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Dynamite Fishermen [Kindle Edition]

Preston Fleming
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Beirut, 1982. Conrad Prosser is a skilled Arabist, expert agent handler, prolific intelligence reporter, and a connoisseur of Beirut's underground nightlife. But, as his two-year tour at the U.S. Embassy nears its end, Prosser's intelligence career is in jeopardy because he has not recruited an agent while in Lebanon, a sine qua non requirement for promotion.

Surveying his many contacts, Prosser selects an attractive Lebanese doctoral student and her idealistic brother as candidates for development. At the same time, he holds clandestine meetings by day and night with his string of Lebanese and Palestinian agents, pressing them to discover who is behind the latest wave of car bombings that has terrorized Muslim West Beirut. But when one of his agents supplies information used to capture a Syrian-backed bombing team, Prosser sets off a cycle of retaliation that threatens more than his career and cherished way of life.

At first denying, then later concealing, apparent attempts on his life, Prosser sets out to save both his job and his skin, exploiting his agents, his best friend, a former lover, his new girlfriend and her enigmatic brother. In doing so, he puts their lives at risk and discovers too late the effect of his heedless actions.

DYNAMITE FISHERMEN offers complex characters, fast-paced action, a vivid portrayal of human intelligence operations and the pungent flavor of Beirut during its dark days of civil upheaval.

Editorial Reviews


"Conrad Prosser, immersed in the civil disorder of early-'80s Beirut, employs whatever means are necessary to expose the organization behind a series of car bombings. The possibility of bloodshed at any moment keeps the story at an elevated level of suspense. Even the more languid moments move with a searing undertone. Uncertainty among the characters, coupled with relentless gunfire and explosions, make for an extraordinary novel, each page as eruptive as the city providing the setting." KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Dynamite Fishermen is an absolute stunner of a novel. It's clear Fleming has done his research and it shows in the seamless dialogue and the ease at which he tackles the task of conveying the wartime ambiance. This is a must-read for history buffs - although I feel strongly everyone will enjoy the rapid pace and captivating suspense. Fleming is a writer deserving of many accolades." SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

"In Dynamite Fishermen, Preston Fleming depicts heedless violence as a way of life from the perspective of an American intelligence officer. The story falls during a lull in the long running Lebanese civil war, a period plagued by daily car bombings, civilian shootings, artillery attacks and other mayhem. As many details of this conflict continue to reverberate today, this intelligently written novel provides a compelling page-turner and a memorable story." PACIFIC BOOK REVIEW

"An intelligence officer who has dodged making decisions and cleaning up his messes is forced to face the consequences, showing resourcefulness and last when he must. Fleming does know how to spin a yarn... his fiction has more verisimilitude than many others in the genre." BOOKPLEASURES.COM

From the Author

I wrote Dynamite Fishermen and Bride of a Bygone War to clear my head after eleven years of government service in places like Beirut, Cairo, Tunis, Jeddah, and Amman.  I had already decided to write novels at age fourteen, during my first year as a boarding student at Exeter.  My English instructor, a World War II combat veteran, advised those of us who wanted to follow the path of Melville, Conrad and Hemingway to first go out and live some adventures so that we would have stories that people might want to read. My adventures started in the Middle East and continued in Washington, Europe, the Russian Far East, Maui, Utah, New York and Boston.   Though my most recent novels are set far from Beirut in a future dystopian America, I intend to write more stories set in the Middle East before long.

Product Details

  • File Size: 555 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: PF Publishing (January 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EV84PS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,864 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By kas
Format:Kindle Edition
Review of *Dynamite Fishermen*
by Preston Fleming

I forget which book website I was perusing and when exactly I first learned of Preston Fleming and this particular novel, which is the first in his Beirut Trilogy. It was at least a couple of months ago, and I was immediately gripped with an intense desire to begin reading the series that did not lessen until my schedule finally allowed me to take up and enjoy this treat over the past week. In fact, I immediately moved on to the second novel in the trilogy, Bride of a Bygone War -- a review for which will be posted on this site soon. As this reading behavior suggests, Fleming didn't let me down a jot after all my eager anticipation to read his work. Dynamite Fishermen definitely satisfied my uniquely high expectations for an enjoyable read.

My unusual enthusiasm for and ultimate engagement with this particular narrative stems from personal interests I have in Lebanese history and culture as an American who not only traces half her ancestry to that country but grew up seeing various elements of what I now recognize as its culture and tradition manifest in the personality and lifestyle of a dearly beloved parent. Having never visited and knowing very little about Lebanon until recent years, I was ravenous for a narrative that would immerse my imagination in Beirut during a critical period in the nation's history. This personal factor also served to make me feel quite uncomfortable on a number of occasions during the course of the story.

