Apocalyptic military fiction with a powerful message. Iran has nukes. Israel’s leader is hospitalized. History is now up to 35 Israelis. Ethnically diverse. Ideologically divided. On a nuclear-armed submarine.
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In this gripping doomsday thriller "ripped from the headlines," Iran has threatened to destroy Israel while developing the nuclear capability to do so.
Struck by a medical emergency, Israel’s Prime Minister falls unconscious just as military action is needed to stop Iran’s nukes.
History is now up to 35 Israelis aboard the Dolphin – a powerful submarine armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
Ship unity is crucial to mission success, but deep conflicts rise to the surface among crewmembers who are ethnically diverse and ideologically divided.
Tensions boil further from the rivalry between the captain and his deputy, and a childhood tragedy that quietly haunts a younger sailor whose psychological wounds could explode at any time.
Thus, in addition to the naval action and plot twists found in military thrillers and war fiction, character study and psychological suspense also feature prominently in the novel.
On their suspenseful voyage to Armageddon, the submariners must confront each other -- and pulse-pounding threats at sea -- before facing an unthinkable dilemma.
It will be the toughest decision of their lives – and it will determine the fate of the Middle East.
What's in this book is what Benjamin Netanyahu is thinking about. Right now.
This nuclear thriller couldn't be more timely, what with Iran getting closer to the bomb and escalating its smack talk against Israel, which meanwhile must try to remain in step with a United States tired of war, its leaders dreaming instead of making nice with the Muslim world.
The book follows the crew of a nuclear-armed Israeli submarine dispatched abruptly as Iran tensions dramatically escalate. A sister sub has been attacked by Iran. Just as he faces his toughest call, the Israeli Prime Minister is incapacited with a stroke, a la Sharon. No spoilers here, but at some point the officers and crew find themselves having to make decisions they never thought they'd have to make.
In a way, it's a parable. It's not that long - half the length of a standard thriller - and focuses more on dialogue and characterization than on bang-bang. It would make a better play than movie.
Author Noah Beck doesn't spare the military hardware and is utterly convincing writing about sub operations. I don't know whether he ever served on one, in any case he did his homework, but this book isn't really about that. It's about the moral conflicts created by the possibility of nuclear war, a possibility Israel must face as getting closer every day.
And they're a heterogenous group, as much as the Israeli society they defend. We meet many of them - the crew only has 35 people - in some detail. There's the stalwart captain and his peacenik deputy, both grandchildren of Holocaust survivors but with radically different takeaways from that heritage. There's the one whose family was ripped to shreds by a suicide bomber's attack. There's the Ethiopian Jew, deeply religious, airlifted as a tot out of the Middle Ages to an Israel his family hadn't even known existed, one where they nevertheless face some racism. There's the Persian Jew, whose parents were smuggled out, losing their business and property when the Ayatollah came to power. There's the Indian Jew, incongruously fascinated by all things Brooklyn. There's the Russian Jew, atheistic and secular, totally atuned to anti-Semitism.
And there are several who aren't Jewish: a gay Vietnamese Israeli (really) from a family of boat people offered refuge by Israel when no other country would accept them. A Druze and an Arab Christian who quietly but only occasionally speak Arabic to each other. Interestingly, when push comes to shove, it's the non-Jews who are the most hawkish, partly because they realize Jews aren't the only religious minorities pushed around in the Middle East.
The book, though, is very Jewish and very Israeli. The sailors are family oriented to an extent unlikely in other countries. The pains taken to morally analyze a gravely complicated situation and to view it from a dozen different perspectives is positively Talmudic.
Beck brings to bear on the question of nuclear war many of the perspectives that might be found in Israel's society - religious vs. secular, hawk vs. dove, right vs. left, immigrant vs. native born. He portrays what Iranian nuclear ambitions really mean for the only nation in the world that must actively consider the possibility of being nuked - a nation where the national motto is "Never Again" and the national axiom is "when they say they're going to kill us, they mean it."
His book is both a message and a warning to America: what needs to be done to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, and what may happen if the world vacillates too long.
The Last Israelis is a book I would never have picked up if not recommended by a fellow author. I'm glad that I read it. If you are interested in the military implications of Iranian nuclear capabilities in a politically unstable region, it is a must read.
Author Noah Beck stages his book in an unique way as told through the eyes of an Israelis nuclear submarine crew. It is a military thriller which is less concerned with dramatic twists and turns of a typical thriller than it is in creating a plausible contemporary doomsday scenario that highlights Iran's nuclear threat to the State of Israel.
The author develops his fictional characters by staging a short picnic where each crew member is permitted to invite some family members or close friends. The picnic is used as a tool for the author to develop characterization and background information of each of the crew members.
The book held my interest because of the political debate between each of the crew members. It was a perfect tool for introducing the political situation in the Middle East. It became even more interesting as the crew members debate over using the submarine's nuclear warheads against Iran after it becomes clear to them that Israel has been targeted.
If there were one thing I could say negatively about the book it is the fact that it is very pro-Israeli. At no time is it politically sympathetic toward it's enemies, although there are some crew members who don't want to bomb "innocent" Iranian civilians. The author makes it clear that the crew feels that Iranian policy makers are to blame for the situation, not its citizens.
The book is used by the author to convey the state of the political situation in the Middle East. Beck tends to go into lengthy flashbacks and dialogues which are more in the vein of an essay rather than a novel. However, it is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the dangerous world in which we live.
‘You are the last Israelis. You are what is left. But you have no home. You must go somewhere else.’
In this novel, Iran has threatened to destroy Israel – and is on the brink of having the nuclear means to make this threat a reality. Israel’s Prime Minister, acutely aware of the threat and attempting to manage it, is suddenly hospitalized. Israel’s ‘Dolphin’ submarine is suddenly recalled from a drill, and advised that it will be resupplied to commence a mission immediately.
The Captain of the ‘Dolphin’, Daniel Zion, and his crew of 34 have a brief reunion with family and friends before the mission commences. The submariners are ethnically, politically and religiously diverse – some are haunted by their pasts, each is concerned for the future.
“After all, what is peace?” Daniel thought. “It’s just a promise. And like a promise, peace can be broken at any time.”
The ‘Dolphin’ sets sail. Israel is attacked, and the submarine crew must decide how to respond. The ‘Dolphin’ is equipped ‘with eight torpedoes and ten Popeye Turbo cruise missiles that could deliver a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead 1,500 kilometers’: it can retaliate. How will the choice be made? What will each man decide, and why? What difference will it make?
‘I also ask that you find the moral truth within you, and have the courage to embrace it – whatever it is – rather than simply follow what someone else has chosen.’
Although at times the amount of information being imparted slowed the story down, I found this an interesting and thought-provoking novel. Mr Beck depicts the dangers inherent in submarine life as well as the inevitable tensions and conflicts as the men decide on a course of action.
What would you decide, in the same set of circumstances?
I'm not a big fan of techno-thrillers, so I wasn't sure I would like this book. However, it turned out to be quite different from what I expected. While there was a lot of technical information about the submarine and the weapons systems, it was mostly presented in describing situations the submarine crew encountered--not just to show off the technical attributes. Although the story is about an apocalyptic event, it's not strictly action-adventure. There is a lot of telling versus showing, but that didn't bother me in this story. The reader really gets to know the diverse characters manning the submarine as well as a great deal about their relationships and their beliefs and values. There is a powerful ethical debate among crew members when it appears that Israel may have been totally destroyed and they are the last Israelis. Do they carry out their mission to launch nuclear missiles or is their mission invalidated because there is no government or military command left? Crew members express their opinions and the moral bases for their opinions. I found the moral debate intriguing and very well-thought-out. In some ways, the book seemed more an essay on world politics and culture than a novel. The story was simply a way of presenting a powerful argument for world, especially US, action to stop Iran's nuclear program. In that context, however, the story was totally gripping. The book was well-written with only one attribute I found annoying. The author switched from past tense to present tense, particularly when describing the submarine and characters. That was a minor annoyance, though, in such a compelling story. Unfortunately and tragically, the storyline is believable in the world and Middle East of today.
Reminiscent of Tom Clancy in excitement and technical explanation, with a touch of Nevil Shute perhaps, and a thoroughly modern, Jewish worldview, Noah Beck invites his readers onto an Israeli attack submarine in a time of sickness and unrest. But first there’s the “picnic before doomsday” where family reunions provide a platform for endearing conversations and fascinating backstories, building relationships between reader and character that add depth and pathos to the novel.
The submarine feels real, from details of relationships to the timing and manner of a dive, and the size of a bunk. It’s hard not to imagine I’m watching a movie as I read, picturing the characters and hearing their voices as they speak. Religious, non-religious, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and more, the brothers in the submarine band together, trust each other, play poker and try to understand the news they’re given of the world outside. The submarine’s family binds them, and their stories make them real. But soon, a shared sense of terror and danger will leave them bound in complex discussions of morality, democracy and war.
In a world where nuclear threats continue to proliferate, where Israel may soon face a threat from its neighbors as great as the threat it poses, nothing’s simple and no answers are easily found. Détente remains as fragile an imitation of peace as it has ever been, and The Last Israelis is as thought-provoking and sobering as it is exciting. The author hopes to change the world and perhaps he will have a hand in changing at least one reader at a time.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the second edition of this novel by the author.
The Last Israelis shows the threat of Iran to global security. Israel must fight against all odds for the sake of her very existence and "the last Israelis" of the novel indirectly raise the question: when has a country truly survived and when has it been destroyed? This is a fascinating read that uniquely combines geo-politics, war, psychology, and culture.
Provocative end-of-the-world-sorta novel that is disturbingly close to reality. Comparable to On The Beach in tension and tone. A great submarine suspense-thriller with a needful message. The Last Israelis is the story of an Israeli Defence Force nuclear armed submarine called the Dolphin (based on a real IDF submarine of the same make, model and German origin) sent on a rendezvous with destiny as the final retaliatory weapon of vengeance following what the crew believes (but is never sure until the climatic conclusion) was a devastating all-out nuclear and chemical missile strike against Israel. The plot is strong and the tension builds steadily as the events unfold and the ship's destiny begins to take shape. It's a decent pot-boiler once you get over the awkward dialogue. Noah Beck wrote this powerful novel in a somewhat vain effort to draw public attention to the brutal reality that the most virulent anti-Israel, anti-West, anti-America regime on earth, Islamic Iran, now possesses a nuclear missile capability that can wipe out Israel and other regional neighbors (like Saudi Arabia). As such, The Last Israelis has somewhat unreal and burdensome dialogue. Beck is trying to introduce the reader (mostly American, one suspects) to the diversity and divergent political views of Israeli society. Every possible Israeli minority type is represented on-board and all of them have a backstory that must be told to fully understand what would be lost should Israel be destroyed. The Iranian existential threat toward Israel is continually brought into the crew's dialogue, again somewhat forced and unnatural but entirely in keeping with the goal of the author to inform non-Israelis as to what Israel faces from its regional enemies. I am a former solder with limited submarine expertise, but the book's naval submariner life and technical details seem very real. Is Noah Beck a former IDF Submariner? If he wasn't then he certainly seems to have gotten help from one to write this. As a guy who spent a lot of time in the Middle East (including a stint as a Volunteer for Israel) I know the message of this novel is true and needful given the realities of a nuclear Iran. Israel is a great nation that deserves American and Western support. But God forbid we should ever reach to point this novel reaches at its climax. Read it to find out what I mean. Truth can be truly terrifying and Noah Beck has warned us. I hope we all take heed. Recommended!
Israel's prime minister is taken ill at the time when Iran makes changes to their nuclear weapons programme, to make it invulnerable to air strikes. Iran begins to make threats about attacking Israel with nuclear weapons, so The Dolphin, an Israeli submarine that is itself armed with nuclear missiles, is sent to sea as a countermeasure.
The majority of the rest of the book follows the crew of the submarine as they try to determine if an attack has occurred, and what they will do about it if it has. Should they retaliate? Do they have the authority without the prime minister's order?
The book is well written, but has a strange tone as if it has been translated from another language, or maybe it's just that the way people talk doesn't quite feel right. The author outright says that he is trying to make a political point in an introduction, and at times it feels like the characters are giving the reader a lecture on Middle Eastern politics. This wasn't overpowering, but this weird lack of realism prevented me awarding five stars. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to fans of thrillers.
If you’re looking for an action-packed thriller with lots of naval warfare tactics, then you will be sorely disappointed. This book would’ve fared better if the author had made it a non-fiction work because the dialogues are unnatural and the characters are either annoying or forgettable. There is a submarine too, but that has been inserted just to keep things from getting boring. The whole point of this book is to explain the fragile geo-political peace that exists between Israel and the Arab countries. This book discusses an imaginary scenario in which the state of Israel is wiped out by a massive, co-ordinated attack by Arab countries.
