By Order of the President (Presidential Agent, #1)
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By Order of the President (The Presidential Agent #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  4,218 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Over the years, W.E.B. Griffin's stories of the military and police, told with crackling realism and rich characters, have won him millions of fans and acclaim as "the dean of the American war adventure" (Publishers Weekly). Now he vaults into the present day with a series as exciting as anything he has ever written.

At an airfield in Angola, two men board a leased Boeing 7...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published December 29th 2004 by Putnam Adult
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This is an exciting book that introduces Charley Castillo, who becomes the presidential agent hero of this series. I sort of goofed by reading the second novel of this series first and this book gave me a lot of background information to set up this series. The back story is interesting and we get an insight into the intelligence community that appears to be an accurate and realistic depiction of how all these groups work together, or not.

Castillo is more interesting in some ways than James Bond...more
Brad Chinman
The intriguing military story of Carlos Castillo is one I could not put down. The military style of the book is great and gives a background for those who have no earlier experience. The writing includes not only what people are saying but also their inner thoughts. This book has many twists and turns that carry the reader throughout the story.
In this book a 727 is hijacked in Africa and the President is worried about what might happen to it. He sends Carlos Guillermo Castillo out to find out wh...more
Castillo One: The Missing 727 and the Liberty Bell Caper. An abandoned 727 is stolen in Angola, setting off a mad dash to find it fearing its possible use in a terror attack. A former Delta Miller, masquerading as a military attache, sends the flare to CIA and is almost immediately stomped. As no intel agency can find the plane, the President gets pissed and asks his old buddy Matt Hall, Homeland Security Secretary, to find a sleuth to check out his intel apparatus and report back. Hall taps Cas...more
This book is pretty awful. Tom Clancy gave it a good review and I love Tom Clancy, but this was a waste of time. Two significant men in my life are both total military/aircraft nuts. I thought plowing through it would give me something to talk to them about. Riiightttt! I talked about how awful the book is. Three things made it bad. 1) The main character is a James Bond 007 type that has women dropping their panties for him everywhere he goes. His call-sign is "Don Juan." 2) The lead female char...more
Lynn Hallbrooks
I really enjoyed Mr. Griffin's writing. You start out with action that is central to the book then you learn some about the main character through different people and even flashbacks to previous events. What impressed me the most was that his details do not weigh down the action. I also applaud the sense of humor he allows the characters to show.

I would warn that some might consider this a Men's Adventure book because of the language used. There are also some terms being used that some may fin...more
Jul 20, 2009 Katie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Katie by: Dad
I read this to hold up my end of a deal with my dad. To its credit, the story is paced well and (some of) the characters are endearing. It was a very easy read.

I'm troubled, though, that Griffin's characters so frequently and nonchalantly mock homosexual behavioral stereotypes and use derogatory terms for racial/religious groups. He also uses hyphens with reckless abandon. I wouldn't read another of his books for these two reasons.

The LA Daily News calls Griffin the poet laureate of the America...more
Love Charley Castillo!! What a great character--made better by side kicks Fernando Lopez, Dick Miller, and Betty Schneider. As I listened to this story there were several times I laughed out loud because of the antics of these main characters. A great listen, even though the ending was a bit anti-climatic for me. Looking forward to listening to the next story in the Presidential Agent series to see what Charley is up to next (and hoping to see a connection between Betty and Charley)! Dick Hall w...more
Mark Polino
Though I've read all of Clancy and a number like him ( Coonts, Coyle, etc) this is my first W.E.B. Griffin read. I enjoyed the book but I was left with a nagging feeling that I've read this somewhere before. Anyway, it's good read. Not as realistic as Clancy but the characters are nicely drawn, slightly larger than life. The threat seemed muted, which is actually OK. Every threat doesn't have to end with world annihilation like Clive Cussler prefers. I'm adding the other President agent novels t...more
I think this whole book could probably be summed up by the thoughts that went through my head the moment I finished this book. "Wait . . .that's it! You've got to be kidding me! What was the point!"

