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The Last Israelis by Noah Beck
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The Last Israelis

by Noah Beck

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Israel exists due to the unarguably despicable behavior of Western Europeans. In Noah Beck’s debut thriller the continued existence of Israel is now threatened by the nuclear capability and contemptible rhetoric that emanates from Iran; a very real threat that is ripped from today’s headlines. The Last Israelis explores in depth the ethical and moral decisions involved in the engagement of war and Beck skillfully draws the reader into the characters backgrounds and their divergent ideologies. Primarily set on a submarine, the debates are skillfully written to give the reader a real sense of the difficulty of maintaining peace that is not overly Zionist in perspective. Beck is able to walk in quite a few shoes without stumbling and successfully pulls it off.

The plot moves forward with action and twists that occur between the debates toward a climax that will keep the reader turning the pages. There is enough action to satisfy anyone searching for a good thriller with the added benefit of an outstanding moral debate that is so often absent in the Armageddon sub-genre of military thrillers. It’s a “what if” scenario that brings global politics into a disturbing and oh so possible development. ( )
  zolily | Jul 11, 2013 |
With the Prime Minister of Israel hospitalized, it's a perfect time for Iran to make good on their threat of taking care of Israel once and for all with their nuclear weapons that are almost complete. That's when the Dolphin, an Islraelis submarine, is called back to reassemble for a mission of their own.

Daniel Zion, who is captain, and thirty-four other men, all from different walks of life, become the crew of the sub. All of the men have their own beliefs and thoughts of what is happening and what should happen, and the sub fills with hate and distrust among them.

Meanwhile, while they are under water, they lose contact with Naval Command. Now, they have to decide if they should go ahead with their orders of setting off missiles or not. But leading up to this decision is a journey of epic proportions - the men have dreams that are hard to distinguish between reality, there is an enemy sub in the waters, a fire and more. It's a treacherous and realistic adventure that will give you thrills and chills.

Noah Beck has written such a multi-faceted novel; one filled with politics, life-altering choices, back-to-back action and compelling characters. I could easily see this novel made into a movie - it's so vivid and surreal. Riveting, exciting and too close for comfort, The Last Israelis is a well-written novel that is sure to be a best-seller. I finished days ago and I'm still absorbing everything. It's definitely impactive! ( )
  spunnsugarz | Aug 14, 2012 |
The book begins with what seems to be a slower pace -- you get to know the crew members through a brief shore-leave picnic, and at first there isn't a lot of action. But then you realize that this is deliberately done, so that when the action and the tension begin, about a third of the way through, you are experiencing them through the lenses of the different characters, whom you know well by this point. Amongst the novel's strengths is its great ability to give you different perspectives on the issues in question -- and there is real conflict between the crew members' views, all of which are drawn fairly, and with substance -- making this novel as much an intellectual thriller as a military and psychological one. By about the halfway point you won't want to put it down -- the tension has built slowly but unrelentingly, and the climax is really quite intense ... A very good read, a gripping read, and ultimately a chilling one -- lots to think about for anyone concerned about matters middle east ... as a philosopher (author most recently of Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas from the Smartest Philosophers), I had plenty to engage with ... and as a fan of thrillers, I had plenty to be thrilled by! ( )
  AndrewPessin | Aug 14, 2012 |
It could easily happen.

What if your country was about to be attacked, possibly annihilated, what if you held your nation's last means of defense, its final means of retaliation, and what if you are isolated, cut off, with no way to confirm the orders that you are given, and even those orders are confusing and contradictory.

This premise was made into a movie, Crimson Tide, with Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. There is just one major difference: Your country is too small to survive a concerted nuclear, chemical and conventional attack.

In fact, there is no country left for you to defend.

What then?

This is an amazing thriller that doesn't fit neatly into categories. It could be a techno-thriller but it does not have the emphasis on weapons systems that characterizes the genre. It is also a drama, with a deep philosophical undertone, and deep political meaning inside, all of it wrapped around a riveting story that will keep you turning pages, either paper or electronic ones.
I cannot wait for more books by Mr. Beck. ( )
  kaleun76 | Aug 4, 2012 |
A Dramatic Journey on a Nuclear-Armed Sub

The timing of this suspenseful book is perfect - with all the controversy around Iran's nuclear ambitions dominating the headlines. I might disagree with the author on some geopolitical issues but the idea of the book is excellent. The horrific scenario in the novel shows what could happen IF the issue is not handled properly.

What I really liked is the way the author combined reality with fantasy, modern with ancient... The Biblical stories and the dreams are absolutely fascinating. I also liked the conflict between the two main characters -- Daniel and Yisrael. Besides the very human emotions of jealousy and rivalry, it also vividly and fairly shows the divide within Israeli society between right and left-wingers, as well as the chasm that splits the government on whether to strike or not to strike.

I am not Israeli myself but by reading this book I felt as if I had gotten to know a very diverse cross-section of the people in Israel and how they feel about a variety of issues. The author managed to show (very skillfully) the fears and hopes of living in the Holy Land. ( )
  Eleanor84 | Aug 4, 2012 |
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