All that said, the book appealed to me in several respects that I think would be fully -- and in some cases even more -- appreciable by readers without any extreme imaginative susceptibility to fiction set in Lebanon (i.e. most of you reading this, no doubt). .
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamite Fisherman November 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Beirut has always seemed like a melting pot of sectarian and religious conflict. This book does nothing to diminish this feeling - East v. West, Muslim v. Christian, Iraq v. Iran, Jews v. Arabs, Shiite v. Sunni, Israel v. PLO, not to mention the Syrians and Lebanese. Prosser the CIA agent is constantly going through "no man's land" the "green line". Shelling and small arms fire are continually making background noise and sometimes closer including direct hits. The dynamite fishermen are symbolic as they kill hundreds of fish off the coast by throwing dynamite in the water only to bring the very few to market. The author has a wonderful way of making one feel they are on site due to the attention to detail and specificity of the places where the action takes place and there is plenty of action. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feeling Beirut in my bones November 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From my windows in West-Beirut*s Ain el Mreisseh I saw the real dynamite fishermen at work, and as a foreign correspondent I also met Preston Fleming's diplomatic fishermen in real life. I finnished the book in a day. I like the colourful way he writes, and I am hungry for more. Thank you.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorting Out Lebanon... December 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Identified by the author as the first installment of his Beirut Trilogy, Dynamite Fishermen by Preston Fleming is your gateway into the politics of today's Middle East and your introduction to the deception and intrigue that goes along with it. Prosser, the main character, reveals his 1980s world to you immediately, a war-torn Lebanon with a rich assortment of players and colorful characters. Although I remember nothing about two nights in 1971 that I spent in Beirut, the Paris of the Middle East, Fleming's descriptions made it all very real to me once more. Because of my own experiences in the region [Iran], I could easily relate to the mix of interests and the ethnological soup that still exists there today. And their weapon of choice, the car bomb, is still making the Nightly News.

I found the author's descriptions of both people and places in the story to be quite well done and the dialogues to be equally believable; kudos. By the time I finished reading Fishermen, I found myself wanting to find out more about the conditions in Lebanon today and wanting to learn about how the characters, that I came to know and empathize with, evolved. Because I believe in the tremendous power of good novels to promote a greater understanding of complex issues, I look forward to reading the rest of Fleming's trilogy soon.

Conveying the realities of a turbulent Middle East with words is no easy matter in today's media-driven world but I do like the way Fleming tells a story. He has obviously mixed real events and personal experiences into the dialogue that has enriched the characters and the storytelling experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK July 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting and it's hard for me to think that people really have to live in conditions like this but I did enjoy the book. I had never read anything by Preston Fleming before but after reading this book I bought another of his books BRIDE OF A BYGONE WAR, it was just as good as DYNAMITE FISHERMEN.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Beirut adventure May 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The title doesn't really fit the story, but this is a well written, believable novel. Interesting and story moves along well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
This was indeed a good read. It pulled me into the story. I definitely reccomend. It gave a sense of life in that place and time.
Published 1 month ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect combination of Intrigue, suspense, romance and history
When I was a youngster, I thought it would be fun to be a spy (what kid didn’t?). Life got in the way, though and it wasn’t to be. Until now. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tumbleweed
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Historical Setting in Lebanon, But No Story
“Dynamite Fishermen” by Preston Fleming is set in Lebanon in the early 1980s -- I think -- during the time when Henry Kissinger was US Secretary of State. Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Island
2.0 out of 5 stars The Author Presumes too Much of the Reader
I am a news junkie and am much more informed about the Middle East than your average reader. I have also traveled to the area a number of times although I have never been to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Spy Story in 1980'ties Beirut.The real deal.
The book start off fast and you are immersed in the story from the beginning. The detail is just sufficient to give you a vivid picture of the situation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jesper Nielsen
4.0 out of 5 stars fast-paced and gripping
That was my second Fleming and it was as gorgeous as the first one (Bride of a Bygone War). It takes place in Beirut in the 80s. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ameise1
5.0 out of 5 stars Spy With Assets
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. A very well developed spy thriller with the main character (Conrad) that we can root for. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read of forgotten history
Since I received my first book by [Preston Fleming] through Library Thing I have been impressed. [Dynamite Fishermen] did not disappoint me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by christine hooker
4.0 out of 5 stars Spies, Intrigues, and Danger
My traditional style of reviewing isn't going to work for this book. Here's why Mr. Fleming has create another unique covert operations book that surpasses my dislike of political... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The life of a spy.
I received this book free from the author through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. Conrad Prosser is a political spy/diplomat working out of the U. S. Read more
Published 7 months ago by QA
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More About the Author

Preston Fleming was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He left home at age fourteen to accept a scholarship at a New England boarding school and went on to a liberal arts college in the Midwest. After earning an MBA, he managed a non-profit organization in New York before joining the U.S. Foreign Service and serving in U.S. Embassies around the Middle East for nearly a decade. Later he studied at an Ivy League law school and since then pursued a career in law and business. He has written five novels.

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