And while some people fantasize about celebrities theyd like to dine with, I have a list of rock star authors I dream of interviewing. Recently, one of my dreams came true when David Baldacci agreed to an email interview with me. And heres what I learned: Before becoming an internationally-acclaimed bestselling author, Baldacci practiced law for nine years. A good place to start is with Baldaccis The Camel Club. If thats not enough to get you reading Baldacci, perhaps a taste of my interview will do it.
The only other David Baldacci book that I had read was Absolute Power which I enjoyed very much but it was quite a few years ago. Despite the fact that an agency of the American government took away everything he held precious in his life, Oliver Stone still loved his country and was willing to do everything in his power to protect it. They know all too well that government agencies sometimes crossed lines that shouldn't be crossed. The victim was killed to make sure that something that is happening at the most powerful government agency and shouldn't be, is kept quiet. Oliver Stone convinces Agent Ford to look into the matter and he ends up being demoted back to White House protection detail for his trouble.
You know there are books by Mr. Baldacci that I enjoy greatly. He pretty much had me feeling he was really (really) mostly interested in making a political point. Now that said, this is not the primary problem with the novel for me and it's not why I give it a low rating. Oh and as I and others have said, Mr. Baldacci's politics quickly become the only true point.
Lesson Learned: Never buy a paperback book from an airport bookstore no matter how bored you are or how long your flight's been delayed.
I just hope the author focuses more on story-telling and less on rhetoric in future books.
The Camel Club started very slow for me. The Camel Club begins with the apparent suicide of a government agent but this is far from the truth. As the story progresses, we get to discover who Oliver Stone is and his past ties to the USA government. Alex and the Camel Club are the only hope to prevent war. My favorite character was Oliver Stone.
Except for the fact that Oliver Stone lived homeless across the street from the White house and was a mysterious old man. Now that I have re-read this first novel in the series, scenes and characters have come back to me, though I had to finish the book because I still couldnt remember the ending! A topic that stands out in this novel is the amount of veteran characters who were betrayed by their own government and the people high up in it.
Depressing; - some Americans will approve of the criticism in the book, other will be furious and frustrated; - this book proves a point. How democracy is used as a weapon to control countries, a well done and straightforward explanation; sadly true as well; - a cliffhanger ending; don't want to indulge in the series, so I'm unhappy; - I liked, as in really liked, the big WHAT IF scenario in the book, not preposterous at all; - a political plot with eccentric interesting anti-hero, conspiracy theorist characters. Should Americans be proud of their weaponry?
After all, I'm reading a novel, not a slanted history book on Middle East politics.
There are quite a few twists and surprises that make it even better, ultimately leading to a pretty exciting climax, though I had some issues with some things in the ending.
(Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that shed given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequently adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star.