Iran has threatened to destroy Israel while actively developing the nuclear means to do so. Israel's Prime Minister is suddenly hospitalized -- shortly after learning that Iran is just a week away from entering the so-called "zone of immunity" by transferring key components of its nuclear weapons program into a mountain impervious to attack by Israeli jets. Israel's "second-strike" answer to the existential threat posed by a nuclear Iran is a powerful submarine armed with nuclear-tipped missiles that can strike targets 930 miles away. A gripping cautionary tale about a nuclear Iran, "The Last Israelis" takes a suspense-filled ride aboard the Dolphin submarine.The crew of 35 submariners are ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse. Added to this cauldron of complexity are the rivalry between the captain and his deputy, and a childhood tragedy that quietly haunts a younger sailor whose psychological wounds could explode at any time.The relentless pressures of submarine life, threats at sea, and an intensely divisive and mind-bending dilemma, make conflict among the crew inevitable. Sometimes the boiling point is reached only in a crewmember's dream, but at other times, the situation is all too real.
Showing 1-4 of the 4 most recent reviews
1 . nice book
Posted August 14, 2012 by Robert , dallasgood book, love it
2 . Existential Military Thriller
Posted August 07, 2012 by Kevin Joseph , Mclean, VirginiaThe Last Israelis is unlike any thriller I've read before, and I mean that in a (mostly) good way. Its basic setting and concept call to mind military thrillers like The Hunt for Red October, but Noah Beck approaches the storytelling craft in a unique way. Beck is less interested in penning intricate plot twists and pulse-pounding action scenes than he is in creating a plausible doomsday scenario that highlights the contemporary threat that Iran's nuclear ambitions pose to the State of Israel. This one is right out of the newspaper folks, and should be required reading for our world leaders.
Beck's interest in showcasing intellectual debate between his characters becomes evident early on, when the crew of the Dolphin is granted a brief shore leave to reunite with their families. He takes this opportunity to establish the back story for Captain Daniel Zion, his impotent deputy Yisrael, and other key members of the submarine's thirty-five-man crew. This stage-setting embues his characters with distinct personalities and motivations that later color the positions they take when the Dolphin loses contact with its command structure and must determine whether to unleash its arsenal of ten nuclear warheads on Iran.
The novel grabbed and held my interest because of the authenticity of the politics, the realistic description of the submariners' craft, and the thought-provoking quality of the existential debate that occurs among the crew. In particular, I found the arguments over the moral justification for targeting a civilian population with weapons of mass destruction to be nuanced and thorough.
3 . The Coming Apocalypse?
Posted August 07, 2012 by Ckruschke , Dayton, OHI was privileged to receive an advance copy of "The Last Israelis" and it was every bit as engaging as promised. When the Israeli Prime Minister awakens to receive intelligence that a nuclear Iran is only days away, he is left with a choice - what to do to safeguard his small nation when a Muslim nation that has vowed to destroy Israel can carry out the threat with just a push of a button. As the world's powers are sidelined by bickering and backroom deals, it appears that Israel is, as usual, alone.
Accentuating Israel's cultural history, which through immigration is much the same as the US' own "melting pot", the crew of the nuclear submarine Dolphin nevertheless share a love for their country (adopted or not) that is stronger than their differences. However, even family disagrees. Faced with the continual "first-strike" threats of Iran's leadership, will the crew of the Dolphin be able to come together to perform the ultimate "second-strike" duties should the unthinkable happen?
One part "Crimson Tide" and another part "Twelve Angry Men", the final third of the book is some of the fastest paced and most gripping literature I have ever read and I would hold it up against the writing of even the most established writers of political/military thrillers. Life on a claustrophic submarine is tough enough during peace time, but life on the Dolphin is made all the more tense when thoughts of family and old psychological scars rear their heads to mix with the stress of real-world ops.
At a time, when Israel's very existence is being threatened by the impending doom of a their belligerent Muslim neighbors, this book is not only hard hitting, but topical. Will the US come to the rescue of Israel or will they be forced to "go it alone" as has repeatedly happened throughout their history because of the rest of the world's entanglements with the oil-rich Middle East. A must read for everyone who loves this nation - no matter where they live.
4 . A Dramatic Journey on a Nuclear-Armed Sub
Posted August 04, 2012 by Eleanor , TorontoThe 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.
July 04, 2012
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