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Gideon's War: A Novel Hardcover – January 11, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Brad Thor Reviews Gideon's War

Brad Thor, a graduate of the University of Southern California, has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Analytic Red Cell Program and is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Athena Project.

Becoming a writer has ruined me as a reader. I have set the bar so high for myself with writing that I can’t read anyone who doesn’t work as hard as I do. I’m very happy to report, though, that I’ve added a new author to my “must-read” list. His name is Howard Gordon and his debut novel, Gideon’s War blew me away.

When I heard the advance buzz going around about Gideon’s War and then learned that Howard was the Exec Producer of the television series 24, I figured his book had to be good. Secretly, though, I wondered if it could be better than “24.” If so, Howard Gordon was going to have another huge hit on his hands.

The question I began reading with was whether or not Howard could take the exciting, edge-of-your-seat, please-don’t let-it-end-yet elements that have worked so well in the television world and apply them to a novel. My question was answered instantly. He has – and he has done it in spades. Gideon’s War is every bit as good as you would expect it to be and a whole hell of a lot more.

While Howard’s debut will undoubtedly (and deservedly) be compared to thriller luminaries like Ludlum, Le Carré, and Forsythe, his rich writing style, pacing and exceptional character development reminded me of another dean of the thriller genre – Michael Crichton.

If it isn’t obvious, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I’m still haunted by the novel’s magnificent juxtaposition of a brother who makes peace vs. a brother who makes war. This was an incredibly compelling and incredibly entertaining story. Simply put, it has been a long time since I have had such a rewarding read.

Howard Gordon might have forever been known as the Executive Producer of 24, but I suspect he will leave that behind as Gideon’s War earns him the honor of being crowned one of America’s hottest new thriller authors.

From Publishers Weekly

This loosely plotted thriller, Hollywood screenwriter Gordon's first novel, lurches unpredictably from backstory to frenzied present-day action, employing a 24-hour ticking clock for suspense. The U.S. president dispatches professional peacemaker Gideon Davis, whose career as a special envoy has taken him around the world, to the sultanate of Mohan, a small Pacific island nation, where a rising Islamist insurgency under the leadership of terrorist Abu Nasir threatens to overthrow the local, American-friendly government. That Gideon's beloved brother, Tillman, is caught in the deadly conflict raises the personal stakes. Gideon ends up on a giant deep sea oil rig, the Obelisk, where he must battle insurgents bent on destroying the platform. Frantic action featuring miraculous escapes isn't enough to compensate for a silly plot, grandiose characters, and unbelievable twists, though fans of the TV show 24, of which the author is the executive producer, may be satisfied. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439175810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439175811
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,619,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Frost VINE VOICE on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I know I'm probably the only other person in this world other than that Tibetan monk living in Africa to never have seen `24', but I have heard of the show. So when I saw that a producer (executive no doubt) wrote a book... heck, why not check it out? Everyone else seems to be writing a freaking book. Actors, musicians, midgets (oops... little people), athletes, homeless folk, orange-skinned skanks from New Jersey, and prenatal babies. If those Darwin-reject yahoos that crashed the White House dinner can get a book (and TV) deal how hard can it be, REALLY!? Howard Gordon is exec. Producer for one of the baddest shows ON the tube, so what did he have to do? Put on his socks, grab his tall chai latte and say "I feel like writing a book today"? I doubt it but it's a likely enough story and it IS Hollywood right?

My nonchalant tongue-in-cheek attitude was quickly put in check as I started reading. Cutting through all my BS, I was completely taken with this book. This is an ecstasy pill of adrenaline for us thriller readers. The main man, Gideon, couldn't be more flawed and was actually getting on my damn nerves. A top negotiator on the world stage, Gideon is accustomed to using his words to get his meaning across. Usually he's very successful, and because of this the President has him on his team. Unfortunately irony's favorite bed mate is usually chaos, and their love child sprouts into Gideon's life, placenta and all, to bring him some serious hurt.

