The Camel Club

by David Baldacci

Hardcover, 2005



The Camel Club is a four-man group of Washington, D.C. misfits, that meet weekly to discuss political conspiracies they believe exist and what actions they might take. One night club members witness the murder of Secret Service employee Patrick Johnson, thus thrusting the wacky crew into the middle of a bigger conspiracy than they could ever have imagined.

Library's rating


½ (1076 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member readafew
I was rather impressed with the Camel Club. It was a fast-paced thriller, The main characters are part of The Camel Club, and all 4 members appear to be at first glance, weird conspiracy nuts. As we get to know them we see there is a lot more than meets the eye. We start off following the Camel
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Club to a secret meeting on Roosevelt Island, where much to their dismay, they witness a murder, that was to be disguised as a suicide. Worse the murderers discover they had been observed and try to eliminate the problem. This is where things really start to pick up for the Camel Club, as in becoming dangerous. Oliver, Caleb, Milton and Reuben decide to try and find the killers before the killers find them.

Along the way we meet Alex Ford, a secret service agent assigned to look into the death to keep his agency in the loop, since the man found dead was an NIC/Secret Service employee. While we watch the progress of our heroes we also get to watch the 'bad guys' putting their terrorist plot together and we get hints and clues of what is up, but never a clear picture of what they are trying to accomplish until they pull it off.

I really enjoyed this book, it was not just a shoot-em-up but allowed the reader to try and figure out what was going on and pick up clues along the way. I certainly plan on reading more in the series. One of the better books I've read in a while for a conspiracy book. The end even had some great ideas more people need to think about as far as international relations go.
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LibraryThing member Lukerik
Before we lay this novel to rest in sure and certain hope of a sequel, a reading from the Prologue, paragraph two:

"He suddenly glanced out the window as he heard the sound overhead."

Suddenly. A completely unnecessary word. When you hear a sound you do glance suddenly. It's not as if, without
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"suddenly" we're going to think his eyes moved glacier slow. Is Baldacci trying to inject a sense of immediate urgency? This is not how you do it. Unnecessary and annoying.

The. This is the first time the sound as been mentioned, so why is it "the sound" and not "a sound"? He doesn't then tell us about the sound. We're given instead five paragraphs on other subjects before he gets back to the point. Is Baldacci trying to inject a sense of ominous doom? This is not how you do it. Annoying.

1/6 of the paragraph is annoying and 1/12 is unnecessary. Now I've not done a full statistical analysis of the novel because I can't be bothered but those figures feel about right.

I should say that I enjoyed large portions of the book and the climax is well done. Somewhere in here there is a good four hundred page novel, though whether it would be a farce or a thriller is impossible to determine because of the uneven tone. I also liked his politics.

There are elements that raise this above a one star, but I'm too old to have my time wasted.
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LibraryThing member csayban
It exists at the fringes of Washington, D.C., has no power, and consists solely of four eccentric and downtrodden members whom society has forgotten. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions. One man leads this aging, ragtag crew. He has no known past and has taken
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the name "Oliver Stone." Day and night, Stone and his friends study wild conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government, hoping to discover some truth that will hold America's leaders accountable to its citizens. Yet never in Stone's wildest nightmares could he imagine the conspiracy the Camel Club is about to uncover... After witnessing a shocking murder, the Club is slammed headfirst into a plot that threatens the very security of the nation, full of stunning twists, high-stakes intrigue, and global gamesmanship rocketing to the Oval Office and beyond. Soon the Club must join forces with veteran Secret Service agent Alex Ford, who becomes an unwilling participant in one of the most chilling spectacles to ever take place on American soil. It's an event that may well be the catalyst for the long-threatened Armageddon between two different worlds, and all that stands in the way of this apocalypse are five unexpected heroes.

I am a big fan of thrillers and I have been hooked on David Baldacci’s writing ever since I first picked up Absolute Power. In his novel The Camel Club, Baldacci introduces a host of interesting characters from various walks of life who come together in a powerful investigative group. Baldacci did a great job of bringing the characters to life, especially Secret Service agent Alex Ford and conspiracy hunter “Oliver Stone.” The pacing was perfect through the first half of the book and I was truly engaged in the story.

Unfortunately, it was at that point that The Camel Club snowballed out of control. Global political thrillers will often times take you right to the edge of believability, forcing you to consider that, yes, this really could happen under just the right circumstances. Baldacci, however, took about two steps over that line and I just couldn’t follow him in. Without spoiling the ending, the plot becomes unbelievable Baldacci really doesn’t provide enough to support what happens leaving the reader to buy-in on their own, which is a gamble that didn’t pay off. The story becomes comic-bookish in the end and looses the tension that built up well early in the book.