While I learned some interesting things about Israel and submarines; I learned way too much about some of the relative insignificant characters. Also the book is rather disjointed; ie does not read smoothly from chapter to chapter and sometimes with paragraphs. Close to the ending, a critical problem occurs with the sub. But the book ends without telling how this key problem was resolved. I don't really enjoy apocalyptic books, so maybe this is reflected in my review.
This is just a thinly disguised vehicle for the author to lecture on Mideast politics and history. With a decided pro Israel bias. When he describes the conversation over a poker game where every card played is described, I couldn’t press on.
email@example.com I enjoyed this book as it is fast moving plot kept my internist. I also now have a better understanding of what living in close courters mean and the stresses that bring with the knowledge of knowing that every day or action can be your last.
There is an excellent story here, but it is drowned by Israeli propaganda. The author in the preface says his purpose was to influence the worlds actions towards Iran, and that he failed. There is much good here, and it asked some very difficult questions.
The Last Israelis by Noah Beck was reviewed via audio book through Audible. This is my first review of an audio book and I found it difficult to follow with all the different characters. I don’t think this is an issue with the author, but with me as the reviewer.
Even now, I am having trouble following the story so forgive me if my details are off. I have no page numbers or anything to refer to in my review; nothing to bookmark. I spent all day Saturday and some of Sunday sitting and listening to the novel. From my point of view, it’s a military novel about the Iran-Israel clash. The characters are the prime minister in Israel who has fallen mysteriously sick making Israel nearly leaderless during a critical time in their history. The cache of other characters take place on a submarine called the Dolphin. The cast is diverse from a gay person wanting to come out of the closet to a conservative. It seems message-orientated as each explains their point of view. Most of the story takes place on the submarine.
Objectionable content is at a place where the point of view gets confused when we switch heads and the swear words startle you. The swear words are not overdone or without purpose. The pros of this audio book is the later half of the novel when the action begins. The pros of this book is also the reader, too. The person reading the novel is very engaging. He does great voice impersonations and it’s not hard to listen to this novel, just hard to understand what is going on because of so many characters. When I listen to an audio book of the Bible, I understand what’s going on, but with so many characters in this novel, it’s very hard to follow. The story that comes clear from the story is the Prime Minister of Israel’s coma and awakening. Perhaps if I were to read the actual novel, I could follow it better.
The end of the novel disappointed me. The epilogue was the diplomatic cable that probably could have been left out as the only purpose it served was to be a message, instead of a story. I would have also liked to be left with some hope at the end of this novel.
Overall, it seems like social hour on the submarine discussing their points of view and politics, a lot of technical information, and some military action. I gave this novel three stars as an audio book.
The Last Israelis is unlike any thriller I've read before, and I mean that in a (mostly) good way. Its basic setting and concept call to mind military thrillers like The Hunt for Red October, but Noah Beck approaches the storytelling craft in a unique way. Beck is less interested in penning intricate plot twists and pulse-pounding action scenes than he is in creating a plausible doomsday scenario that highlights the contemporary threat that Iran's nuclear ambitions pose to the State of Israel. This one is right out of the newspaper folks, and should be required reading for our world leaders.
Beck's interest in showcasing intellectual debate between his characters becomes evident early on, when the crew of the Dolphin is granted a brief shore leave to reunite with their families. He takes this opportunity to establish the back story for Captain Daniel Zion, his impotent deputy Yisrael, and other key members of the submarine's thirty-five-man crew. This stage-setting embues his characters with distinct personalities and motivations that later color the positions they take when the Dolphin loses contact with its command structure and must determine whether to unleash its arsenal of ten nuclear warheads on Iran.
The novel grabbed and held my interest because of the authenticity of the politics, the realistic description of the submariners' craft, and the thought-provoking quality of the existential debate that occurs among the crew. In particular, I found the arguments over the moral justification for targeting a civilian population with weapons of mass destruction to be nuanced and thorough.