Gideon's brother is been accused of being a ruthless and severely bloodthirsty terrorist who is slaughtering his way across the Middle East. Gideon has some well placed misgivings but the amount of evidence leaves no room for doubt. His job: track him down and talk. If that fails? Well... Able, meet Cain.
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Format: Hardcover
This will sell well at airports. And really, it's not a bad choice for something to read on a plane.

Just like a season of 24, it's addictive, not really all that good, kind of dumbed down, but a dirty pleasure that you allow yourself. And it's really not *that* bad.

My biggest problem was the lacking and just kind of "thrown in" explanations of anything technical, confusing, or non-action. Like "hey, let me get back to writing about action scenes, here's the boring crap that isn't action." Problem is, that's the stuff that actually develops the story and makes it more interesting.

Second biggest problem was the undertone of "I must find my estranged brother at all costs!" It was weakly developed and kind of phony.

Also, it was a bit corny that it was set on an oil rig. Gee, where on earth did the author come up with the idea to have an explosion on an oil rig?

Anyway, it's not an amazing piece of literature, but it was ok. The closest I'll get to watching a new season of 24!
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Format: Hardcover
I read Howard Gordon's Gideon's War knowing that I would not want it to end.

I was an obsessed fan of 24 from it's inception, and am an avid reader of thrillers, mysteries and suspense novels, so I had very high expectations for this debut novel. I was not disappointed.

From the first page I was riveted. The book is fast paced and Howard Gordon's plot twists are thrilling and continuous. The story immediately took me in as if I were there and living the adventure. There were moments when I actually thought I couldn't breathe. The writing is so good I felt like I was inside the heads of the characters. And, despite the suspense and the action, there is humor interspersed through their thoughts. This made them very relatable and likable to me--it was almost as if I knew them.

The setting is splendid and vivid, and extremely believable as I have been to the part of the world where the story takes place. It is so well described. The detail in all areas is extraordinary, from scenes on the oil rig to those depicting the remnants of war, to the portrayals of how much the human body can take under certain conditions.

I found the novel captivating, fascinating, exciting and well writren; it left nothing out. I was invested in the relationships and was overwhelmed emotionally by the reality of the strength of the family bond.

I highly recommend this book--It was excellent. I truly could not put it down! And yes, I am sorry that I finished it, although I am hoping for another! And, not surprisingly, I am hoping for a movie.
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Format: Hardcover
U.S. President Diggs sends his best peacemaker special envoy Gideon Davis to the Pacific island the Sultanate of Mohan. An Islamist insurgency led by terrorist Abu Nasir threatens to overthrow the American-friendly government. Diggs also sends advisor Earl Parker, Uncle Earl to Gideon and his older brother Tillman, as he raised them after their parents died two decades ago. Though he has not had a breather after working a cease fire in the jungles of Columbia for the last three months and just came out of a Columbian hut a few hours ago to attend a DC award ceremony, Davis knows he has to leave immediately as his sibling Tillman has twenty-three hours left.

Earl and Gideon travel to Mohan where they are to pick up rogue CIA Agent Tillman to bring him back to the States. Instead nothing goes right and Parker is abducted while Gideon struggles to survive amidst the civil war tearing apart the island country. Besides rescuing Uncle Earl, Gideon must liberate the Obelisk deep sea oil rig that terrorists led by Tillman seized. Oil rig manager Kate Murphy is Gideon's only ally.

Faster than the speed of light, the executive producer of 24 Howard Gordon brings that concept to the written thriller genre. Ignoring plausibility with the story line over the top of the Himalayas, fans of the TV show will enjoy the Houdini escape artistry of the hero while the clock ticks down with a lot more at stake than his Uncle and a key oil rig as a world conspiracy is about to ignite. Inane, but fun, Gideon's War is to take back the Obelisk from his brother while readers anticipate a Cain and Abel confrontation; lurking in the background is the global crisis.

Harriet Klausner
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