The Last Jihad (2002) is a near-clone of its predecessor: an action-packed Clancyesque political thriller with paper-th"/>
 

THE LAST DAYS

Joel C. Rosenberg, Author
Joel C. Rosenberg, Author . Forge $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0928-0
Reviewed on: 10/06/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-7653-4820-3
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Paperback - 472 pages - 978-1-4143-1273-6
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Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-1-59355-086-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59355-083-7
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Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-3396-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4558-7594-8
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Rosenberg's sequel to the bestselling The Last Jihad (2002) is a near-clone of its predecessor: an action-packed Clancyesque political thriller with paper-thin characters. Presidential envoy Jon Bennett returns as the protagonist, along with his bodyguard and love interest, Erin McCoy, an "Uzi-toting, Arabic-speaking CIA supermodel." Their efforts to broker a Middle East peace, whose centerpiece is a fortuitously discovered deep oil reserve with the potential to make every Israeli and Palestinian wealthy, are literally blown to pieces when a suicide bomber claims the life of the U.S. secretary of state and Yasser Arafat himself. The surviving members of the American delegation, along with the Palestinian and Israeli entrepreneurs behind the oil-drilling venture, are scrambling frantically to escape from the Gaza Strip when civil war breaks out among the factions grappling to succeed Arafat as leader. Meanwhile, the sinister forces behind the attack seek to wreak further havoc by dispatching teams of terrorists to America while provoking the Israeli government to trigger a wider conflagration by invading the West Bank and Gaza. The author singularly fails to suspend readers' disbelief with his baffling decision to set the action in the year 2010 while simultaneously placing real-life events from 2003 such as the invasion of Iraq and the appointment of Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) as Palestinian prime minister seven years in the future. His efforts to make the book a relevant, "ripped-from-the-headlines" tale are already dated—the real Abu Mazen has resigned his post—and the fantasy solution to the intractable political conflict by a deus ex machina will strike many readers as silly. $350,000 ad/promo. (Oct. 21)

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