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Dynamite Fishermen (The Beirut Trilogy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Beirut, 1982. Conrad Prosser is a skilled Arabist, expert agent handler, prolific intelligence reporter, and a connoisseur of Beirut's underground nightlife. But, as his two-year tour at the U.S. Embassy nears its end, Prosser's intelligence career is in jeopardy because he has not recruited an agent while in Lebanon, a sine qua non requirement for promotion.

Surveying his
Published January 12th 2013 by PF Publishing (first published July 27th 2011)
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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 25, 2012 C.J. rated it it was amazing
This weekend I strayed from my plans to read the sequel to Preston Fleming’s Forty Days at Kamas and sat down with Dynamite Fishermen, one of his two espionage thrillers set in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. And what a remarkable experience it turned out to be! Though the writing style and certain aspects of the storytelling were identifiable as those of the Kamas author, this debut spy thriller was quite unlike Kamas or, for that matter, any other spy novel I have come across.
Call me
Aug 03, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
As a long-time reader of classical spy fiction from the likes of Graham Greene, John Le Carre, Eric Ambler and Alan Furst, I will admit to judging Preston Fleming’s new spy novel, “Dynamite Fishermen,” by a rigorous standard. So I am pleased to report that it passed with high marks. Like those other notable spy novelists, Preston Fleming has a gift for creating an extraordinary sense of time and place. And in choosing for his setting the Beirut of the early 1980’s, nearly halfway through Lebano ...more
R.E. Conary
May 18, 2016 R.E. Conary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Described as "in the classic tradition of Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, and John Le Carré" to which I would agree and would add author Anthony Price ("The Labyrinth Makers") as well, Preston Fleming writes with the assurance of one who has "been there, done that."

This is no "James Bond" or "Jason Bourne" over-the-top thriller, but instead is a down-to-earth, the way-it-is story of a dedicated CIA case officer caught between the need to further his career or become a HQ's basement analyst, and his
Aug 07, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing
An authoritative account of a US intelligence officer's life in civil war-torn Beirut, Lebanon, in the early 1980's. But this might well be a current account of life today in many Arab countries where Syrians, Iranians and others operate in and out of the shadows promoting their own interests on the soil of alleged friends. Early chapters build a foundation which then is followed by chapter after chapter of detail-rich experiences of the young officer as he seeks through others to find out what ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Lesley rated it it was ok
800+ pages and way too much detail. Took me forever to get into it and had to force myself to continue reading it at one point. Definitely wouldn't have read the 2nd in the series if I hadn't already bought it. Could have been a better read if the length and amount of detail was cut in half.
May 29, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing that really struck me about this book was how Fleming brought to life the sheer insanity of living in the middle of a city at war.
Nov 26, 2016 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My informal title for this is - hard way to get a GS-12 but that's because I'm a federal position classification specialist and was actually interested in the grade/promotion discussions in this book. Conrad, the protagonist, works as a federal information gatherer (spy) in Beirut in the 1980s. Advancement is dependent upon cultivating these contacts and bringing in solid information. This has an authentic flavor as Conrad moved through the city with violence always on the edges and sometimes sp ...more
May 27, 2016 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ecopy
Review of Dynamite Fishermen
by Preston Fleming

I forget which book website I was perusing and when exactly I first learned of Preston Fleming and this particular novel, which is the first in his Beirut Trilogy. It was at least a couple of months ago, and I was immediately gripped with an intense desire to begin reading the series that did not lessen until my schedule finally allowed me to take up and enjoy this treat over the past week. In fact, I immediately moved on to the second novel in the t
Jan 08, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story has action and suspense, but the atmosphere is what makes it stand out.

The hero, Conrad Prosser, is a rather jaded spy. He made a misstep in his once-promising career and landed in Beirut during the turbulent eighties. He's handling several local sources handed down to him, but unless he can come up with a new one of his own, he'll never make the next pay grade. Recruiting the brother of his latest girl friend might be his last chance.

It's hard to like Prosser. He's too consumed by his

Some difficult phrases from the middle east may be hard to follow, story interesting and realistic, different way of life.
Jun 24, 2013 Kathy rated it liked it
I received this book from Library Thing to read and review. Set in the tradition of the great spy novel writers, the author has produced an equally well written novel of suspense and intrigue following the life of a young CIA operative as he weaves his way in and around Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, trying to recruit an operative (necessary for his career progression). However, unlike many other spy novels, this one portrays an average young man, spending his non-work time like any other ...more
Cathy Geha
Jan 02, 2014 Cathy Geha rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book from Library Thing. You ask, why? Well, it is written about the time period of the first few years of my marriage that included moving to and living in the same Beirut Preston Fleming wrote about in this novel. I wanted to see if he would write about the place I remembered and get it right? The answer is a resounding YES! I was able to “see” through the eyes of the main character, walk the paths he took and more. It brought so very many memories – go ...more
Quentin Stewart
Apr 25, 2013 Quentin Stewart rated it it was amazing
Preston Fleming gives his readers a view of what life was like during the Lebanese Civil War. I question whether it can be called a civil war with the Syrians, Palestinians, Israelis, and maybe others firing shots as a large portion of Beirut’s population simply hunker down and try to go on with life the best they can. I found the book to be interesting in the way the story it told as a CIA agent travels throughout the city contacting agents and trying to track down what faction is causing the v ...more
Irene Adam
Dec 24, 2013 Irene Adam rated it it was amazing
I received this book free from the author through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. Conrad Prosser is a political spy/diplomat working out of the U. S. Embassy in Beirut during the early 1980s. The author gives us a good look at the violence of war and everyday life in Beirut during the conflict in Lebanon during the 1980s. It was interesting to learn the definition of “dynamite fishermen” and how it relates to events in this book. After reading this book I feel that I have a little ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Les rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the first spy thriller that I've read and I'm glad to say the experience has been a good one.
The author displays an intimate knowledge of Beirut during the Lebanese civil war of the early eighties, and this serves as the locale for the story of an American intelligence officer and his task of obtaining information from all the different factions and countries that wish to exert their influences in Beirut and Lebanon. The story moves along at a fair pace and the feeling of suspens
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
My traditional style of reviewing isn't going to work for this book. Here's why Mr. Fleming has create another unique covert operations book that surpasses my dislike of political intrigue since my days in college. Mr. Fleming gives a fast paced and intriguing account of spying game thru the eyes of operative. The Dynamite Fishermen showcase an unique level of political intrigue that has pushed aside my dislike of political type books. The story showcases how easily, quickly, and dangerous it is ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Ceh131973 rated it it was amazing
Since I received my first book by [Preston Fleming] through Library Thing I have been impressed. [Dynamite Fishermen] did not disappoint me. I really enjoy the way he tells a story and believe Conrad Prosser could compete with Jack Ryan. Except maybe not a pure as Ryan which makes him more credible as a government employee.

