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By Order of the President (A Presidential Agent Novel) by [Griffin, W.E.B.]
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By Order of the President (A Presidential Agent Novel) Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 622 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Proving himself solidly in control of cutting-edge military material, Griffin bases his new series not on wars past but on today's murky exigencies of terrorism and international political intrigue. Army Maj. Carlos Guillermo Castillo, whose Spanish name belies his fair-haired, blue-eyed appearance (he had a German mother), is working as a special assistant to the secretary of homeland security. Because of post-9/11 concerns, when a Boeing 727 is hijacked from a remote airport in Angola, it becomes a top priority for the U.S. government. Vicious infighting between several agencies results in a snafu that leads the U.S. president to assign Charley Castillo to use the search for the plane as an excuse to launch an investigation into the internal workings of all the government agencies and personnel who need to cooperate in terrorist situations. Griffin is more interested in military procedure than in blood, sweat and derring-do, and he resists no urge to meander through scores of pages of backstory to round out the many characters who will be series regulars. In the end, there are a few bodies to account for, but its' the meticulous investigation that leaves readers standing on the tarmac waiting for Charley Castillo and his newly minted band of can-do compatriots to touch down and carry them away again on a new adventure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Lest we forget, Griffin is the author of five series: Honor Bound, Brotherhood of War, The Corps, Badge of Honor, and Men at War--34 books in total, for those readers who are counting. His latest novel is the first volume in a new series, and it clocks in at more than 500 pages. It concerns a Boeing 727 jet that is hijacked in Angola; the two-man crew is killed. The American president, seeking to know who did the hijacking and why, asks the help of an army intelligence officer serving as an assistant to the secretary of Homeland Security. He's Delta Force Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo, a West Point graduate, pilot, and veteran of Desert Storm. Much of the plot deals with flying and a variety of aircraft, both military and civilian, and there is lots of jargon on navigation systems, landings and takeoffs, airspeeds, guns, satellite imagery, and radar--which, of course, Griffin's fans thrive on. The novel's locales include Germany; Saudi Arabia; Chad; Costa Rica; Washington, D.C.; South Carolina; Georgia; and Philadelphia--a range sure to suit, again, his legion of readers, who probably will guess the story's outcome from the start. But, of course, it is the getting there that is the fun. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1982 KB
  • Print Length: 622 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (Dec 27 2005)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001A8FGEG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,831 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: MP3 CD
I have a really hard time chucking a book before it ends but, honestly, I spent a LOT of this book wondering when, please God, it would ever end. I am not a reader that requires a lot of gripping action, sitting on the edge of my seat or anything but this has to be one of the slowest, most boring books I have ever read. The introduction is good enough and then the story descends into utterly monotonous detail, wandering aimlessly all over the place. There is SO much repetition. The working hypothesis about what has happened to a missing plane is outlined seven or eight times over the space of a chapter or two. I don't think I have ever muttered, "Oh, come ON! Get ON with it!" during any other book.

The main character is completely unbelievable. He is SUPPOSED to be highly intelligent, incredibly brave and utterly irresistible to women. There is no evidence of any of these traits based on his dialogue. Instead he acts and talks like a silly cliche frat boy pretending to be someone important. I have a hard time believing that any woman over the age of eighteen would find anything noteworthy about him, let alone irresistible. Again, MUCH repetition. Every one that meets him is SO impressed with him, so fascinated, for which there is simply no support. His conversation is banal in the extreme.

As if that wasn't enough, the book is also offensive to nearly everyone except the good old white boys' network. There is lots of homophobia, many references to "ragheads," and more male chauvinism than I have encountered in a long time.

This is my first W.E.B. Griffin book and obviously it will be my last. My impression of the author is that he has a secret wish to be Mickey Spillane or yearns to create a character like Sean Connery's James Bond but he misses by many country miles. My advice is don't waste your money and, more importantly, your time.
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A typical W.E.B. Griffin thriller!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa353f798) out of 5 stars 234 reviews
98 of 110 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa30df468) out of 5 stars Newest WEB Griffin Series Nov. 6 2004
By ROBIN MCCALL - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WEB Griffin does it again with this great new series set in modern times. If you have not read other WEB Griffin books, it is important to understand that his military readers treat his books like military history, instead of military fiction. Until now, most of his military books have dealt with WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

This new series displays his knowledge of the modern military. BY ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT continues the Griffin mode of only writing 5 star books. It deals with all new heroes from Special Forces, other military, and Homeland Security. This new series has all new good guys, some of whom we recognize, and all new bad guys. Carlos Castillo and his friends are modern heroes, fighting international enemies. Be sure you read the dates on the chapter headings, or you will think that Griffin is changing military history, instead of just providing "flashback" background information.

