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The Road to Armageddon Hardcover – October, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The startling cover of Collins's new thriller, of a nuclear bomb exploding along a country road, well fits this frightening speculative tale, which describes how Iran might come into possession of a nuclear weapon. "As you read this," veteran journalist Collins (Fall from Grace; Oh, Jerusalem with Dominique Lapierre; etc.) writes in an author's note, "Iran possesses at least three, and possibly as many as six nuclear weapons," and then goes on to warn that "much of what you are about to read is true." The story Collins tells follows two basic plot lines: one follows the money, as Iranians transform opium gathered from Afghan poppies into heroin by way of Turkey, then into cash to fund their weapons program; the second follows disaffected CIA agent Jim Duffy as he's recruited from his Maine hideaway to prevent the Iranians from obtaining triggers for their nuclear devices. Both plot lines grab interest, but the novel would have been stronger if they were better integrated. The story is grounded in the deep research Collins is known for, which takes the reader into such arcane matters as encryption; nuclear arms; drug growing, drug processing and drug-running; money counterfeiting and laundering; Special Forces techniques. There's even a bit of romance, as Duffy falls for a widowed American ex-pat. "Many have asked why I didn't write this as a work of nonfiction," writes Collins. "I'm afraid that is just not possible. It would put innocent people at great risk." Nonetheless, this gripping novel features, along with strong action sequences and a wicked surprise ending, enough detail and verisimilitude to unnerve most readers at the same time that it entertains them.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Collins employs his talent as a nonfiction writer--he cowrote Is Paris Burning? (1965)--in this engrossing story of Iran's quest for militant Islamic domination. In fact, Collins begins with a rather passionate argument for how, while much of his research could support the details of what he recounts as being true, this is indeed a work of fiction. (Dost thou protest too much, Mr. Collins?) At issue here is how Iran funds its alleged purchase of nuclear weapons--the dreaded WMD--and thus is able to keep its neighbors on high alert and the West in a state of panic. The source is opium, which is harvested throughout war-torn Afghanistan, processed in Turkey, and sold as high-grade heroin in the West. It's up to Jim Duffy, a retired CIA operative dragged back into action, to connect the links in this chain of corruption, where crazed zealots in positions of authority exploit devout Muslims to carry out unspeakable acts. (Compared to what is happening in Iran, Duffy concludes, the cold war was downright gentlemanly.) This is a compelling enough high-concept thriller on its own, but knowing there might be truth beneath the surface makes it disturbing on an altogether different level. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: New Millennium (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193240709X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932407099
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,566,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been a big fan of Larry Collins' books over the years and started off very engrossed in his latest, The Road To Armageddon, as well. However, the extreme amount of detail Collins offers on everything from money laundering to obtaining materials for use in developing nuclear devices made me feel I was reading a "How To" primer rather than a thriller. As a result, after forcing myself to read about half of the book, I had to give up. Life is too short and there are too many books to read to make me try to finish this book. I wouldn't be surpised that if I was able to finish the book, it would have been a good read. Most of Collins' books are. But, I guess, the ability to work your way through the overwhelming amount of detail requires much more willpower than I have. I can't say that The Road To Armageddon is a bad book, since I wasn't able to finish it. The purpose of my review is to alert you to what you are in for should you attempt to read The Road To Armageddon. Caveat emptor!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "jessicadarling" on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book in the book store I was hooked right from the start. Larry Collins, also the author of O Jeruselum (Another must have!) wrote this as a work of fiction but it embraces particles of truth which keep you questioning the entire plot. When I got home, I spent the duration of the night sitting at my desk and literally at the edge of my chair until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I totally reccomend this book to anyone looking for a nonfiction thriller walking hand-in-hand with fact, and anyone interested in a great read!!!!!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm not usually into this sort of thing but my friend reccomended that I read it. By the time I had finished all 300 and some pages I had a totally different outlook on life. It's like a fact based fiction story that really makes you question what our world is coming to. Exporting opium, the Russian army, I mean this story is way intense and I reccomend it to anyone and everyone!1!!!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Young on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had a great deal of trouble getting through this book. The story is absorbing, the writing is vivid --- but the editing, to say the least, leaves something to be desired for a trade hardback. In the first 18 pages, I found ten serious editorial errors, including left-out apostrophes ("the Mullahs men") and hyphens ("off white", "five day"), misspelled names ("Addidas", "Dusseldorf"), misinflections (an image of an eagle "rung" with a circular band), and, unbelievably, an incorrect conversion from kilometers to miles. Such errors continue through the book. One cannot comfortably move with the flow of an author's prose when one's sensibilities are being continually assaulted by such barbarisms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Trevor Watson on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Collins & Lapierre were a writing team whose books I adored, especially O Jerusalem and Freedom at Midnight. In fact I visited both Israel and India as a result of reading those books.Since the team broke up, I haven't read anything by either of them that compares with their collaborative work.

I did not find The Road to Armageddon exactly "gripping", as some of the reviews indicated, but it was interesting enough to actually finish. Collins' concept is utterly fascinating (how Afghan poppies fund Radical Islamic mischief)and should, I feel, most properly have been a work of investigative journalism. The unconvincing characters detracted from my interest in the book. Strangely,new characters were being introduced even toward the very end of the story. The style was positively cluttered with irrelevant detail - such as giving all distances in miles and km. Really, is this necessary?

Mr. Collins: Return to non-fiction, your true gift.Better still, get going with Dominique Lapierre again! And please, do lose the off-putting gutter language in your dialogue.
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Format: Hardcover
This may be a fictional story, but it could very easily become reality. After reading it, you can see that all of the events could be in tomorrow's headlines. It is a great story that moves along quickly and is easy to read. The characters are not really well developed but this is a plot oriented story. It is quite scary and Mr. Collins seems to have a lot of factual knowledge to support this storyline. My only complaint is the romantic byline in the second half of the book. Although not much time was devoted to it, it is the one unbelievable event in the book. Otherwise I highly recommend it. It is a story that will scare you and keep you reading late into the night.
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