But The Last Israelis interested me more in the vein of a compelling essay or punchy op-ed piece, than in the manner of a great novel. Beck has a tendency to tell rather than show, as many passages serve the single purpose of conveying information rather than moving the plot forward. He also tends to over-use flashbacks and lapse into lengthy dialogue that sounds more like an exchange between college professors than banter among seamen. As Beck becomes more comfortable with the craft of storytelling, I expect that he will find ways to influence the public debate on critical subjects in a novel that feels a little less like an essay.
"And it's not that the world didn't know this might happen, "Michael added. "I mean, Iran has been threatening to destroy Israel for over a decade."
Iran is working very hard to develop nuclear weapons. What will we do as they bring their plans to realization? Will we try the talks and sanctions that have failed in Iraq, North Korea and elsewhere while the Iranians complete their work and there is no chance that we can make them stand down? ("While the Iranians kept the world busy with these fake talks that went nowhere, they got everything they wanted. Those talks never had a real chance of stopping the Iranian nuclear program - they only proved to the regime the world lacked the spine to stop them.") What would it mean for all the other countries in the Middle East, but especially Israel? In the Last Israeli's, Noah Beck gives one scenario of what could happen if we do not stop them from creating a nuclear program. Israel has been threatened since the beginning of time but until the advent of nuclear and chemical warfare, the country could not have been totally annihilated. That is no longer the case and in this novel, the author goes on to describe some events that could happen if Israel is destroyed.
Most books in this genre are about heroes who protect from the extremists who would harm us, especially on our own shores. The reason that I found this novel so frightening is because it tells what will happen if the world allows a country who supports and fund terrorists activities to develop a nuclear program.
Noah Beck is an amazing writer and you can tell he has spent a lot time researching the material for his book. I love the individual chapters at the beginning that give us insight into the personal lived of several of the key players. You feel as anyone of the people could be your friends and neighbors and it makes what happened feel more personal.
If I could give this book more stars, I would. It is so well written that you cannot tell it is his first novel; I could have just as easily been reading a novel by Clancy
I was privileged to receive an advance copy of "The Last Israelis" and it was every bit as engaging as promised. When the Israeli Prime Minister awakens to receive intelligence that a nuclear Iran is only days away, he is left with a choice - what to do to safeguard his small nation when a Muslim nation that has vowed to destroy Israel can carry out the threat with just a push of a button. As the world's powers are sidelined by bickering and backroom deals, it appears that Israel is, as usual, alone.
Accentuating Israel's cultural history, which through immigration is much the same as the US' own "melting pot", the crew of the nuclear submarine Dolphin nevertheless share a love for their country (adopted or not) that is stronger than their differences. However, even family disagrees. Faced with the continual "first-strike" threats of Iran's leadership, will the crew of the Dolphin be able to come together to perform the ultimate "second-strike" duties should the unthinkable happen?
One part "Crimson Tide" and another part "Twelve Angry Men", the final third of the book is some of the fastest paced and most gripping literature I have ever read and I would hold it up against the writing of even the most established writers of political/military thrillers. Life on a claustrophic submarine is tough enough during peace time, but life on the Dolphin is made all the more tense when thoughts of family and old psychological scars rear their heads to mix with the stress of real-world ops.
At a time, when Israel's very existence is being threatened by the impending doom of a their belligerent Muslim neighbors, this book is not only hard hitting, but topical. Will the US come to the rescue of Israel or will they be forced to "go it alone" as has repeatedly happened throughout their history because of the rest of the world's entanglements with the oil-rich Middle East. A must read for everyone who loves this nation - no matter where they live.
The Last Israelis by Noah Beck is a short novel taking place mostly on a submarine. The doomsday scenario, a threat to the State of Israel, is the “ripped from the headlines” type of novel.
The Captain of the Israeli Dolphin submarine carrying nuclear missiles, Daniel Zion, knows something is wrong when they are called ashore for a brief reunion with family and friends before their mission commences. Zion’s crew is diverse and represents much of the Israeli makeup.
During their mission, they find out that Israel has been attacked, they cannot contact anyone and must decide how to proceed.
The Last Israelis by Noah Beck could be considered a military thriller, there are some plot twists and action, however the author approaches the story more on an intellectual side. The setting is a chance for the author to engage in intellectual debates between characters of different backgrounds.
The novel does have good characterization; the author builds up each character so there is some background to the debates and the reader understands who each person formulated their ideology over a lifetime of various experiences and family history. What follows is a very interesting and balanced look at Israel and the current events in the region.