The military community waits restlessly for each new Griffin book, wishing that he would write more than one a year. But don't despair, he already has 9 books each in his Army and Marine Corps series, and 7 in his two series about the OSS. There is also an excellent Police series. They are all worth re-reading each time a new book comes out in the series. This is the only author whose books I re-read on a regular basis.

WEB Griffin is truly the dean of American Military story tellers, because he makes you live the experience, and has wonderful inside stories, that are only shared by military people with their friends. If you really want to know about how good our military guys are, you need to read all his books, but each one is a pleasure to read on its own.
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa30df6b4) out of 5 stars Oh, dear God... Nov. 20 2004
By Dan the Gun Toting Book Junkie - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
Web, I liked this one, if you're reading this, PLEASE finish one of your other series first. There are plenty of other people who can handle the Special Forces novels.

I waited almost 15 years for the "last" Brotherhood of War novel. I've read and reread my copies of that until the things fell apart, not to mention the copies my squad leader in Korea never returned.

You couldn't even finish WWII with the cast of the Corps, and instead skipped to Korea. For God's sake, does Charley Galloway marry Catherine, and what the hell does Weston do about his love life problems without having Pick Pickering kill him for nailing Martha?

I've been waiting for a fifth in the OSS series for a few years now.

We don't know if von Wachstein makes it back from Uruguay alive in the Blood and Honor series.

Finish something else first!!!!
70 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa30df8f4) out of 5 stars Whose Army Is This? April 7 2005
By Major Kev - Published on
Format: Hardcover
All of us Griffin fans have put up with a lot over the years while enjoying the bottom line: the characters and the story. We suffer through much of the following in each series: a fifth of each book rehashs previous books; suffer through the fact that apparently a tenth of the American officer corps is wealthy or from old main-line families; suffer through little inaccuracies; and we have to wait up to a year before the next novel comes out - although he does not appear to have finished a series since B.O.W. The series have, however, become formulaic - one could change McCoy's or Frade's insignia and they could be dropped into any of the other series without any real disruption.

The latest, `By Order of the President' is so full of factual errors and apparent editing mistakes that I can not recommend it in good conscience. I really get the impression that Griffin is taking advantage of his readers. The myriad of mistakes makes it hard to read, particularly for those of us who are professional Soldiers and in the intelligence business.

On page 67, DTG is `1545, 7 March 1981'. The next subchapter DTG is `0740, 7 March 1981', eight hours earlier. Oops. The editing errors continue throughout the book.

The real mistakes are hard to believe. He has the Commander, 11 ACR worried about Soviet T-34 tanks coming through the Fulda gap in 1981! I seem to remember being worried about T-63s, T-64s, and such. Page 72 refers to a `Baker Troop', yet the US Army had not used that phonetic term since WWII. Griffin appears to be confusing old Marine terminology with the modern Army. On page 73, a photo caption from the regimental newspaper of 1969 refers to a character as a `WOJG'. In 1969, we had had the numbered Warrant Officer ranks of today for some time. It gets worse - he has a character using a cell phone in 1981, for God's sakes! Later he refers to Warrant Officers as `CWO-3' and `CWO-4' - which are how the Navy/USMC refers to their Warrants. Towards the end of the book he mentions how a `CWO-5' is paid almost as much as a Colonel. The most current Army pay chart shows the difference between the most senior CW5 and a junior COL at almost 2000 dollars a month - in favor of the Colonel; a little more than `almost'!

Page 117: Castillo is on the promotable list for LTC, and that he goes to the bottom of the list to be promoted only if `...some Special Forces LTC retires, or gets dead or promoted...". What crap - the US Army promotion policy has not reflected that system since the 1930s.

Page 121: the story segment is taking place in January 1991, and Griffin refers to the `Boeing AH-64B'. I seem to remember that in 1991, they were still McDonald-Douglas produced, and we were flying the AH64A model.

Throughout the book, he has modern military characters referring to people as `sonofabitches'. Not since the early '60s have Soldiers used that as a negative descriptor. We tend to use the word that starts with `mother' and ends with something else.

He constantly has Soldiers referred to, or using, only their initials for their first and middle names. That's a USMC thing. In the Army, we use full first name, middle initial, and last name. There are a few exceptions to the initials rule, but it tends to be Soldiers like LTC H.R. McMaster - and when you are a war hero, you can pretty much do as you please.

He mentions the `2303d Civil Government Detachment' - we do not have any organizations like that - even if they are used as cover. I think he meant to say the `2303d Civil Affairs Detachment'. Another left over WWII / 1950s term.

