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Nuclear Blues by [Martin, Bradley K.]

Nuclear Blues Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Martin, who was chief North Korea watcher for Bloomberg News, clearly knows his subject, as was also evident in his nonfictional Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty." -Publishers Weekly BookLife
 
"Bradley Martin wrote the book on North Korea -- literally. His 2006 look at the inner workings of the Kim dynasty, all 912 pages of it, remains an unequaled primer on the most isolated regime. For his Kim family follow-up, Martin chose a thriller, titled Nuclear Blues. Turning to fiction has a perverse logic. Political scientists, after all, have failed to explain, predict or translate what's afoot in the Hermit Kingdom. The sprawling Central Intelligence Agency was just as shocked as investors in 2017 to find how much Kim's nuclear program leaped from theoretical to operational. There are no experts as the untested thirty-something Kim faces off with an unproven 71-year-old U.S. president. When basketballer Dennis Rodman knows more about Kim than Donald Trump's cabinet does, you might as well turn to a work of fiction. Martin's vivid read, centering on a journalist trying to get the real story in Pyongyang, has all the makings of a great Coen brothers film." -William Pesek, LiveMint
 
"It's been said, perhaps apocryphally, that when Leo Tolstoy showed a friend the manuscript of his monumental 1,225-page masterpiece War and Peace, the friend read it and remarked that the book had everything but a horse race. Bradley K. Martin has stuffed an amazing series of coincidental and accidental relationships and bizarre events into his rambunctious, rollicking, dystopian novel Nuclear Blues-- so many that he didn't need a horse race. This is a book that might cause Cubby Broccoli to abandon James Bond. It is a murderous, chaotic romp through a near-future North Korea by a Korean-American guitar picker, Bible thumper, bourbon drinker and burned out photojournalist from Mississippi now plying his musical trade in Japanese night clubs. Festus Park (Heck) Davis, born of a union between a South Korean woman and a Deep Southerner, is catapulted into an adventure that includes the obligatory pneumatic North Korean spy; a fundamentalist Christian university in North Korea operated by a dead ringer for Oral Roberts/Jimmy Swaggart/Billy James Hargis/Billy Graham/Pat Robertson; Iranian agents seeking a bomb; the noxious family of the Great Leader Kim Il-sung and his descendants; a behemoth investment bank that could be mistaken for Goldman Sachs. The book contains some of the clearest explanations of what credit default swaps are, and how they are used, outside of a financial textbook. It is an endlessly entertaining novel that also manages to impart, outside of the main narrative, a sense of what North Korea is about. It is not a pretty place. The book owes considerable to the reporting, research and news analysis that formed a major part of Martin's career as a Pyongyang-watcher. A Georgia boy himself, he has obviously heard enough gospel music and down-home preaching to add more veracity." -John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel
 
"Graham Greene meets Tom Clancy." -Todd Crowell, Number 1 Shimbun

"A tightly written and pulsating political thriller with a captivating setting in North Korea, riddled with espionage, shady activities, and a world where nothing is as it seems. Meet Heck Davis, a journalist who has embraced a new career as a blues musician. But suddenly his friend is shot and everything changes. Bradley K. Martin's Nuclear Blues is cunningly crafted and the action builds up around the growth of the protagonist. Heck Davis evolves in many ways throughout the narrative and readers will be stunned at how the author creates a powerful link between the conflict, the protagonist, and the setting. This story about strong and compelling characters seeking answers is a powerful statement about the socio-political landscapes and the darkness that invades North Korea, a daring story that is as unnerving as it is engrossing. Bradley K. Martin has the gift of making readers feel a place and fall in love with his characters. The writing is top-notch, deft and balanced with powerful and emotionally intense scenes, thrilling moments of action, and twists that readers won't see coming. The 'aha' moments are many and the thought that something could happen at any moment invades the reader's mind. I was so engrossed that I read the whole story through the night. An awesome read. One of the best thrillers I have read so far with an international setting." -Romuald Dzemo,  Readers' Favorite (five-star review)

 
"Publishers were rattled by the assumed North Korean hacking revenge taken against Sony for their 2014 film The Interview, a comedy about an assassination of Kim Jong-un. Martin has to be commended for his bravery in going ahead with the project. Just on courage alone, the author deserves to have his novel sell well. But, in addition, Nuclear Blues is a fun, engrossing story with a highly likable hero. From an explosive start, it builds gradually with layers of intrigue, the early reportage style giving way to an action thriller thrust, and ends with a full over-the-top Hollywood treatment." -John Grant Ross, bookish.asia (The East Asia Book Review)
 
"When news broke of a North Korean soldier being shot while defecting across the Joint Security Area in the inter-Korean Demilitarized Zone, Bradley Martin's first thought was, 'I'm glad this guy lived to tell the tale - unlike my character Joe.' Joe Hammond, an American reporter touring North Korea, was mown down by North Korean gunfire while attempting the same feat: dashing from the northern side of the Joint Security Area, the truce village whose oft-photographed blue huts straddle the intra-Korean border, to the southern side. Thankfully Hammond's fate is a figment of Martin's imagination. The desperate journalist's bloody death propels the plot of Martin's new novel Nuclear Blues, set in and around a highly detailed, near-future North Korea. The ultra-nationalist, nuclear-armed, quasi-socialist, third-generation absolute monarchy is a bizarre and difficult-to-travel-to place - but Korea watchers will discover from the first pages that the author knows his stuff. Unlike some media covering Monday's real-life shooting incident, for example, Martin makes clear that only pistols are permitted in the JSA." -Andrew Salmon, Asia Times
 

From the Author

In Nuclear Blues, I imagine a best-case scenario for an atrociously ruled country with which past peace-making and denuclearization efforts have consistently failed. Let's hope current efforts succeed. If that comes to pass, then you may read this as a work of alternate history (what might have happened). It's fiction in any case, but informed by a great deal of reporting, research and news analysis.

Product details

  • File Size: 1126 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (November 12, 2017)
  • Publication Date: November 12, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B077DFZ9KC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,764 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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