The book is an excellent effort by the author, however, the dialog is a bit clunky and sometimes goes into lengthy dialogue exchange in order to convey a single point, which brings the plot to a halt. That being said, it is still a readable and ambitious work by a first time author.
From the first several pages, the characters are engaged in academic discussions about life, religion and politics. The debates are highly intellectual and existential; they do give the novel a thought provoking aspect which stayed with me after I finished reading it.
Buried amid all the seemingly urgent hyperbole of current events over the antics of ISIS, Hamas, and a myriad other Islamic players and the reactions they illicit on the global stage; is the slow, persistent yet aggressive march of IRAN towards realizing FULL NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY.
While the world’s media and general population are kept breathless and preoccupied by “always fresh” reports of bombings and beheadings; IRAN has gradually recovered most of its money once held by sanctions. It has also managed to delay nuclear disarmament talks repeatedly.
The smokescreen is working!
The Last Israelis by Noah Beck is a work of fiction but, as I monitor the simultaneous events spanning the globe, it eerily edges closer to reality.
In my youth I enjoyed and savored the science fiction, short stories of Ray Bradbury. Who would have known that almost everything he wrote about would become so ubiquitous in our day, just a few decades on?
I shudder to think that what Noah Beck wrote as a warning to our world leaders would go unheeded and we would awake one day realizing it has become non-fiction.
Noah Beck writes intuitively but with a firm grasp of current events and human nature.
There are many lessons about choices and the far-reaching effects of the decisions we make today that we can learn from The Last Israelis…time will be well served if we read it; if only to make sure that it does stay a work of fiction.
I enjoy a good high-tech thriller as much as the next person. In fact, I'm a rather ardent fan of Stephen Coonts. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review The Last Israelis, I was more than happy to accept.
This is the story of a 35-member Israeli submarine team, whom we initially meet during a company picnic of sorts. That picnic is disrupted by an emergency return to duty. We see some aspects of each crew member's character during the early parts of the book, including bits about their loved ones and what is important to them.
And then, the book takes a turn toward the technical in a manner that reminded me very much of The Hunt for Red October. It was suddenly all about the workings of submarines and not so much about the submariners. One certainly cannot accuse the author of failing to do his homework.
That's not to say we didn't see anything of the submariners; in fact, there is a lot of dialogue by those men wherein the author makes his political positions very clear on numerous matters.
Sure, it's a technical thriller; I get that. I still would have liked to see more plot- and character-driven writing than technological information and what I started viewing as propaganda based in consequential ethics. Other people may see the book differently.
Let me start off by saying that if you're a fan of Joel Rosenberg's books like me then you'll really enjoy this book! I literally had a hard time putting this book down even while reading it sick. Mr. Beck writes about a scenario that can soon become all too real if something is not done about Iran's nuclear program. I don't want to go into too much detail about the story because I don't want to give anything away! You can definitely tell that the author did his research. The characters weren't cookie board cutouts and they also had a lot of depth to them. The details about submarine life and it's crew were realistic and believable. These men were humble, brave and true leaders. I actually cared about these characters. I hope that the United States president, and the members of Congress and the Senate read this book! It's a huge eye opener. The novel wasn't boring and the pacing was on point. I also didn't encounter any editing issues. There are 39 chapters including an epilogue. The novel is separated into three parts so it is not a quick read but once you pick it up and get going, you'll find yourself struggling to put it back down!
If you like reading excellent thrillers with realistic plots and characters then I highly recommend reading this book. I truly enjoyed it and hope that you will too. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!
With the Prime Minister of Israel hospitalized, it's a perfect time for Iran to make good on their threat of taking care of Israel once and for all with their nuclear weapons that are almost complete. That's when the Dolphin, an Islraelis submarine, is called back to reassemble for a mission of their own.
Daniel Zion, who is captain, and thirty-four other men, all from different walks of life, become the crew of the sub. All of the men have their own beliefs and thoughts of what is happening and what should happen, and the sub fills with hate and distrust among them.
Meanwhile, while they are under water, they lose contact with Naval Command. Now, they have to decide if they should go ahead with their orders of setting off missiles or not. But leading up to this decision is a journey of epic proportions - the men have dreams that are hard to distinguish between reality, there is an enemy sub in the waters, a fire and more. It's a treacherous and realistic adventure that will give you thrills and chills.
