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By the Rivers of Babylon

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  4,429 ratings  ·  186 reviews
Lod Airport, Israel: Two Concorde jets take off for a U.N. conference that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Covered by F-14 fighters, accompanied by security men, the planes carry warriors, pacifists, lovers, enemies, dignitaries -- and a bomb planted by a terrorist mastermind.

Suddenly they're forced to crash-land at an ancient desert site. Here, with only a ha
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ebook, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1978)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
They've spelled the title wrong. It should be By the Rivers of Babble On. DeMille is a smart and thorough guy, but damn, this is boring! I'd rather sit and watch my bananas ripen.
Marcie
I really enjoyed this book, and I almost didn’t make it through the first 50 pages. I’m so glad I stuck with it. Premise: two Concordes take off from Israel full of diplomats and dignitaries on their way to the UN in NY to an unprecedented conference to finally bring peace to the Middle East for good…oblivious to the bombs planted in the tails during plane production.

My main gripes about the first 50 pages:
1. Had to make notes in order to keep the characters straight, I couldn’t keep my Chaims,
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Kim
By the Rivers of Babylon is just what I’ve come to expect from a Nelson DeMille novel: suspenseful, action-packed, and nuanced with shades of politics and character complexities. That it was written over thirty years ago doesn’t make it any less compelling, and in fact, despite any changes in the Middle East since then, By the Rivers of Babylon still provides an insightful glimpse into the hearts and souls of the people residing in that part of the world. DeMille is especially adept at highlight ...more
Henri Moreaux
By the Rivers of Babylon was Nelson DeMille's first hardcover novel and was written in 1978. Often ~40 year old thriller novels are laughably out of date or simply no longer relevant to the world as it sits today giving a poor reading experience, not so with Rivers of Babylon. It is as relevant today as it was in 1978.

The plot principally revolves around lead up to & the (successful) Palestinian terrorist plot to hijack a Israeli plane filled with diplomats; and the aftermath including their
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Will
Jun 07, 2013 Will rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cphe
My favourite book by this author. I read this years ago and enjoyed it even more the second time around. A group of Israeli delegates are on a Peace Mission enroute to New York. Their plane is sabotaged and they are forced to make a crash landing in the desert. There they make a stand against impossible odds.

There is an excellent cross section of characters and the story is fast paced and action packed. Well worth a look at.
Hella Comat
A little long, but then maybe because this was only my second digital book I've read on my iPad (I make the font so big that the book has LOTS of pages). The premise is: 2 Concord jets (if it has airplanes in it, I have to read it) take off with Israelis headed to a peace conference in New York. They are set up by a terrorist who has planted bombs in the tails of the jets when they were first manufactured. Part exciting, part suspended credibility, and part 'I just want to see what happens'.
Sue
Intriguing story, lots of characters who were interesting to me, interesting geography and Biblical history included.

Overall, the audio version of this book held my attention at a four-star level, even though I felt it was overly long and somewhat melodramatic in spots, laced with god-like predictability that you knew early on what must happen in the end. I'm not a fan of so much foreshadowing that it seems the characters have no choice but play the role the author has fated them to play, but t
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Kevin
I love Nelson Demille. This was his first novel and although it has a great story line it did not grab me like every other book I have read of his. It was still worth the read because you can see he has progressed very much as a writer.
Antipodes
Recommended, and a definite must for any DeMille fan. His first hardback novel, and his first big breakthrough. Originally published in 1978, it could have been written yesterday, which is one point the novel makes - not much changes in Babylon over the millennia when it comes to Israel.

After their Concorde is forced down in the deserts of Babylon, a small group of Israeli diplomats, their aides, security force, and a El Al civilian flight crew attempt to fend off Palestinian guerrillas intendin
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Rob Hood
The first part of the book dragged, but after nthat the book was can't put down, awesome!
George
Sorta well written. Terrorists, hijacked plane, staunch defenders. Exciting! Suspenseful, action-packed. Politics and characters are middle-east complex. That it was written decades ago years ago doesn’t make it any less compelling. However, the aviation researcher could have done a better job as that aspect crossed the line into fantasy. A complex Mach 2+ airplane just doesn't land in the dirt (on fumes), get "shot at" for most of the book, then taxi into the river and float away. Also, does Is ...more
Stella
I had trouble getting involved with the characters and the story at first.
There were so many characters and I wasn't very focused. When the action started, I got much more invested and liked the book. It is sort of an old book, first published in 1978 and again in 2001. It's kind of weird to read books that still mention floppy discs and pay phones - although those references weren't here, that technology was just absent. They talked about kerosene as the fuel for the Concords which I thought w
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Alex Gherzo
John Corey is my favorite Nelson DeMille character but I think this may be my new favorite book of his. By The Rivers Of Babylon is amazing, an adventure story that also acts as a meditation on war and peace, a glimpse into battle strategy, a rumination on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and other political truths about the Middle East) and, most importantly, a character study. A peace delegation heading from Israel to New York is attacked by terrorists and, soon, the passengers -- diplomats, ...more
Kathy
Wow. I was reading this book forever it seems. I guess I must not have liked it even as much as I thought, as it certainly wasn't in the "can't put down" category! Okay - the print was tiny & the book was thick, but I guess I just didn't really care enough about the characters to do more than read 'at it' during off moments.