The book is the type of literature I would expect to read if I had taken a decent plot and given it to a computer programmer to create a book with . . . i.e. the prose is flat, business-like, and un-engaging, leaving you with a book that never really goes anywhere.

What a shame.
Jan 21, 2014 Pattianne marked it as to-read

Over the years, W.E.B. Griffin's stories of the military and police, told with crackling realism and rich characters, have won him millions of fans and acclaim as "the dean of the American war adventure" (Publishers Weekly). Now he vaults into the present day with a series as exciting as anything he has ever written.

At an airfield in Angola, two men board a leased Boeing 727; then, once it is in the air, slit the pilot's throat and fly t...more
Ralph McEwen
A good story. I like the use of foot notes instead of always trying to explain the technical details in the story.
I was looking for something outside of the normal chiklit I am prone to read. This book caught my interest because I'm a military junky and former service member. Although it seemed to drag in places, it was a very good read.

I was most impressed with the adherence to much of what is true about military life and units. A lot of writers will be meticulous about everything except military things because, instead of doing the research, it's easier to go off the popular knowledge of things. On the ot...more
I thought this was a book I had missed out from later in the series, but it turns out to be the very first one of The Presidential Agent series. Having read five other novels in the series already in disorganized order, beginning with a paperback I picked up when I had to spend an hour waiting for my car to be serviced some years ago, I found it interesting to get the beginning straightened out in my head!

The novel begins when two hijackers steal a 727 in Angola and then disappear. Various gover...more
MissJessie--former librarian
Apr 11, 2010 MissJessie--former librarian rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of the author only.
This book is the first in the series about Charlie Castellio, a super-hero kind of guy that we all wish actually existed and worked to save us all.

The story line was interesting, and moved right along. In fact, it jumped around a little too much for my tastes.

My complaint with this one is the absolute lack of any resolution of the many point of the plot--in fighting and territorialness in the various intelligence agencies in the USA. The main point of the book was that good ole Charlie/Carlos...more
I enjoyed the author's "The Corps" series and thought I would give this one a try. I was very disappointed. One of the things that make a book like this work, at least for me, is confidence that the author has done his homework. In this case that means he has done some research on the military, intelligence community and foreign policy organizations. I was shocked right off the bat when Griffin got almost all the military organization facts wrong. First Angola isn't in CENTCOM's territory it's i...more
I really like the way the author writes. As a first time reader of Griffin's books I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like his writing. His style is almost movie like, very visual, although a bit too detailed in some instances. The dialogue and banter between the character is witty and realistic. Since I listened to the book, I found that his style kept me engaged pretty. Also the Narration by Dick Hill was phenomenal, his voices, acting and interpretation of the book brought the story to...more
Lizabeth Tucker
This book is the first in the Presidential Agent series and would be classified as military mystery fiction. I've never read anything by Griffin before, but we have lots of male customers who swear by him. As I had recently started reading Tom Clancy (fast and enjoyable read, but not the greatest literature in the world), a couple told me that I should check into Griffin. I've been reading military non-fiction books so I thought "sure, I'll try him", but not expecting anything special. Oops, my...more
Narrated by Dick Hill

20 hrs and 5 mins

A bit slow to develop, too many characters to keep track of, and it was never resolved why the president sent Castillo - he was supposed to find out who knew what and when. This was left hanging.

Publisher's Summary

Two armed men board a 727 that has been all but forgotten at an airfield in Angola. Hijacking the jet, they then slit the throat of the lone crew and fly to parts unknown. The consternation is immediate, as the CIA, FBI, and other agencies race to...more
Sherry Wilson
I've read all W.E.B. Griffin's series but I like Presidential Agent series best. This is the 2nd time I've read the entire series through. I wanted to complete the read before the 8th book in the series, "Hazardous Duty" was published 31 Dec. 2013. Charlie Castillo is resourceful and to holds bared hero who can handle tight situation, military or civilian. The stories are fast moving and riveting. In "By Order of the President", we are introduced to Charlie and his background.
John Grazide
That was tough. I think Mr. Griffin was paid by the word for this book. It was so over written that it became a chore to read. I enjoy fiction for what it is supposed to be, fiction. I also understand that good fiction has one foot in reality, and really good fiction has both feet firmly planted in reality and yet leaves enough room for story telling. This book read almost like a handbook, complete with footnotes. That's right footnotes! Ughh!

I can appreciate what was attempted, but the protagon...more
Steven Kent
This book begins and ends with moments of action. Everything in between those moments is intrigue and dialog with a hint that more action is on the way.

The government is slow to react when terrorists hijack a refurbished airplane, killing an American, until one clear-thinking, low-level infers that it may be associated with a terrorist attack.

Enter Charley Castillo, special forces commando extraordiare. Charley is interesting. He is the product of a tryst between the daughter of a wealthy German...more
William Bentrim
I haven’t read any Griffin for awhile and had forgotten how much I enjoy them. This book is book one in the Presidential Agent series. Carlos Castillo is a man of many hats who works temporarily for Home Land Security. He is tasked by the President to find out how well the intelligence community is interacting after the debacle of 9/11.

The book is formula Griffin, with short chapters, likeable characters and detailed settings. Once again Philadelphia plays a part in a Griffin tale. Charley Cast...more
New-age military novel that unfolds as a 787 airliner is stolen from an airfield in Angola. Special agent Charles Castillo, son of legendary Purple Heart Medalist, is assigned to the task of monitoring different Federal Agencies "to find out what they knew and when they knew it". Along the way his role as Army Major and Supervisory Special agent assistant to the Secretary to the Dept. of Homeland Security are closely intertwined as he plays an integral role in attempting to divert disaster as th...more
this book is very similar to Griffin's other writings. That being said I am a huge Griffin fan especially the Brother hood of War and the Semper Fi series'. This book brings Griffin's style to the modern Global War on Terror. The fictional story is beefed up with factual history and locales along with some great characters that make the book very enjoyable. There are a number of follow on books and each is a pretty good story in its own regard, but they are best read in order. The main character...more
I listen to the audio of this book. I might have rated it higher but the music that was inserted periodically throughout the recording was annoying. I kept trying to find a pattern as to why the music was playing at that particular time but if the intent was 'listen up this is important' it didn't work for me because the music was blaring so loud I could barely hear the narrator. Published in 2004, times have changed. The military budget isn't quite what it was back then. Action packed, military...more
First of all, thank you, Randy, for turning me on to this series.

I was fascinated by this rather long novel . . . the characters were certainly well-developed and the story was told with total plausibility. The politics behind the competing security agencies - CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security - was well told and probably all too true.

I enjoyed the flashbacks that helped the reader understand Major Castillo when they were placed near the beginning of the book - but there got to be a point where I...more
Feb 04, 2014 Seth is currently reading it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Major Castillo (Ex-Delta Force) is tasked by the President to find out why the Intelligence Services of the United States do not appear to be effectively doing their jobs in regards to a missing 727 jetliner. Castillo ends up finding the 727 and provides the necessary intel for the capture of the aircraft by using a source in the Russian mob.

As far fetched as the plot synopsis sounds, Griffin not only makes it work, but makes it very plausible. Very good book. I have read all of the Corps Series...more
Very good book, especially if you like books on intrigue and espionage.
First book in this series. Griffin's books are always enjoyable, quick reads. Sometimes they even have some interesting information in them but usually it is just a nice quick read to keep my mind entertained.

This series is set in modern day. The first two series that I read were during WWII/Korea timeframes. The other big difference that I noticed was that both of the previous series focused on a cast of characters whereas this one had one main character with some supporting folks.

Looks to be a...more
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W.E.B. Griffin is one of several pseudonyms for William E. Butterworth III.

From the Authors Website:

W.E.B. Griffin is the author of thirty-six epic novels in six series, all of which have been listed on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and other best-seller lists. More than forty million of his books are in print in more than ten languages, including Hebrew, Chinese,...more
More about W.E.B. Griffin...
The Hostage (Presidential Agent, #2) Semper Fi (The Corps, #1) The Lieutenants (Brotherhood of War, #1) Call To Arms (The Corps, #2) The Captains (Brotherhood of War, #2)

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