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Dynamite Fishermen [Kindle Edition]

Preston Fleming
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

FROM SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
American Embassy worker Conrad Prosser simply can’t catch a break in Fleming’s captivating novel. Despite his fluency in Arabic and impeccable record of gathering intelligence, he’s overlooked for promotion. Then he discovers he’s being followed. Perhaps his affair with the beautiful Rima (sister of a prospective agent) will help soothe his soul – although that, too, seems unlikely to last.
The beauty in the story lies in Fleming’s description of the ways people carry on in the face of daily violence. Markets close during the violence, but open at the first sign of cease-fire. Nightlife continues to throb with people looking for a good time and a strong drink. Love blossoms and dies. Jobs are gained and lost. Fleming’s understanding of the way individuals carry on despite the turmoil seems genuine and spot on.
Set in the mid-80’s Beirut, 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. Preston Fleming is a writer deserving of many accolades.

FROM PACIFIC BOOK REVIEW
In Dynamite Fishermen, set in Beirut in the early 1980's, 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 almost daily car bombings, civilian shootings, artillery attacks and other mayhem. The complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict and inter-Arab conflicts play out in small clashes throughout Beirut, making it a microcosm of the Middle East.
Conrad Prosser is an American intelligence agent whose routine is to meet with his local contacts and glean whatever news will help to analyze the overlapping conflicts. His constant exposure to violence has left him with a fatalistic attitude because there is really nothing anybody can do in Beirut to be safe.
Prosser's relationships with his sources are impersonal. His relationships with women are no better. Ultimately, he has no purpose except to survive and do his job, and the women in his life invariably become involved in some way with his work. As many details of this conflict continue to reverberate today, this intelligently written novel provides a compelling page-turner and a memorable story.

PRODUCT 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 flavor of Beirut during its dark days of ci


Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 decency...at 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: 2086 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:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,496 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1981 Beirut, Told As If By An Insider December 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I found Preston Fleming's spy thriller set in 1981 Beirut, Lebanon, a bit slow to start with. Seeing that it's quite a long work, I thought I might struggle to remain interested in what appeared early on to be a turgid documentary of a desk jockey's exotic after-hours life in the Middle East.

But it kept drawing me back, and proved a satisfying read. Mr. Fleming writes well - he creates atmosphere and tension, and makes one care about the everyday people lost in the fog of someone else's war.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Author Presumes too Much of the Reader May 23, 2014
By Laker
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 Beirut. In spite of this, I found the book to be pretty hard to read and follow. First the author spends considerable amounts of time talking about businesses, streets, green lines etc. etc. but includes no maps to orient the reader. I would have preferred some maps instead of all the verbal gymnastics. Second, the author talks about all of the political groups, where they dominate, etc. etc. I have some knowledge of these groups and their allegiances, but it really is too much to expect the reader to keep up with all their names, who they represent, and what they are trying to accomplish, especially from thirty years ago. Also I find it kind of boring that the author is telling a story about spying etc. when the technology was fax machines, onionskin paper, and physical message drops, who is really interested in how these things were done years ago.

I also found it really hard to keep track of the characters and who they were, I did not find it interesting to try to remember who was doing what. This was a book were the Kindle X-ray would have helped but it was not included in this book. Also the characters were very one dimensional, so the reader never really get's a chance to understand who they are.