He mentions the `Counterintelligence Corps' - we do not have a separate CI Corps anymore, and no one uses that to describe the CI forces we do have.

He talks about General Officers having ` solid stripe down the seam of their trousers...". On the Army Green uniform (Class A's), US Army Generals have a double stripe down their seam, the rest of us have a single stripe.

He talks about XVIII Airborne Corps Soldiers wearing black berets, and implies that there are only two colors of berets in the Army - back and green! I think that if you go to Fort Bragg, you will see a whole lot of maroon berets being worn by paratroopers, and then in Ranger Battalions, you will see a lot of tan berets. No to mention, the obvious errors like having Soldiers stationed at Bragg wearing desert BDUs all the time on Post. And someone needs to tell Griffin that no one in SOC calls '1st SFOD-A' the `Delta Force' - that's the movies. Professionals call it just `Delta'.

And since when are the people of Somalia described as `Somalians'. My spell checker does not even recognize it as a word. When we were not using other terms like `skinnies', we called them `Somalis' as does the National Geographic. What would Griffin call Afghans, "Afghanians"?

It goes on and on throughout this book - glaring mistakes about military life and operations. For an author who is touted as being able to describe what it is like as a Soldier like no one else, he needs to go back to Army 101 and see how we live now - not in the 1940s/50s - all must be based on Griffin's service in the '40s and `50s. And last, but certainly not least - the whole premise of the Castillo character is just plain silly. To think that a Major in the US Army has the ear of the President and regularly orders General Officers around like Charlie does is stretching the basic WEB format a bit too much.

I wanted to enjoy `By Order of the President', but every other page in my copy is marked up with red pen marks as I highlighted mistakes and inaccuracies. Could have been another great guilty-pleasure read by Griffin, but ...... Not this time! Very disappointing.
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa30dfb70) out of 5 stars Not for the politically correct April 24 2005
By John A Lee III - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WEB Griffin books have a habit of causing me problems. I like them too much. When I start one, I tend to get very little else done until it is finished. Unfortunately, this latest offering has the same property and they always seem to come at inconvenient times like during exams, or when a major project is coming due. It's worth the price.

This is the first book of a new series. Instead of reaching back into history, it tackles real issues now. It does so with all of the traits that have come to be expected of Griffin's books. These trait have rightfully been condemned as formulaic but, in this case, the formula works.

The focus of the book is the war or terrorism. This is a much more difficult war to portray than the second world war, Korea or Vietnam. Its nature is such that the role of intelligence and the lack of intelligence are even more problematic than normal. This gives an even greater opportunity for Griffin to write about the special operations types he obviously loves. It also provides an opportunity for his to take a critical and sometimes scathing look at the cultures of the communities who gather, process and disemminate that intelligence.

As is to be expected in a Griffin Book, the protagonist is the wealthy playboy type. This device is used so often by him that it would be laughable were it not for the fact that it works and works well.

Another characteristic of his work is here in full force as well. It is certainly not politically correct. Griffin pull no punches in defference to race, national origin or religion. He calls them as he sees them and is likely to offend some people. The same people who are offended, however, miss the fact that he is also very respectful of those from other races, nations and cultures. The key to his treatment of people is how they behave and not the color of their skin of nation of origin. Are they honorable? (by Griffin's standards)

I hope that this is just a taste of things to come. I look forward to seeing more of Castillo and seeing the bad guys lose.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Richard Aubrey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read most of Griffin's stuff. I find his books interesting, particularly if I presume he gets the details of cultures, and lands, and so forth right.

I do object to the permanent technique of having one of the main characters be rich as a three-armed King Midas.

Having bags, buckets, and trucks of money usually allows the characters to skip annoying practical issues.

Need a plane? Write a check for one.

Get a room in wartime DC? Hell, your old man owns the best hotel in town. No more hotbunking in a phone booth.

Need a drink? There's a case of Famous Grouse in the corner.

How about a woman? The next one you meet will fall irretrievably in love with you, taking off her panties while giving you her last name.

Nobody lives in a Motel 8, watching basic cable and wondering how he's going to stretch his per diem to the end of the month.

Now, something has to be done to get Our Heroes from one important place to another. In the old romance novels where the hero sees all at Waterloo, he must be a staff officer, required to ride to wherever what's happening is happening. He's never a battery commander who sees only smoke and shapeless forms in the smoke and doesn't know if the battle is lost or won for about two more days.

Griffin has the same problem, but makes far too much use of wealth and friends who can give each other promotions or orders from, say, training new recruits to snooping and pooping in darkest Africa.

Still, if you like whiskey, and sit up late with a Griffin book, you'll have a terrific read.

It's fun, but it's not serious.