Noah Beck has written such a multi-faceted novel; one filled with politics, life-altering choices, back-to-back action and compelling characters. I could easily see this novel made into a movie - it's so vivid and surreal. Riveting, exciting and too close for comfort, The Last Israelis is a well-written novel that is sure to be a best-seller. I finished days ago and I'm still absorbing everything. It's definitely impactive!
This book was an interesting look into what could happen to the nation of Israel if Iran is left to continue building its nuclear capacities. At the beginning of each of the three sections, Beck begins with a scripture from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. The first is a prophetic scripture of a ram that is moving in all directions and cannot be stopped. The 2nd scripture is from the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego--where they refuse to worship the idols of Nebuchadnezzar. The third is simply a verse that tells Daniel that he will show him a vision of the last days and what will happen to his people. The Ram, in the novel , is Iran. Beck shows that they become so powerful that they can write the history of the middle east. The other two verses also fit in, but more loosely. It was interesting to me that Beck used these prophetic scriptures, yet did not even allude to the hope of the Messiah. Religion was touched upon in the novel, but to me, religion should have been the focal point. In my opinion, religion has played, does play, and will play the most important role in the saga of the Middle East. This book was worth reading for insight into what is going on in the Middle East (though of course, the book is fiction), and what really could happen. The writing was fairly good, though the conversations occasionally seemed stilted.
The book begins with what seems to be a slower pace -- you get to know the crew members through a brief shore-leave picnic, and at first there isn't a lot of action. But then you realize that this is deliberately done, so that when the action and the tension begin, about a third of the way through, you are experiencing them through the lenses of the different characters, whom you know well by this point. Amongst the novel's strengths is its great ability to give you different perspectives on the issues in question -- and there is real conflict between the crew members' views, all of which are drawn fairly, and with substance -- making this novel as much an intellectual thriller as a military and psychological one. By about the halfway point you won't want to put it down -- the tension has built slowly but unrelentingly, and the climax is really quite intense ... A very good read, a gripping read, and ultimately a chilling one -- lots to think about for anyone concerned about matters middle east ... as a philosopher (author most recently of Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas from the Smartest Philosophers), I had plenty to engage with ... and as a fan of thrillers, I had plenty to be thrilled by!
"humanity is all we have and all that illuminates an otherwise dark world"
"The Last Israelis" is a different sort of post-apocalyptic novel. It is a too-real story, no, make that treatise, on Israeli/Iranian relations and the imminent threat of nuclear and chemical warfare between the two countries.
I could tell this is a subject very close to the author's heart. In some ways that's good as it shows in the passion he shows for the subject. In some ways that's not so great - this is a novel and not a textbook and at times the long litany of historical facts got to be a bit overpowering. He used his dialogue between characters to impart the history and that made the dialogue stilted at times.
Besides the history, there was a lot of philosophical discussion about nuclear warfare, too, and that that became a bit pedantic at times.
All that written, though - I liked the book. It made me think. I learned from it. The characters were well drawn and sympathetic. I loved the submarine trivia and scenes.
I understand there is a second edition coming out of the book and I am betting it'll clean up a lot of the items I had problems with in the story.
If you are interested in post-apocalyptic fiction or military thrillers, I think you will enjoy this offering.
Israel exists due to the unarguably despicable behavior of Western Europeans. In Noah Beck’s debut thriller the continued existence of Israel is now threatened by the nuclear capability and contemptible rhetoric that emanates from Iran; a very real threat that is ripped from today’s headlines. The Last Israelis explores in depth the ethical and moral decisions involved in the engagement of war and Beck skillfully draws the reader into the characters backgrounds and their divergent ideologies. Primarily set on a submarine, the debates are skillfully written to give the reader a real sense of the difficulty of maintaining peace that is not overly Zionist in perspective. Beck is able to walk in quite a few shoes without stumbling and successfully pulls it off.
The plot moves forward with action and twists that occur between the debates toward a climax that will keep the reader turning the pages. There is enough action to satisfy anyone searching for a good thriller with the added benefit of an outstanding moral debate that is so often absent in the Armageddon sub-genre of military thrillers. It’s a “what if” scenario that brings global politics into a disturbing and oh so possible development.