The Camel Club is the beginning of a series by Baldacci with these characters. Given that I really loved the characters, I am hoping that subsequent books have a more believable storyline for them to romp around in.
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LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
Political thriller, international espionage, page-turner, nail-biter, etc., etc., etc. The scenario presented in the book might be fiction, but who, other than those global powers/persons that be, who hold [and perhaps, manipulate (as in the book)] intelligence reports, and makes those critical and
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calculated judgment calls, really knows what goes on behind the scenes, how many times the world really comes close to nuclear Armageddon. The first book in the 'Camel Club' series, and Baldacci has set the bar high.... very high! A 5-star read!
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LibraryThing member BooksForDinner
Usually don't go in for the pop-thriller stuff, but a friend insisted. Now I remember why.
I know lots of people love it, but a lot of people think that Roseanne is funny.
Got through the first two CDs and just couldn't take the non stop crappy airport fiction dialogue.
LibraryThing member JRCornell
The Camel Club is a four-man group of Washington, D.C. misfits, that meet weekly to discuss political conspiracies they believe exist and what actions they might take. One night club members witness the murder of Secret Service employee Patrick Johnson, thus thrusting the wacky crew into the middle
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of a bigger conspiracy than they could ever have imagined. SOFT
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LibraryThing member ChrisNorbury
Baldacci at his best. He weaves a unique, intricate, and imaginative plot that takes a while to get going but once it does, you won't be able to turn pages fast enough. Just when you think you've figured out where the story's going, a new twist or character, or motivation, or fact pops up to divert
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the plot line.

He does a masterful job of raising the stakes during the last fourth of the book, causing the reader to wonder how the heck the good guys will escape this newer, more dangerous peril. Ending is solid, with the probability of a sequel all but certain by how Baldacci left the relationship between Oliver Stone (the protagonist) and Carter Gray (the true antagonist, out of many).

My one minor quibble is I don't feel he introduced the supporting cast of the Camel Club as fully as he might have. It took me most of the book to get a feel for all the relationships and the bonds between the four members. But knowing that this is a multi-book series, I'm sure they'll develop stronger relationships as time passes.

Highly recommended for Baldacci fans as well as all political thriller fans.
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LibraryThing member Pam1960ca
Love all David Baldacci's books - especially the ones that have Oliver Stone as the main character.
LibraryThing member kysmom02
The Camel Club is the first of a series of books relating to a group of people calling themselves The Camel Club. During this story, Oliver Stone and the other members witness a murder and begin searching for the murderers and the reasons behind it. They learn that there are some high ranking
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political figures involved in the conspiracy. While trying to save lives of others, they are forced to protect their own lives as well.

I actually listened to Divine Justice (book 4 in the series) a week ago. It was the first of Baldacci's books for me. It was then that I decided that I'd like to back up and enjoy this whole series. I received the Camel Club Boxed Set from Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group and couldn't wait to get started. This book didn't disappoint. I liked having a little bit of an idea about the characters. Oliver Stone, aka John Carr, is the main character and one of the members of the Camel Club. He is an ex-government agent and one of the nations most notorious killers. I have enjoyed learning about the government agencies that run our nation, and find myself wondering how much of this is fiction and how much might be true. The conspiracy isn't all that far fetched. Overall, great book and cannot wait to start book 2--The Collectors.
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LibraryThing member LouieLouie
Competent thriller with what appears to be a bit of inside Washington DC knowledge about the Presidency and the Secret Service.
Dialogue was a bit clunky. It kept my interest enough for me to keep reading it, but I wouldn't call it a page turner. I may read his other 'Camel Club' novels at some
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The first of three Baldacci novels featuring the Camel Club. Followed by 'The Collectors' and 'Stone Cold.'
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LibraryThing member amacmillen
The Camel club stumbles onto a plot to kidnap the president and to hold him until our government recognizes the rights of the people of the middle east. Other greedy cuprites are involved and the plot thickens. His points are subtle and logical.
LibraryThing member nakmeister
This is the first of David Baldacci's books to feature Oliver Stone and the Camel Club of conspiracy theorists. They are an interesting group of characters, and the plot is really good. Some have criticised it as a bit far-fetched, but if that's the case, most thriller novels are far fetched. A
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cracking good page turner, maybe not his best, but certainly one of the best.
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LibraryThing member MSWallack
An interesting premise, but I would have liked to have learned more about some of the other characters. Good enough to make me want to read the sequel.
LibraryThing member peggyar
I went back and read this book after I read the sequel. It filled in a lot of the blanks. The characters are interesting but hard to really get a feel for their authenticity. They seem to be caricatures of what the author thinks we expect. Overall though, fun story even if a little far-fetched.
LibraryThing member PointedPundit
This book has everything.

