Israeli civilians vs. Palestinian terrorists on a deserted hill near the Euphrates: it's some time in the future, and the...

READ REVIEW

BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON

Israeli civilians vs. Palestinian terrorists on a deserted hill near the Euphrates: it's some time in the future, and the Last of the Terrorists, Ahmed Rish, has forced an El Al Concorde full of Israeli peace delegates to land. (He's already blown up one Concorde--he planted explosives in the planes before they even arrived in Israel from the factory in France.) No one back in Israel knows where the plane has been shanghaied, so the stranded Israeli men and women must fend off Rish's fierce, stupid Ashbal troops till help arrives. What ensues, at great length, is perfectly fine when it sticks to the shoot-'em-up stuff--attacks, counterattacks, a mission down the Euphrates to phone Tel Aviv--but perfectly dreadful whenever De Mille tries anything else. Every non-combat moment is lumpishly overwritten, and the dialogue is consistently awkward, especially the lines placed in the mouths of that passionate odd couple--bloodthirsty Security hawk Jacob Hausner and self-righteously dovish Minister of Transportation Miriam Bernstein (""If we get out of here alive, I want us to have our humanity and self-respect intact""). But, if pro screenwriters could substitute some likelier talk, there's enough action here (culminating in an attempt to reactivate the plane and a ridiculously verbal death-duel twixt Rish and Hausner) to inspire a crackling film; meanwhile, a fair number of readers will find sufficient survival heroism and blood-tension to keep them from dwelling on the matzoh-flat characters and the chicken-fat prose.

Pub Date: July 10, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978