This terrorist tale reads like a thrilling but extremely violent action movie, with some intriguing twists in plot and...

Othello Greene


A debut novel offers the broad scope of a Hollywood blockbuster, with two formidable, high-tech groups at war.

In the very first scene of this book, the titular hero is beaten and maimed, calling into question how the rest of this tale could possibly play out. Lt. Othello Greene, the leader of America’s top special-ops team, has been captured by a high-tech terrorist group calling itself the Global Supremacy Federation, headed by a deeply evil man named Genesis. Greene, forced to kill a comrade for the sake of mercy, is tossed into a pit of hyenas, his torture broadcast to millions worldwide as a demonstration of power. But a renegade band called The Disciples of Khidar, a Muslim group that vows to help the oppressed, saves him. The Disciples are also high-tech, and use that technology to heal victims of war. They have tracked Greene and believe him to be sent by Allah for a greater purpose. As the GSF destroys more of the globe, killing world leaders and ravaging U.S. cities, a man named Khan tends to Greene and converts him to Islam by showing him his former religion, Christianity, is based on lies. U.S. President Heather Cotton tries to defy the GSF, but it quickly becomes clear the group has outthought the West and its allies and possesses superior technology; the world remains bent to the terrorists’ will until Greene can rejoin the fray. Baltimore tells a parallel story every few chapters of Greene’s high school years as an academic and sports star, and his relationship with his mother and his best friend, Kojo. The tales are on a global and local scale, and both lines benefit from that strategy. There are some fantastic twists involving supporting characters, especially in relation to a subplot about a mole in Cotton’s cabinet. But the trajectory of Greene’s story in both tracks can be a bit predictable at times. He wins the big game and The Disciples convert him to Islam fairly handily. The book, close to 800 pages, could have been streamlined. Baltimore has a real talent for writing an action scene and casting good and evil in bold relief in his characterization. But this is not a novel for the faint of heart; the violence can be intense. To further prove how sinister Genesis is, the narrative delivers a graphic depiction of child rape, which he orders to intimidate an ally who betrays him.

This terrorist tale reads like a thrilling but extremely violent action movie, with some intriguing twists in plot and philosophy.

Pub Date: July 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9971524-0-1

Page Count: 780

Publisher: Jourstarr Quality Publications

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize

  • National Book Award Finalist


Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet