Whirlwind

By James Clavell

Read by Derek Perkins

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Tehran, Iran 1979: Simmering religious tensions finally explode, and the Iranian people rise up against the Shah. The country, once secular, is now thrown back into an orthodoxy that threatens to tear it apart. The United States and Russia go on high alert, with warships heading to the Middle East. The region becomes a powder keg, waiting to explode. Caught up in the revolution are a British helicopter company and its pilots. The oil fields of Iran need helicopters to ferry workers and administrators, and when the main US aviation company pulls out of Iran fearing what might come next, S-G Helicopters steps in to fill the void. Soon they realize that they, too, must leave or risk losing all their machines to whomever takes control of the country. The company risks bankruptcy if that happens—which would ruin Andrew Gallavan and reveal that the company is actually owned by a secret Hong Kong–based consortium: Noble House, controlled by the Struan family. Caught in between is his son, Scot, a pilot in Iran who must help save his father’s company, but also the other pilots and their families. In a risky move, the pilots concoct a plan to get their choppers out of Iran. But will they be able to escape a country crumbling around them before it’s too late?
A rich panoply of characters brings to life the events of forty years ago, events that even now have ramifications throughout the Middle East and beyond. Fast-paced and full of action and intrigue, Whirlwind is an intricately plotted and detailed tale of war, love, and the ingenuity of the human spirit, told by James Clavell, the unparalleled master of historical fiction.

Full Description
Play Sample

Runtime

52h 59m

Release

03-01-16

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Historical

Runtime

52h 59m

Release

03-01-16

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Historical

Description

Tehran, Iran 1979: Simmering religious tensions finally explode, and the Iranian people rise up against the Shah. The country, once secular, is now thrown back into an orthodoxy that threatens to tear it apart. The United States and Russia go on high alert, with warships heading to the Middle East. The region becomes a powder keg, waiting to explode. Caught up in the revolution are a British helicopter company and its pilots. The oil fields of Iran need helicopters to ferry workers and administrators, and when the main US aviation company pulls out of Iran fearing what might come next, S-G Helicopters steps in to fill the void. Soon they realize that they, too, must leave or risk losing all their machines to whomever takes control of the country. The company risks bankruptcy if that happens—which would ruin Andrew Gallavan and reveal that the company is actually owned by a secret Hong Kong–based consortium: Noble House, controlled by the Struan family. Caught in between is his son, Scot, a pilot in Iran who must help save his father’s company, but also the other pilots and their families. In a risky move, the pilots concoct a plan to get their choppers out of Iran. But will they be able to escape a country crumbling around them before it’s too late?

A rich panoply of characters brings to life the events of forty years ago, events that even now have ramifications throughout the Middle East and beyond. Fast-paced and full of action and intrigue, Whirlwind is an intricately plotted and detailed tale of war, love, and the ingenuity of the human spirit, told by James Clavell, the unparalleled master of historical fiction.

Praise

“So abundant in subplots, characters, intrigue, and atmosphere that its 1,000-plus pages seem barely adequate. Some of the most enjoyable reading around.” Daily Mail (London)

“James Clavell does more than entertain. He transports us into worlds we’ve not known, stimulating, educating, questioning…A wonder of detail.” Washington Post

“The author handles the plot with all the confident authority of a ringmaster, keeping a half-dozen themes and a formidable cast of characters moving along at a cracking pace. By the end I was breathless and lost in admiration at the sheer professionalism of it all.” Sunday Telegraph (London)

“Clavell seems to creep inside the very soul of the land and the people…A damn good read.” Boston Herald

Whirlwind is strongly structured, skillfully plotted, rich in detail, and very entertaining. Clavell brings the grimness and grandeur of an ancient land to life.” San Francisco Chronicle

Whirlwind is an achievement, distinguishable from dozens of zippy page-turners this year by the density of its experience of modern, tortured Iran. Tremendous readership assured.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Clavell effectively portrays the chilling and bewildering encounters when Westernized lifestyle clashes with harsh ancient traditions.” Library Journal

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James Clavell

Author Biography

James Clavell (1921–1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war. He is best known for his epic Asian Saga novels, which launched with the 1962 bestseller King Rat, and their televised adaptations. He also wrote screenplays for such films as The Great Escape and The Fly, and was a writer, director, and producer on To Sir, with Love. His books Shōgun, Noble House, Tai-Pan, and Whirlwind were #1 New York Times bestsellers.

Derek Perkins

Narrator Biography

Derek Perkins is a professional narrator and voice actor. He has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, as well as numerous Society of Voice Arts nominations. AudioFile magazine named him a Best Voice consecutively in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Augmented by a knowledge of three foreign languages and a facility with accents, he has narrated numerous titles in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres.