1986 "First Edition" stated; William Morrow and Company publishers, New York; large hardbound in black boards with gilt stamp "James C" on cover and gilt stamp lettering on spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good with minimal wear.
Whirlwind is a novel by James Clavell, first published in 1986.
Set in Iran in early 1979, it follows the fortunes of a group of Struans helicopter pilots, Iranian officials and oil men and their families in the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Iranian monarchy and the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Like many of Clavell's novels, it is very long and is composed of many interweaving plot strands involving a large cast of characters, as well as a detailed portrayal of Iranian culture.
The novel is closely inspired by the true struggle of Bristow Helicopters to escape the revolutionary forces and get their employees and equipment out of the unstable, deteriorating situation in the region. Alan Bristow, chairman of Bristow Helicopter commissioned a journalist, Jackie Griffin, who was married to one of his employees to write a report on the events in Iran. Bristow then gave his friend, James Clavell the resulting script to form the basis of the novel. Much of the story mirrors these and other contemporary events.
In February 1979, U.S. Ambassador Adolph "Spike" Dubs was murdered in Kabul after Afghan security forces burst in on his kidnappers, the actual event both mentioned and fictionalized into the plot of Whirlwind. Other companies operating in Iran faced similar dilemmas. For example, Ross Perot's Electronic Data Systems similarly became very involved in the rescue of two executives from prison in Tehran, events dramatised in Ken Follett's novel On Wings of Eagles.