Thursday, March 24, 2011

22. Whirlwind

By:  James Clavell
Rated:  4.5
From:  Library
Format:  Hard Cover Book

This is not the exact cover from the book but from some sort of game but I liked it much better than the book covers so I used it instead.  It is the first book by James Clavell that I didn't give a 5 star rating.  That in no way indicates that this book was not just as well written or as convoluted as the others, it's just that the the subject matter was not as interesting to me as his Asian based novels were.

Whirlwind is one of his later books. They are all connected although this one is a lot more loosely connected than the others. Andrew Gavalan is a Director of The Noble House and is operating a fleet of helicopters in the Middle East.  This setting allows the author to give the reader is an insight into why the Middle East is as it is and why it reacts as it does to 'infidels." Although the writing is somewhat dated  I certainly learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about Iran and the Iranian revolution. Some of the characters from Noble house are carried over  and put in cameo appearances but the Noble House Tai Pan has retired and there is a new Tai Pan who was one of the minor characters from the previous book.  Without Ian Dunross the Noble House is not the dynamic force that it was.  Disappointing.  Also another one of the characters who puts in a brief appearance from Noble House is Profitable Choy.  Sadly he has turned into a villain. :(  I kind of liked Profitable Choy.

From Library Journal
Andrew Gavallan, based in Scotland, runs a helicopter company operating in Iran during the Shah's reign. When Khomeini comes to power, Gavallan must get his pilots and their families, and his valuable helicopters, out of the riot-torn country. Complicating matters is his power struggle with his company's secret owner, the Noble House of Hong Kong. The pilots' escape efforts form the basic story but as usual in a Clavell novel the action sweeps across many lives: lovers, spies, fanatics, revolutionaries, friends and betrayers. British, Finnish, American, and Iranian, all are caught up in a deadly religious and political upheaval. Clavell effectively portrays the chilling and bewildering encounters when Westernized lifestyle clashes with harsh ancient traditions. This novel, the fifth in what he calls his Asian Series ( Noble H o use, King Rat, Tai Pan, Shogun ) is certain to be in much demand.
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