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By the Rivers of Babylon

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  5,434 Ratings  ·  233 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 July 7th 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Teri Pre
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
A bit dated, but I'm old enough to remember when peace in the Middle East was a possibility, not just a dream. Loved it!!
Kim
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Pamela Mclaren
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, thriller
Two Concorde jets are flown into Israel to carry Israeli officials to a peace conference in New York. Security is tight but everything checks out and the planes take off with a contingent of F-14 fighters. But it is not enough and almost before anyone knows it, the planes have been kidnapped and forced to crash-land in the desert.

While this would not usually be a book for me, and it started slowly with a whole lot of detail I was not interested in, I was quickly drawn in and had a hard time putt
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Val
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've liked everything I've ever read that was written by Nelson DeMille -- this book is no exception. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure with more than cardboard characters -- true, lots of blood and guts, but a fascinating background and multi-layered plot. I give it an A.
Cody
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining airplane read... nothing special.
Paul
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
PLOT OR PREMISE:
Peace in the Middle East is almost assured and two concordes fly to New York with delegates for final negotiations. Terrorists try to derail the peace conference by planting bombs on board and taking the passengers hostage. After one plane is destroyed, killing all on board, the second plane is forced to land near Babylon. At the last minute, the hostages manage to escape to the top of a small hill from which they attempt to defend against the terrorists through several days of s
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Glenn Gray
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 586 B.C. the Babylonian Empire overthrew Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. The resultant desecration of the temple and the capture of the citizens into slavery in Babylon are among the most significant milestones in the history of the Jewish people and the entire Middle East. After Babylon was overthrown by Persian King Cyrus, 50,000 slaves were freed to return to Jerusalem and to re-build the temple.

This story is a fictional account of modern day mid-east intrigue that begins with 2 superson
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Will
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Howard
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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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Nina
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A plane-full of Israeli Jews on their way to a peace conference in NYC is diverted by terrorists to land at the site of ancient Babylon. The ingenuity with which the hostages developed defenses was pretty incredible (but then, it is a novel) and the fight sequences were so breathtakingly tense that I flew through them. My only problem with the book was that I really, really didn't like the main character, who was a total a-hole. I did like the quoting of the Ravensbruck Prayer, which I had not h ...more
Cphe
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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'.
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.
Rob Hood
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first part of the book dragged, but after nthat the book was can't put down, awesome!
Alex Gherzo
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Worley
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I must say that I am a DeMille fan, but this book was not a good read. Not even mediocre, it was painfully bad. I feel I wasted my time reading this book. This is the only DeMille book that I have not liked, I have read most of his books and have enjoyed them, I will still look forward to reading any new books from DeMille.
evelyn m rodriguez
Israeli Arab Relations Explained

This book is a page turner. It has intrigue, war, human rights, religion, and love all rolled into the storyline.
Elle Uryka
Don't give up on this book! I put it down after reading about a 50 pages, though it was dull; but then I started jumping around, and it got me!! You can start reading pretty much anywhere in the book and it will "force" you to want to go back to the beginning. Not a snore and is a decent read today even though events are from what? 30 years ago?
Scott  Breslove
Started off slow with a lot of religious Mumbo jumbo, but when the action picked up it was vintage deMille! Not one of my favorites deMilles, but that doesn't mean it's a bad book. I love pepperoni pizza, but I'd be crazy to say I didn't want cheese pizza because I like pepperoni better...this book is the cheese pizza to the John Corey novels pepperoni pizza.
Ian Pattinson
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The striking cover of this book- a crippled Concorde in a desert location, surrounded by men with assault rifles- has been tempting me in charity shops for years. I finally gave in when I found a copy on the 20p table.

Written in the late seventies and set in the early eighties, the story starts with peace between Israel and its neighbours a strong possibility. El Al's two Concordes are to fly the country's delegates to New York for the final talks. Security is tight, on the ground and in the air
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Reynold Levocz
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced, riveting novel in which a group of Israelis initially seeking peace are forced to fight for their lives against ingrained Philistine hatred.
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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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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Cheryl
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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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Alcornell
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Glenn Gray said it for me...and better than I could, on Sept 8, 2015 (below):

"In 586 B.C. the Babylonian Empire overthrew Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. The resultant desecration of the temple and the capture of the citizens into slavery in Babylon are among the most significant milestones in the history of the Jewish people and the entire Middle East. After Babylon was overthrown by Persian King Cyrus, 50,000 slaves were freed to return to Jerusalem and to re-build the temple.

This story is a
...more
Kathy
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United S
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