Actually, that's my biggest gripe with this book: there were too many characters for DeMille to do a decent job of developing any of them well. With his "cast of 1000's"
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Phil
By the Rivers of BabylonNelson DeMille

Probably not Nelson DeMille's best that I have read, and I believe this was his first novel written, but still good. Simple plot; Isreal Peace Group on their way to NYC for a conference is highjacked, and held by the Rivers of Babylon in Iraq.

Strong characters given a great degree of complexity and reality. This group of people work together to survive and live on for another day. Each individual has an unique personality that makes for good reading and carr
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Cheryl
"we wept when we remembered Zion..."

I am a big Nelson DeMille fan and had never read this particular book published in 1978 before now. I noticed a few things, techno wise especially, that have changed over the last 35 years but for the most part, the book stands the test of time well.

The story starts off with two Concordes leaving from Lod Airport in Israel, heading for peace talks in New York City between the Israelis and Arabs. Terrorism soon enters the picture when one of the jets is blown u
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Brandon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May
I am admittedly not a fan of military books. While I would definitely say this book was well written and researched, I can not say that the story captured me, in particular. It was gripping in places, but not a book for everyone.



Specifically, the author gave wonderfully deep detail on a variety of military related topics such as flying an aircraft or descriptions of guns. Such detail would be really appreciated and enjoyed by lovers of military stories. To me, I found it a bit much.



The story its
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Chris Noland
Overall I liked this book but it took quite a while to get into. I read it on a Kindle so I had to go back and find the description of each character a few times because there are so many. This was one of his first books so you can definitely feel its age. The Concorde plays a significant role in the plot and its interesting that Muslim terrorists were still a major plot point 30 years ago.
Chelsealuv Krigbaum
It's a good thing I push myself to read a book through till at least half way before throwing it out as a horrible book. The beginning is terribly slow but extremely detailed and crafted with enough suspense to keep to hanging on . I also held in there hoping to hear a happy ending for Marium.. only to find me crying. is it worth the read... I'm not sure yet.
Ian Moore
The story line is believable and the characters ever more real given the current climate. I loved the attention to detail in the mechanics of the Concorde aviation specs, still one of my favorite books though you do need to slog it out for the first 50 pages or so. Then, it's all worth the read. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes to think a book as well as read it.
J. Ewbank
This is another typical DeMille book. Well crafter, good portrayal of characters, plots and counter plots, stories and counter stories. It is a wonderful story about a difficult time and possibilities. I really enjoyed it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Nicki
Humm.... it got kind of repetitive and predictable. Was also hard to keep up with who the star peace delegate lady, Miriam was with, had been with and is considering screwing next? And they all happened to be either on the plane or trying to save the plane.....
Didn't push any buttons for me but I finished it, just.
April
This is my first time reading this author. There were elements of the story that I really liked, such as the Israeli setting, characters, and the premise of the story. However, I felt that the delivery was a little hollow. The characters were underdeveloped and some of the action in the story was obviously added just to connect the plot line. I struggled to understand exactly which characters were the protagonists as they were recklessly killed off one by one. Their connections to each other wer ...more
Al
The book is good but not quite up to the standards of some of his other efforts such as The Charm School and The Gold Coast. The 'tongue-in-cheek' humor manifested through his primary male character is missing in this book....nevertheless, still an exciting read.
Raymond
If one manages to get past the first 63 pages, a reasonably good book. BUT (being picky) just how many pilots would say sunset is at 6:18 most work on a 24 hour clock 18h18. The author appears to portray a veneer of Arabophobia through the novel.
Terrance Zepke
I love Nelson Demille, especially his Detective John Corey series. But this is my least favorite of his books. It is one of his earlier titles so perhaps that's why it's not as good as others I've read. Or maybe it was just me...
Kathy
I usually love Nelson DeMille books but this one the fighting started this book focused way too much on the detail of the fight, the weapons, etc. I made it half way though and got bored.
Sue
I read an abridged version and I did not like how it was edited. The story jumped around and left me feeling like I was skipping chapters. It may be better to read the full version.
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an
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More about Nelson DeMille...
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