Arab terrorists, Washington, D.C. misfits, political skullduggery, former patriots turned traitors and a heaping helping of Washington alphabet soup. Scores of characters and subplots veer the story between venues and villains. Fold in the FBI, CIA, NSA, NIC and you have a
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recipe for a quick return to the library with an unread book.

Yet, I persisted and discovered this book meanders towards a high-concept payoff. If the reader snoozes, he or she loses. When it finally appeared, it was a gem.

Kidnappers sacrifice scores of no-name Arab and North Korean terrorists. They claim to want to harm no one and are reasonable people with a legitimate gripe. Yet they bring the U.S. to the verge of nuking Damascus.

Is it possible I have grown too old for this literature genre?
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LibraryThing member debavp
Interesting first in a series. I am definitely curious as to where this may lead, but I do feel that it was wrapped up a bit short , and a bit too neatly at the end.
LibraryThing member rob80ert
Love it! Too bad I'm reading them out of order but it's still nice to read the back story.
LibraryThing member mramos
The Camel Club is a Baldacci thriller that does not stand up to his other writings. Though an enjoyable read, I cold not read in this in one evening as I usually do with his books. I did not find this a fast read. And it may be because the author tries to fit all the agencies and use current events
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as a background into one book. And a very unbelievable ending. This is a book you should just borrow from the library. Reading a bad book by David Baldacci is better then most books written in this genre.

The characters are not well developed. The Camel club consists of four eccentric, yet intelligent, conspiracy theorists. One of who lives in a tent across the street from the White House. A sign hangs on his tent, "I want the Truth." And as can be expected, they are the eyes in which this story unfolds. With all that said, these four characters would be interesting to watch in a movie.
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LibraryThing member ElDoradoHills
In an effort to widen my fiction horizons,
I’m trying some novels recommended by my book-devouring husband. The Camel Club is a group of four guys living in Washington D.C. who are somewhat society misfits. They remind me of the group in the old movie Sneakers – quirky, but loveable. (One of the
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four is a librarian at the Library of Congress!)As the story opens, the four witness a murder, and soon become targets themselves. The plot involves espionage, politics, and lots of suspense. It is fast-moving and a fun escape. ~Susan
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LibraryThing member Eshell
Little hard to get into at first with all the unusual names, but quickly becomes intriguing. Great read.
LibraryThing member she_climber
Great fast-paced political thriller, and I generally don't care for politics in my thrillers (or in general for that matter). The characters are very-well developed. My favorite being bad-guy, Hemingway, who seemed was a little over-the-top with his almost comic book villian-esque powers. The story
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was very engaging and seemed very true to life. And the biggest kudo to this book is that it got me through my first ever 7 mile run and then my first eve 8 mile run - I was that intrigued by this story. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.
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LibraryThing member cathymoore
An excellent conspiracy theory thriller. Baldacci takes a non too subtle sideswipe at US foreign policy in this story that builds it's numerous plot threads to a roaring climax. A good read featuring Secret Service agents, the CIA, Muslim terrorists and a mystery who spends his time in a tent out
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the front of the White House. This is apparently the first in a series of novels featuring the same characters and I look forward to reading these also.
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LibraryThing member dbhutch
The first book I read by Baldacci was The Christmas Train a couple years ago. Intrigued by his style I picked up The Collectors at a discount store (3.00 for a hardback!) It introduced me to Oliver Stone and his group, and that led me to this book.
Knowing more know of how Olivers group of friends
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came together, the group makes much more sense, and a lot more background is in this book than the other. Mostly why Stone is so concentrated on making sure what goes on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue stays on the up and up.
The Camel Club goes to meet one night on a small island on the Potomac, just outside DC, and witnesses a murder, made to look like a suicide. They are seen briefly, and end up one of the next targets by the men who commited the murder they witnessed. In the meantime, little do they know, an attack on the President is being planned, from inside one of the USA's own intelligence agencies. with the help of a very dedicated secret service agent, and other friends, the Camel Club soon has to save the USA, and the world, from self destruction.
A wonderfully paced book, Baldacci takes you around DC and its suburbs, Western Pennsylvania, and the Middle East turmoil, and multiple groups try to bring about thier own political agendas with no one to stop them, except for The Camel Club.
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LibraryThing member adriel
Too much story, not enough novel. The story used narrative to bridge the gaps, many times not nearly enough attention was given to a scene that was critical.
LibraryThing member Djupstrom
If you like governmental thrillers, then this is the series for you. I was surprised what a good yarn it was. I am looking forward to reading further about the Camel Club.


Grand Central Publishing (2005), Edition: New title, 448 pages

Original publication date





0446577383 / 9780446577380


Original language

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