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Exile Paperback – August 28, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1st edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312938543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312938543
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Patterson's new thriller with its focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been overtaken by events (there's no mention of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 or the recent fighting across the Lebanese border), but the underlying political issues may be enough for most readers to put the real world aside and suspend disbelief. Harvard-trained attorney David Wolfe, a San Franciscan on the verge of a congressional campaign, has his plans derailed when his law school classmate (and one-time lover), Palestinian Hana Arif, asks him to defend her from charges that she led a conspiracy that assassinated dovish Israeli leader Amos Ben-Aron. Inspired by idealism and lingering passion, Wolfe jeopardizes his political future by taking the case. His suspicion that the suicide bombers who attacked Ben-Aron were aided by a security breach leads him to Israel and Lebanon. While Patterson (Conviction) attempts to portray the issues fairly, the introduction of a soap-operaish subplot undercuts his intended high purpose, and the resolution of the mystery is too predictable to surprise. 10-city author tour. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Patterson, the author of 13 previous best-selling novels, turns his focus to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in this overly long novel. The characterization is cardboard, with lawyer-hero David Wolfe cast as a golden boy of good looks and keen intelligence, whose well-planned life comes apart with the reappearance of a Palestinian woman with whom he had a passionate love affair more than a decade ago. The writing is schmaltzy and stiff, but there is probably enough in the plot to hold Patterson fans. The prime minister of Israel, while visiting the States, is blown up by a suicide bomber. Wolfe's lover, the Palestinian Hana Arif, is suspected of orchestrating the bombing. The novel delves into Wolfe's past and Hana and her husband's history in Palestine, and it involves Wolfe traveling to Israel and the West Bank. Action abounds, culminating in courtroom drama. This novel would be much more gripping, however, if Patterson kept a tighter rein on his prose; his tendency is to overexplain his characters and overwrite every scene. But those excesses haven't deterred his fans yet, and they aren't likely to do it this time, either. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and believable.
Amazon Customer
A very informative and realistic novel dealing with both sides of the Israel- Palestine issues.
Gerald R. Steinberg
This book was a real page turner with a lot of action.
M. Moseman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on January 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
At one time I was an avid reader of Richard North Patterson's books which I always enjoyed. But it had been some time sinceI picked up one of his books and with thsi in mind I couldn't wait to begin Exile: A Novel. And what an excellent read this turned out to be.

David Wolfe seems to have everything. A good job as a lawyer in San Francisco, engaged to a wonderful woman, he also is being slated to run for Congress. But with one phone call that about to all change. Thirteen years before, Hana Arif a Palestinian woman studying in the United States, met David at Harvard where he was a law student. They had a love affair for several months but she returned to the Middle East against David's protests and married a fellow Palestinian. Now her phone call to David is to say she is visiting the states with her husband and their 12 year old daughter. When she asks David to meet them for lunch, he is hesitant realizing his former feelings for Hana. A few days after David hears from her, the Prime Minister of Israel is assassinated while he is visiting San Francisco. And all fingers point to Hana as the woman who masterminded this assassination. When Hana is arrested for the murder, she asks David to defend her. But David a Jew while thinking about Hana must decide if he will risk everything to defend her or if he is willing to let somebody else do this and possibly fail.

This was an excellent novel which doesn't take sides, but tries to explain the plight of both the Jews and the Palestinians. Two people who feel that Israel belongs to them and with little hope of settling this in the near future. The author offers novel while filled with suspense also offer readers a view of both sides and the difficulties of this living in Israel and those who are exiles from this country. I highly recommend this book.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jack Rosenblum on February 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Some years ago, my wife and I were dining with an Israeli couple in Haifa. We were discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Finally the Israeli man said: "You Americans think all problems have a solution. This one doesn't." Richard North Patterson has written a splendid book that uses the story of a Palestinian woman accused of complicity in the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister and defended by her Jewish former lover to create an even-handed compassion for both sides of the bitter tribal conflict. Once hooked on the legal thriller aspect of the story. we avidly follow the lawyer's dangerous exploration of the conspiracy wherever it might lead. It takes us to Israel, to the West Bank, and to Lebanon where we meet a variety of people who have been touched and wounded by the conflict in a variety of ways. The legal theatics are gripping, as they always are in a Patterson novel, but this time the deeper impact of making this journey is a more profound empathy for the people caught up in this tragic situation in which everyone, according to their own lights, is right . For this book, 5 stars is not enough. I recommend it to you with all my heart.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kall VINE VOICE on January 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The middle east conflict is, in my opinion, the hardest problem facing humanity in the whole world. Understanding all the nuances, from both sides could be a major academic undertaking. Getting perspectives from key, leading figures could require incredible access for interviews and a huge amount of research and reading.

Richard North Patterson takes all the boring, grunt work out of this and turns the process into a gripping read with great characters. He's done way more than basic homework, more like a dissertation, but being a great novelist, he's weaved in an education on the middle east conflict that not only provides a satisfying stimulating, stay up until you drop in the middle of the night read, but also a serious education.

My Kudos to Patterson for doing more than just writing a brilliant novel. This book could contribute to progress towards peace.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on October 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
There was once a time when Richard North Patterson wrote straight thrillers and was one of the better at them. In recent times, however, his books have turned much more political, focusing on hot button topics like abortion, gun control and the death penalty. Exile continues with this trend, with a story about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Patterson's books may be getting more controversial, but they're not necessarily getting better.

The protagonist in Exile is David Wolfe, a secular Jewish lawyer in San Francisco who seems to have it all: he's successful, he is about to marry a beautiful woman who he loves (and who is more devoutly Jewish) and he's about to embark on the political career that he's aspired to. Into this ideal life pops an old lover from his college days: Hana Arif, a Palestinian. Their star-crossed romance ended because of her arranged marriage to Saeb, a Muslim with rather extreme views. Hana is in the United States along with her husband and daughter, speaking out against Israeli policy.

A terrorist attack in San Francisco kills the visiting Israeli Prime Minister and Hana is implicated through hearsay and circumstantial evidence. Despite his better judgment, David becomes her lawyer, destroying his political career and threatening his engagement. The case involves a possibly large conspiracy, and David will eventually need to travel to Israel to seek important evidence.

Compared with his other recent books in which Patterson definitely supports a particular viewpoint, his treatment of this conflict is much more evenhanded, which is sure to anger people on both sides. I can live with politically slanted stories - even if I don't agree with the politics - but the stories need to actually be good.
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More About the Author

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of The Spire, Eclipse and fourteen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

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