction. Like the first Bennett novel, The Last Jihad (2002), this one is a timely tale of political intrigue and international terrorism. That's the good thing. The bad thing is that (also like its predecessor) the novel features stilted dialogue, crudely drawn characters, and a generally clunky narrative style. The author is clearly an expert in international politics, but his skills as a storyteller have yet to be revealed. Still, Rosenberg is scheduled for interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Hannity and Colmes, which will create demand. David Pitt
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Top Customer Reviews
of the murder of Arafat, by one of his own henchmen. The ensuing power struggle, and civil war for leadership of the terrorist organization, not unlike a Mafia power struggle, leaves you stunned, and gasping for breath.( In my opinion, I would have let them kill each other off, then we be done with them, once and for all!)
A Peace Plan between Isreal, and Palastine to drill for oil, making citizens of both parties wealthy? Sorry, it wouldn't happen. Terrorist are too hate driven to allow any peace plan to work. Arafat has been offered land more than once, and he refused it, because his, and most of militant Islam's whole purpose isn't to get their own land, but the deaths, and destruction of Isrealis, Christians, and everyone else they consider "Infidels".
The book gives you insight into the Isreali Palastinian(Philistine) problems, and is a lot of fun to read! Better in many ways than the first book "The Last Jihad".
Rosenberg worked as a communications strategist with Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, and Benjamin Netanyahu. He's advised some of the world's most influential leaders in business, politics and media.
I think the review has more to do with Mr. R's politics than it does his writing skills.
In this novel, Jon Bennett returns to the Holy Land with a US diplomatic team headed by Tucker Paine, the Secretary of State. As they arrive at the Palestinian Authority compound, Yasser Arafat is rolled out in a wheelchair to meet them. The man pushing the chair is the head of Arafat's security, but he detonates an explosive vest that kills Arafat and others around him, including Tucker Paine.
Immediately after the explosion, someone starts firing on the diplomatic convey from across the road. Others start firing from the PA building. Bennett keeps his head down, but it soon becomes obvious that they have to get out of the compound and back to Israeli territory. He climbs behind the wheel of the armored limo, gets everybody left alive back inside, and drives furiously out of the compound and down the road, with Palestinian vehicles chasing him.
Bennett and the other survivors are cut off from the Israelis, but find shelter is a top secret safehouse in an old gutted-out hotel in the Gaza Strip. From there, they contact other US forces in the area and plan an escape. However, severe weather has grounded all aircraft in the area, precluding any rescue until the storm abates.Read more ›
So many complications would seem to block any path to peace. Enter presidential envoy extraordinaire Jon Bennett, assisted by Bondesque beauty-with-bountiful-brains Erin McCoy. Together they work to bring about ultrasecret negotiations between the Israeli prime minister and the new Palestinian prime minister for the mother of all peace agreements. Upping the ante, Bennett's mother is suddenly discovered missing from her Florida apartment, apparently kidnapped by terrorists.
Rosenberg's first novel, The Last Jihad, was a national bestseller. Critics wondered if he was a one-book wonder. The Last Days decisively answers that--there will be many more of Rosenberg's riveting reads. (review appeared in FORBES magazine, December 9, 2003)
There, I just had to get that off my chest. And now you know my secret --- that even though I could be called a snob when it comes to fiction, I have a soft spot for fast-paced global political thrillers in which Americans are always the good guys. It's my own form of escapism.
That's why when I read that Joel C. Rosenberg's latest book was "Clancyesque" it was a good omen in my eyes. Indeed, THE LAST DAYS, the bestselling sequel to the bestselling THE LAST JIHAD, is a breathless geopolitical roller coaster ride. It follows on the heels of THE LAST JIHAD's war on terrorism plotline to focus on the potential for peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
The cast of characters is familiar to readers of THE LAST JIHAD and Jon Bennett, Wall Street strategist come senior White House advisor, takes the lead as the architect of a plan for peace between Israel and Palestine. Its basis? Vast oil reserves found in the region stand to make every Palestinian and Israeli man, woman and child wealthy beyond their dreams if they can just learn to work together.
Assassinations and attempted assassinations ensue. A Palestinian civil war breaks out and several shadowy groups with their own interests do their best to wreak havoc with attacks on sensitive locals such as the Dome of the Rock and Washington D.C. Admittedly, for reasons I'll talk about in a moment, I wanted to put this book down. But I couldn't. I was hooked and had to know what would happen next. Perhaps my biggest endorsement of the book would be the fact that I stayed up until 3AM to finish it.
One of the ways Rosenberg creates the narrative vortex that sucks you in is by warping the timeline and populating his story with real people in imaginary places.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was an excellent book to read! Very thrilling - right to the last page! Extremely well written Joel Rosenberg!!! Keep up the good work!!!Published 13 days ago by Lynette C.
Amazingly tells the the story of our times in an interesting action filled fictional read.Published 23 days ago by Dirk Wiens
Highly recommended for anyone who read The Left Behind series. This one is more believable and uses current events to fill out the story. More truth than fiction.Published on May 21 2013 by Barbara Ann Derksen
I ordered three books by Joel Rosenberg and they arrived within three days!!! Amazing! Thanks
This book starts out explosive, but seems to get somewhat intrenched in backstory and tends to go on with long periods of time between action sequences. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Scott Clark
The book was very slow, only really keeping my attention the last few chapters. The description sounded like it would be action packed, but just moved very slow. Read morePublished on May 4 2004 by Robert Bishop
This absolutely outstanding story provides very engrossing and titillating reading. The author brings to his writing tremendous geopolitical insights and an extraordinary mastery... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004