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The Network

Ce and plunges him into the kaleidoscopic world of spying Under the expert guidance of an old school hero and veteran of the elite British Special Air Service Taverner prepares to enter Taliban controlled Afghanistan to destroy a cache of the CIA 's precious Stinger missiles before they can fall into the hands of al aeda In Britain and America the intelligence community is poised for a catastrophe that must be kept secret Billed as a spy novel set immediately pre 911 but it just doesn t live up to the hype A rather elongated plot based around a disjointed timeline and with large amounts of exposition together with masses of background on the history of Afghanistan make this a slow readThe narrative develops over a long period as a former British army officer is recruited and trained to destroy a bunch of US missiles in the possession of the Taliban in Afghanistan Lots of talk of Osama CIA MI6 and the shadowy Network but ultimately little of the context is resolved leaving an average adventure story

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In this bold novel Jason Elliot illuminates the dark recesses of the intelligence community during a crucial moment in history the struggle to avoid a terrorist attackIn the months before 911 former army officer Anthony Taverner is leading a uiet life in the English countryside But his recruitment for a dangerous mission to Afghanistan by the British Secret Intelligence Service better known as MI6 shatters his fragile pea I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway What is the Network p 130 The Network s original goal was to establish a structure to be activated in times of need to penetrate key groups relevant to British interests in the Middle East and gather information on their activities It operated independently of the conventional intelligence services with which its relationship was collaborative when necessary but for the sake of secrecy never shared operational details The Network by Jason Elliot is an awesome book It is a must read for anyone interested in Middle Eastern politics the intelligence community or if you are an avid conspiracy theorist The author mixes in real life events and characters with his own story to make a compelling read The Network follows the career of Anthony Taverner a former British army officer Anthony or Ant is recruited for a special mission in Afghanistan to destroy a large cache of Stinger missiles The year is 2001 a few months before the events of September 11 But nothing is as it seemsI loved the entire book The first two chapters reminded me of a James Bond movie There is a great chase scene through the English countryside Our hero is kidnapped tied up and beaten to assess his worthiness for the mission Ant is then assigned a training partner and his name is H How absolutely British spy likeThe author makes insightful observations of how the intelligence community operates Where there is a mission to destroy missiles there also seems to be a secondary mission involved that is not compatible with the first Confused Welcome to the world of deniable operations Jason Elliot s descriptions of Afghanistan made me feel like I was there The lack of roads government and infrastructure made me think of just how wild and untamed this part of the world is Yet the author also makes the country beautiful with his descriptions of the mountains He is also very respectful of the population portraying them very favorably I really loved Anthony s character I found him to be pragmatic dedicated and generally likable Anthony did not take decisions lightly and one of the things that I enjoyed about this book was the thought processes he used in order to agree to join the mission I loved that he was portrayed as a human being with an evil ex wife and two beautiful daughters living far away in Washington Anthony also found a love interest in Jameela his contact in the SudanProbably one of my favorite scenes in the book was where Anthony had to make a hasty departure from the Sudan He called his American cowgirl friend to help a British agent escape from Sudan with Canadian papers Truly a global effortThe only thing that I felt was missing from this book was a map of Afghanistan to highlight Anthony s route It would have been helpful just to get an idea of the distances traveled I feel that I have learned a lot from this novel What a phenomenal first novel for Jason Elliot I hope he keeps on writing

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From the public one that Taverner must attempt to avert all without exposing a dangerous secret all his ownBased on real characters and drawing on the author's extensive firsthand knowledge of Afghanistan this is a thriller of rare authenticity providing sustained insight into influences surrounding 911 and raising uestions about the role of intelligence agencies in historical events deliberately hidden from the public e The story basically involves Afghanistan Terrorists and British Intelligence within the rising global tensions a few months prior to the 911 disaster Most reviews and the novel jacket itself seem to lead off with this titillating door crasher After finishing the book however I failed to discover anything tangible pertaining to the 911 incident whatsoever I felt a bit cheated in this respectWhat was a little interesting were the author s rendition of the training and execution of what goes into real spy work He puts it somewhere in between the campy glitter of James Bond and the realistic amphitheaters of John La Carre s work as in The Spy who came in from the Cold Arguably Ian Fleming and John LaCarre being the masters in these genres this novel does bring a feel for this time and place in war torn Afghanistan This is what kept me mildly interested not so much the spy stuff The Network still comes off a decent effort although really nothing much than you would expect out of a dime store paperback His other bodies of work are non fiction in nature involving Religion and other Middle Eastern interests Perhaps he should stick to thatBy John Archibald November 2012


10 thoughts on “The Network

  1. says:

    I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway What is the Network p 130 “The Network's original goal was to establish a structure to be activated in times of need to penetrate key groups relevant to British interests in the Middle East and gather information on their activities It operated independently of the conventional intelligence services with which its relationship was collaborative when necessary but fo

  2. says:

    I can highly recommend Jason Elliot’s new novel The Network He has created a richly detailed novel based in reality that is truly compelling to read It is a spy thriller that speaks with vivid description and distinctive authentic

  3. says:

    This is a novel I won from GoodReads and I'm so happy I did Elliot is a travel writer which adds a great dimension

  4. says:

    Billed as a spy novel set immediately pre 911 but it just doesn't live up to the hype A rather elongated plot based around a disjointed timeline and with large amounts of exposition together with masses of background on the history of Afghanistan make this a slow readThe narrative develops over a long period as a former British army office

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed Jason Elliott’s The Network It was like going along for the ride on covert mission from the safety of your armchair The mission was to seek out a stash of American stinger missiles before the Al ueda gets them I

  6. says:

    The eyecatching cover of this book bears absolutely no resemblance to the story The narrator Anthony Taverner is a former Army officer living in the English countryside who is recruited to find and destroy a cache US Stinger missiles

  7. says:

    I don't like war I admire and owe every freedom I have to those who have fought for my protection and yours This book humanizes war by showin

  8. says:

    This is Jason Elliot's first foray into the realm of writing novels and he started with a real corker Elliott first established him

  9. says:

    The story basically involves Afghanistan Terrorists and British Intelligence within the rising global tensions a few month

  10. says:

    I loved the way the mission was revealed in layers in this book He was training then he was tortured then the torture was a set up by the guy training him; he has a job with MI6 but his real purpose is to bring Manny home; he was in training to be a spy but he is a trainer for the Network The story keeps getting deeper and complexThe book is filled with amazing descriptions I guess showing the author's history

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