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The Black Tulip: A Novel of War in Afghanistan

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"In this suspense-filled thriller, the man who ran the closing phases of the Afghan war for the Agency takes his readers on a stunning voyage of discovery through that clandestine world, from Kabul to Hong Kong and the Moscow of the Evil Empire."--Larry Collins, co-author of Is Paris Burning?

Set in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan and the equally hazardous headquar
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 2nd 2002 by Random House Trade (first published May 1st 1998)
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Jdblair
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas 1998. I just got around to reading it! I found it to be very interesting. It kept my attention the entire time I was reading it. She included a book review from the December 12, 1998 issue of The Washington Post (Pages B1 & B2). The review talks about the author's career in the CIA, etc.

It is particularly interesting as the US now has troops on the ground and air in Afghanistan and I wonder how similar our experiences are compared to those of the
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David Davies
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great insiders story from a seasoned veteran of the CIA. Although the work is fiction the plausibility factors are high with few if any holes in the character and plot development. Well worth the read if you are looking for some historical context before the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Karen
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is not quite 'fast-paced' -- it actually rambles and drags a bit. The parts that do move along are rather good. It felt like it wanted to be "The Scarlet Pimpernel" for the Cold War, but it lacked both the heart and the humor.
Stephen Yoder
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How funny that so many characters in this book actually do represent real people. A solid 3.75 stars. I enjoyed all the angles of the Afghan conflict that I hadn't heard before, along with the various intrigues. That damn Aldrich Ames.
Steven Hildreth Jr.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received THE BLACK TULIP as a Christmas gift when I was in high school from my father, if memory serves me correctly. I tried reading it back then, and then set it down, because back then, I wanted the immediate and violent action of the Mack Bolan or Richard Marcinko novels.

Recently, I decided to pick the novel back up and give it a spin.

I would say that I wish I would have read it earlier, but the truth of the matter is that I was not ready to read it as a high school student. Now, as a GWOT
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Colin
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Milt Bearden should stick to nonfiction. (See "The Main Enemy" review.)

Bearden tests the fiction waters with The Black Tulip. The book has the usual international spy ops intrigue with a smattering of romance and action. I just didn't dig it too much. It's not horrible. It's just not good; which is ironic because Bearden lived the life for 30+ years, as opposed to the armchair warriors writing better books.

Though I always wonder when reading former-CIA officers' fiction books whether the story t
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Michelle (MichelleBookAddict)
A good Spy vs. Spy book. Almost felt realistic. So I don't know if it's a little non-fiction with some fiction. Could be that way. Either way, it was a good suspense.

I have read this twice 10 years ago. After I re-read it, I gave it to a friend. I was in the Navy at the time and it was during a deployment, so he appreciated the hand-me-down book. He also ended up liking the book too.
Jay
Jan 25, 2008 rated it liked it
An excellent look at the Russian war in Afghanistan from the Russian perspective. The term "black tulip" refers to the aircraft used to carry the bodies of fallen soldiers back home to Russia.
Tara
Jan 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Novel of war in Afghanistan after CIA gives Mujahideen Stinger missiles.
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