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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  7,169 Ratings  ·  222 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 Boei
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published December 29th 2004 by Putnam Adult
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Steven Jr. Well...not to knock W.E.B. Griffin (I haven't read any of his books), but if you want fast pacing and (I feel and have been told) well-rounded…moreWell...not to knock W.E.B. Griffin (I haven't read any of his books), but if you want fast pacing and (I feel and have been told) well-rounded characters, you could pick up one of my Ben Williams books... ;)

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Community Reviews

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May 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Brad Chinman
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-action
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
Jacob Peled
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I adopted the following rule: “Must be drawn into a book within the first 10%”. If after reading 10% I still don’t “fall in love” with it, I dump it. This book falls into that rule. The beginning was very promising. 100% of action. But then it became some kind of Wikipedia describing the Military structure. What for ??? , and why so many pages?
On top of that our author introduce us to about 70 names. Who can remember so many characters?
Oh.. Yes. There is that main hero, have a long conversation
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best fulfilling novels I have had the pleasure to come across. 10 of 10 stars
Ralph McEwen
A good story. I like the use of foot notes instead of always trying to explain the technical details in the story.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate, hate, hate giving up on books, but that’s what I have to do with “By Order of the President”. To begin - the backstory. I’d never read a W.E.B. Griffin book before, though I’d heard of him. Apparently, he’s written a shit-load of books. There are a couple of reasons why I selected this one for reading. First and foremost, it was the only novel of his at the bookstore that, I think, was book one of a series. Secondly, it had to do with a terrorist plot in Africa, which was the basis for a ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Cancis Lino-Diaz
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast action... and really I had to re-read some pages to make sure I got everything. I'm not a super fast reader, but if I find a book I really like, I can't put it down until it's done. This book was like that. (But I'm partial to Griffins books/series)

Yes, he's a play boy, and yes he's military man... I love that. I needed a fast action one. I love Griffins' knowledge of everything military and all the way up through the Presidency. Also, he always brings in
Lynn Hallbrooks
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Mark Polino
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my first W.E.B Griffin Book. It begins with an unlikely character with many names (Karl / Carlos / Charley) because he was born in Germany by a German mother and a Tex/Mex father... a helicopter pilot killed in the Vietnam War. Karl/Carlos/Charley is now a major in the US Army on loan to Homeland Security. The President assigns Charley to audit the investigation of a missing Boeing 727 in Africa. The President wants to be sure that all the agencies reporting to him (FBI, CIA, State Depar ...more
Brian P.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent series for anyone who's:
a) served in the military
b) served on Fort Bragg
c) just likes to see Soldiers mix it up!

I find Griffin a little technical at times in a way that may lose a reader who's never served in uniform, but fortunately I'm a veteran (and autistic enough) to fall into the details pretty well. I felt like I learned things in this series--in addition to being thrilled and amused--and think anyone who's into military stuff would enjoy this series. My fellow Fort Bragg vet
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my style of writing. Very little depth to the characters and way too much time spent on insignificant stuff that didn't really move the story along. I almost quit on several occasions. Most of the book entailed the characters travelling between and attending meetings. There were some chapters containing historical background of the characters which was interesting but the only action in the book was a few pages at the book's start and end. Blah! I probably won't bother with another book from ...more
MJ Melvin
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you read much W.E.B. Griffin you know his main characters are cut from the same cloth: rich and handsome, defying the expectations of the social elite class.
What I like about his books is they take me places, make me be a spy, marine, soldier, police officer.
I have read all of his books, he has a template and follows it every time. There is a tendency to develop characters and then leave them hanging with no resolution.
This military action story feature Carlos "Charlie" Castillo who is allow
Karen Ford
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great fast paced adventure that moves from continent to continent in the search for a stolen 727 jet. The hero, Major Charley Castillo, is well written and the amount of humor in the book is refreshing in the usual dour world of intelligence gathering. It has me in stiches in several places! Plus the action in the climax is done with the proper amount of pace and excitement. Looking forward to reading more in the series!
S Dizzy
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a long road trip, I got the first two in this series to listen to. The language was too foul for my taste. Having said that, the story itself was entertaining enough. Although I will not read the rest in the series.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A good book, like all Griffin stories. He is heavy on details, but ties them in very nicely ... you just have to be patient. I've enjoyed all the Griffin books, especially "The Corp", being a Jar Head myself.
James J gallmanSr
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ordered to read

If you are a W.E.B. Griffen fan , you will not be disappointed. His knowledge of the workings of the military, and his attention to detail, his character development, and plot development carry you on a adventurous ride from beginning to end.
Larry Cowan
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have any military experience you will like this book.

Fast moving and well paced. Characters are well written and the plot is very suspenseful. It keeps your attention all the way thru.
Homer Jon
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A favorite book. This is one of the great characters. A Texas guy from a wealthy family in the valley who fights for his country at every turn. I just wish the other books in the series were as good as this one.
Patrick McDermott
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this, especially once it got into the meat of the story.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Entertaining! Will read more of this series.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Fourth and final W.E.B novel. Not a fan, tried but his winded style bores me to death.
Robert L. Wright

Great book. Keeps you wanting to read more and not quit. Exciting on every page. I look forward to reading the whole series. One of my favorite authors!
Brad T.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Good read
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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 #1 best-selling author of more than fifty epic novels in seven series, all of which have made The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other best-seller lists. More than fifty million of the books are in print in more than ten languages, including Heb
More about W.E.B. Griffin

Other Books in the Series

Presidential Agent (8 books)
  • The Hostage (Presidential Agent, #2)
  • The Hunters (Presidential Agent, #3)
  • The Shooters (Presidential Agent, #4)
  • Black Ops (Presidential Agent, #5)
  • The Outlaws (Presidential Agent, #6)
  • Covert Warriors (Presidential Agent, #7)
  • Hazardous Duty (Presidential Agent, #8)
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