Spy of Conviction

Literature and films are rich in the adventurous stories of secret agents, often interwoven with many romances. It could seem that this profession is the most sought after job of all. But what about someone who actually went through the process?

The day after the eighteenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, a September 12, 2019, introduced the publishing CPress, a member of the Albatros Media, book writing duo Douglas Laux and Ralph Pezzullo moment before the explosion ( Left of Boom , 2016). The translation comes from Jan Benda .

Looking at the authors’ names logically to the more experienced reading community, a series of action stories in which Ralph Pezzullo bestowed his journalistic experience on Don Mann is in mind. Yes, it’s still a seven books set of SEAL Team Six ( Hunting dragon , Wolf hunting , hunting scorpion , hunting falcon , hunting jackal , hunting foxes , Hunt the Viper). In the case of Douglas Laux’s novelty and debut today, it is to some extent confirmed that experience is only part of a successful book project. The combination of an operative and a publicist gives the resulting form a much greater chance of success than if a literary newcomer to work on the book on his own. Douglas Laux is a man with years of experience working for the CIA, most of whom he spent directly in the front line of the Afghan and Syrian conflict. He started working on capturing his own experiences and impressions immediately after leaving the agency at the turn of 2012 and 2013.

The storyline of The Moment Before the Explosion begins with Laux’s decision to break free from the generational bond with farming. His choice was fundamentally influenced by al-Qaeda’s attack on the New York twins in 2001. He realized then that he was indifferent to the fate of a world that had lost its original essentially safe outlines by this terrorist act. The journey of a teenage youth has since gone from a long struggle with the CIA recruiting administration, through the immense efforts to push through to the program of operator training, deployment to Afghanistan, personal and professional difficulties, to final participation in fighting in Syrian territory.

The moment before the explosionis a book that will certainly evoke a variety of emotions in the readers. The first thing you will surely notice after the normal flip is the countless blackened areas demonstrating the interventions of the alleged censor. You will come across many pages in which the colored parts almost outweigh those uncovered (a little exaggeration, but this impression will surely arise in a few pages of your effort to wade through the fragmented text). Moreover, if you are an honest reader and you are really trying to read the wordless word by word, and to guess what lies beneath the dark part, then you may feel the exhaustion that was probably lurking in the front line. If we abstract from the censorship mentioned above, then we will have more feelings. Some sections, especially those that target the narrator’s personal life, do nothing to match classical beautiful literature. They are interwoven with many artistically crafted paintings, building on open complex sentences and playing with proportions and building the atmosphere. In other places, however, poetic language is disappearing in favor of documentary to telegraphic style. However, even the factual part of the narrative is not free from strong impressions of the main character.

A certain shock to the reader may be the fact that the moment before the explosionis different from the usual texts and movies about the adventurous life of spies in virtually everything. The author’s couple were totally free from any idealization and promotion of action life. On the contrary, Douglas Laux bet on unlimited criticism of the entire process from recruitment to action. The battle with the overwhelming administration reminds Franz Kafka a little. Almost unbelievably, Laux’s description of the process during which he persuaded those responsible to send him into action. For most agency staff, this seems not to be at the top of the wish list. Another distinction from popularizing stories is the description of the real commitment, when it eventually occurred. The idealized notion of collaborating professionals takes on the narrator quickly and provokes questions about how quickly today’s global conflicts could be resolved, if the right hand knew what the left was doing, or if the agents were getting ready and motivated enough. From Laux’s point of view, it seems that most members of both the agency and the other armed forces approach their work in the spirit of the heroes of the series classic MASH and their attitudes towards military life as such.

The moment before the explosion is one of the titles, which certainly will not leave the reader without opinion. Personally, I appreciate that someone has embarked on a critically grasped form. On the other hand, I would like to remind you that most coins have the famous two sides. Let us realize that we only know about the author of the story what he himself has revealed about himself. Also, let us not forget that mentally tense work, which is clearly an operation in foreign missions, will leave indelible marks on everyone, however mentally resistant. Especially in our regions, we have a long history of purposeful rotation of interpretations of our own past. So before succumbing to the popular defamation of one side or another, remember that the world is not really just black and white. And it’s not pink at all.

Cracking those three hundred and sixty pages this time is a truly demanding job that the game of censorship will not make you unpleasant. To this inconvenience, add here and there typing errors, missing characters and spelling mistakes, most of which stand out incorrect use of possessive pronouns certainly from incorrect (non-Czech) translation. But the reward for your invested efforts may ultimately be your understanding or at least insight into the complex world of international relations and contemporary terrorism. If you postpone the publication after reading it with great concern over the direction our world has been following for the past two decades, then you have read really carefully. The luxury of impartiality is much more expensive today than it was at the turn of the millennium.

(Text translated into English via Google. Original review can be found here.)

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