The setting of Beirut in the 1980's really was in intriguing setting especially growing up in the 1980's and remembering the weekly new reports. This is an often forgotten tim
Mike Jones
Apr 06, 2015 Mike Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Preston knows the area of the novel; Beirut in the 1980's very well. The main character Conrad Prosser is an American agent in the city and takes you along as he meets his contacts, collects information and dodges numerous bloody and explosive situations whilst still getting the girl. This is a gritty and realistic novel with a great plot-line and great characters. Preston really makes you feel that you are there in the midst of the chaos of war torn Beirut trying to make sense of it all. I thor ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Ameise1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
That was my second Fleming and it was as gorgeous as the first one (Bride of a Bygone War). It takes place in Beirut in the 80s. It's a fabulous espionage thriller, fast-paced and kept me gripped until the very last page. I was already familiar with some of the main protagonists and therefore it was very interesting what they were doing in the earlier time. Also this time I was impressed about the hard and difficult life in Beirut during the civil war. Unfortunately the ongoing war in this regio ...more
May 24, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
The book got much more exciting and surprising towards then. However, the beginning was too slow. The author needs to work on his writing style a bit more. The descriptions of the scenes were too long and drawn out. There is only so much that you want to read about the people walking around in the background or what the main character sees as he walks around. I'd give it 2 stars, but I chose 3 because the end was better. However, I do recommend it for those that want to read about life in the fo ...more
Mitch Walker
Nov 04, 2015 Mitch Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not put it down.

If you are at all interested in today's ME politics and have a taste for J le Carre espionage, you will enjoy this read. Gritty, albeit a bit self promotional, I found it to be a very real view into the foreign diplomatic core of the 1980s. Maps of Beirut and the region are lacking - but easily and recommended and researched while reading.
Mar 03, 2016 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2016
Rare look into another tradecraft filled world

With a gusto for like, Prosser works the trade in a most interesting of settings. His love of life and melancholy of a chosen career balanced by a fearlessness and rush from danger makes for interesting reading.

Chaplain Stanleigh Chapin
Excellent and very enjoyable

I had the good fortune of enjoying Beirut before the wars it was truly equal to the Riviera. It was also as described when the company of my employ was working thru a contract during the violence described very accurately.
Dec 17, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This could have been a better read, but there was no character insight or development at all. The reader is left wit no view in to the characters fears, ambitions or motivations. The whole book read like a prologue.
Julius Sheppard
Jan 16, 2016 Julius Sheppard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beirut intrigues

Like lecarre , this author involves the reader with the mundane and risky work of a CIA agent in place
during a time of pending crisis.
The tale was very entertaining and enlightening.1q
faith andrews
Feb 16, 2015 faith andrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dynamite Fishermen

This book was an in-depth look into war torn countries, the effects on everyone involved. The narrative flows nicely and I could feel the warm Mediterranean breeze. One can tell, Fleming has real life experience from the way the story unfolds.
Peter Kavanagh
Jan 23, 2014 Peter Kavanagh rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable spy thriller. Tense and complex, it is everything you could want from an espionage novel. The only fault I would find with it is that at times the dialogue is a bit clunky but this is relatively rare and shouldn't be deter you if you love the genre. Highly recommended.
Harry R. Arment
Apr 19, 2015 Harry R. Arment rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read.

Keeps your attention. Not your typical spy novel. The ending was a little disappointing but not too bad. I would recommend it.
Gayle Mills
Aug 24, 2015 Gayle Mills rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This story was not for me. I could not get in to this story. Maybe you will have better luck.
Jeffrey Hill
Oct 10, 2015 Jeffrey Hill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a long drawn out novel with little to stimulate interest. Frequently difficult to follow. No obvious start middle or logical conclusion.
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Preston Fleming was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He left home at age fourteen to accept a scholarship at a New England boarding school and went on to a liberal arts college in the Midwest. After earning an MBA, he managed a non-profit organization in New York before joining the U.S. Foreign Service and serving in U.S. Embassies around the Middle East for nearly a decade. Later he studied at an Ivy Lea ...more
More about Preston Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

The Beirut Trilogy (2 books)
  • Bride of a Bygone War

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