In my mind the two biggest events in Lebanon were the bombing of the marine barracks and the U.S, embassy and so I thought all the way through the book that the author was leading up to these really important events. Unfortunately the story is not about the build-up to these events because they never happen in the book. How is it possible they are not included?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great example of the realistic spy-thriller genre August 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read several novels by Preston Fleming and I have not been disappointed yet. They are well-written, timely, plenty of action and well-developed characters. This book presents the setting of Beirut in the 1980's amid all of the conflicts going on at that time. This is a realistic spy novel, not one of the over-the-top spy novels (although I like those too). I would suggest, for those of us who do not know the history of those times and the area, that a brief factual history of the time period and some maps be included in the book. There are a lot of different factions involved in this story, and it can get confusing as to the allegiances of these factions. Overall, this is a great read, and I am looking forward to reading all of Preston Fleming's books.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spies, Intrigues, and Danger January 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
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 intrigue since my days in college. Mr. Fleming gives a fast paced and intriguing account of spying game thru the eyes of operative. The Dynamite Fishermen showcase an unique level of political intrigue that has pushed aside my dislike of political type books. The story showcases how easily, quickly, and dangerous it is to be a spy in Beirut. Mr. Fleming's vast background makes this book credible and heart pounding exciting too. I could identify with the lead male character on many levels personally~the fear of being caught and adrenaline rush of danger at any moment. I look forward to next book in series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The life of a spy. December 24, 2013
By QA
Format:Kindle Edition
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. Embassy in Beirut during the early 1980s. The author gives us a good look at the violence of war and everyday life in Beirut during the conflict in Lebanon during the 1980s. It was interesting to learn the definition of “dynamite fishermen” and how it relates to events in this book. After reading this book I feel that I have a little better understanding of the political climate and unrest in the Middle East and Lebanon. Dynamite Fishermen is a well-written book and the author gives us a good look into the life of a spy as he tries to determine where, when, how, and from whom the next strike will come.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“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. The characters are almost interesting, most being in the US (or some other country’s) diplomatic corps (in truth – spies) with the local spies and the spy-wannabes they run, and the detailed short history of the never-ending mid-east conflict within the political realities or the era is quite good. It is the time of the Iran-Iraq conflict.

I don’t have much to write in review because actually there is no story here. It’s more like a diary than any other story mode. The author tells this anecdotal story mainly via conversation among his characters, as they walk the ever-mysterious fine line between betrayal, info-gathering and violence – which characterized Beirut at the time. For me, the story never once made sense, never moved beyond a snapshot of the dangerous life of foreigners in Beirut at the time.

Throughout my reading of this very short book, I kept hoping that the story would actually begin, and once in a while it almost did -- in fits and starts. The shooting scene in the apartment was well done, for instance, but sadly that’s all there is to say about this attempt at fictionalizing a fascinating, recent mid-east history.

It’s a 1.49, rounded down to a 1. Sorry, this book just isn’t very good, and mainly because there is no story at all, no denouement, no thrills, no point of view – just dialogue without a discernible plot
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars twisting and turning
At first I was hopelessly confused by names and organizations but soon realized the details were there for you if you wanted but it wasn't necessary to immerse yourself in the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Scor What
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not your typical super-hero spy novel. Instead it ...
It's not your typical super-hero spy novel. Instead it is a realistic depiction of what it means to be CIA embassy operative in a very hostile country.
Published 11 days ago by Philip Greco
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average everyday spy novel
Well written spy novel, far from the knife and dagger thrillers so entrenched in today's genre. I liked it because it probably is much more realistic, and more involved with the... Read more
Published 27 days ago by aileronguy
4.0 out of 5 stars Most detailed portrayal of Beirut under pressure
Preston Fleming, the author of Dynamite Fishermen has drawn such a detailed map of Beirut with words. The descriptions are indeed like a guide map for a tourist. Read more
Published 1 month ago by venky
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read. Great Spy Novel
This novel takes place in late 20th Century Lebanon and is full of the interlocking intrigue of the various factions vying for power in that area of the Middle East at the time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. FIELD
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars!
This was a good story but a little long drawn out. It rather reminded me of John LeCarres writing style at times. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Kallipolites
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Thoroughtky enjoyed the book and would read others by the same author. Definitely felt a part of the setting, the time, and the moral dilemnas.
Published 1 month ago by javelinchucker
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
This is a good story with well generally well developed characters and a few plots twists. It provides insight into some of recent history of the Middle East, especially Lebanon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamite Fishermen
Quick pace in a Lebanon where several groups are active with their own agenda. Suspense filled with Lots of action.
Published 1 month ago by Arnold D. Laurent
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was entertaining but not a book that I could not put down.
Published 1 month ago by Kathryn
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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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