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Whirlwind [Paperback]

James Clavell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: £10.99
Price: £7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

2 Dec 1999
Whirlwind is the story of three weeks in Tehran in February 1979: three weeks of fanaticism, passion, self-sacrifice and heartbreak. Caught between the revolutionaries and the forces of international intrigue is a team of professional pilots. They are ordered to flee to safety with their helicopters. Two of them, both Europeans, have Iranian wives whom they love beyond safety and politics.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1248 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (2 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340766182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340766187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


So abundant in sub-plots, characters, intrigue and atmosphere that its 1,000-plus pages seem barely adequate. Some of the most enjoyable reading around. (Daily Mail)

'Clavell seems to creep inside the very soul of the land and the people . . . A damn good read' (Boston Herald)

WHIRLWIND is strongly structured, skilfully plotted, rich in detail and very entertaining. Clavell brings the grimness and grandeur of an ancient land to life (San Francisco Chronicle)

James Clavell does more than entertain. He transports us into worlds we've not known, stimulating, educating, questioning . . . a wonder of detail (Washington Post)

The author handles the plot with all the confident authority of a ring-master, keeping a half-dozen themes and a formidable cast of characters moving along at a cracking pace. By the end I was breathless and lost in admiration at the sheer professionalism of it all (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

James Clavell's classic portrayal of the Iranian revolution at its height in fresh new packaging to appeal to a new generation.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as Shogun 17 Nov 2003
His only novel not playing the far east. This tells the story of a small helicopter outfit, supplying the iranian oil rigs with everything needed. The company belongs to Struan's Noble House, too, the boss is Andrew Gavallan, Ian Dunross' nephew. It depicts the events just before and during the revolution, toppling the Shah, and about all the trouble that came for S-G Helicopters due to the fightings between the different iranian factions (muslim fanatics, soviet-led communist rebels and local tribes) and between all of them and any non-iranian person. There's romance, too, thanks to two threads, one about a finnish pilot of S-G Helicopters and his iranian wife, trying to escape via Turkey, and the other one with another pilot who has also an iranian wife. This is also a very good book by Clavell, full of action, adventure, suspense, romance and exotic places and people.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection in literature. 18 Oct 2004
This final part of Clavell's "Asian Saga" is also undoubtedly his best. Clavell takes us on a moving, thrilling and deeply absorbing ride throug the life of commercial helicopter pilots surviving the vicious and bloody revolution by religious fanatics as Khomeni returns to rule in Iran. From beginning to end this isa writer at the very height of his talent and it shows in every word.
Don't be put off by the 1200-plus page count or the cast of over a hundred characters. There's no denying the book can be hard work with this much information and this many protagonists, but it's so much more rewarding than almost every other book you could find on this site once you get going.
Reminiscant of Ernest Hemmingway and Graham Greene, with emotions and lives torn to pieces in times of conflict, you will not so much read a story as live another life through the pages of this exceptional novel. Add it to your shopping cart this instant.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevance 2 8 Oct 2008
By Dr. Robert A. Josey VINE VOICE
The map contained within the inner-cover pages of the hardback edition portrays the 'hottest' geo-political region on the planet today.

Iran is in the centre, bordered by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, Iraq and Syria to the west, the old USSR to the north. The only significant country missing from this equation is Israel.

At the bottom is the Persian Gulf with the Strait of Hormuz channeling into the Gulf of Oman.

If there is going to be a 'whirlwind', a potential flashpoint for a terrible new war (or even World War III), it could very well be right within the latitude and longitude of this map's co-ordinates.

The actual book itself is a superior - though slightly old-fashioned - adventure thriller. Lots of characters; linking sub-plots; suspense and tension cranking up like an epic disaster movie. But - as the previous reviewer indicated - the reader gets a long and detailed lesson regarding the history of Islamic Fundamentalism in Iran. The machinations of the CIA and the KGB. The horrors that the Shah and his evil secret police visited upon this nation, with overt Western backing. And the emergent fresh horrors visited by the next set of secret police...

'Whirlwind' is a primer, an introduction, to the present timebomb ticking away day after day. Clavell shows the humanity and sacrifice of the ordinary Iranians, men and women, who were desperately trying to survive through the terrifying crises happening all around them during the Revolution. And one feels for their modern day counterparts facing a new and just as frightening set of circumstances/possibilities.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating book 27 May 2014
By Billy L
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love the James Clavell books, and this is definitely one of the best. Start a little slow (as do most if his books), builds up the characters and provides a good insight into the culture the story is woven into. By the halfway point of the book I couldn't wait to get back to the story on the train each day. It left me a little empty when I finished the book, and nothing has filled the gap since.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great and epic read. 13 April 2014
By Amit
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book. There is something in it for everyone. Be it the mindset of different cultures and how we can try and understand each other. Some level of history in a key event shaping the world during these turbulent times in modern middle eastern history. Lastly just a great fictional best seller that you can switch your mind off to if you want to. Thank you Mr Calvell.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clavell's great style of writing 27 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not his best...I much preferred all his other books. I found this one harder to follow. But his characters are real and colourful. And I did get a better understanding of the problems of the time in which the book was set. Thought provoking.
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