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The Cobra Paperback – 14 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552159905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552159906
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frederick Forsyth is the author of a number of bestselling novels including The Day of the Jackel, The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative and The Fourth Protocol. He lives in Hertfordshire, England. www.frederickforsyth.co.uk

Product Description

Amazon Review

Writers such as Lee Child may be brand names these days, but the name of Frederick Forsyth is something special in terms of conveying a certain kind of thriller to the reader. The technical brilliance of his debut The Day of the Jackal (with its forensically researched documentary style) virtually changed the face of the modern thriller, and its follow-up, the almost equally compelling The Odessa File (dealing with the still all-too-current themes of the Arab-Israeli conflict and chemical weapons), demonstrated that Forsyth had forged a very individual style. Subsequently, The Dogs of War utilised the author’s own African experiences, and his take on the ruthlessness of mercenaries and the corrupt states that employed them made for some blistering reading – that book was topical at the time, and has remained so. Frederick Forsyth admirers are aware that he can’t attain Olympian heights with every trip to the post, but know that he is always worth our attention.

As is the case with his new book, The Cobra, a globe-trotting thriller that evokes memories of the author's vintage work. Cultivated ex-CIA man Paul Devereux is handed a tough assignment: write finis to the lethal activities of the worst of the drug barons, and inflict damage on an industry that is worth billions per annum. He is given unlimited resources: money, weapons and manpower, and his ace-in-the-hole is the tough Calvin Dexter, who becomes executive officer of the new Project Cobra. It’s a highly dangerous business for everyone involved, and the team Devereux puts together is obliged to match in ruthlessness their pitiless drug-dealing opponents.

With the customary massive panoply we expect from him, Forsyth reminds us how this kind of thriller should be delivered. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The Cobra creates a vividly cinematic picture of the worldwide cocaine trade. Forsyth has recharged his batteries, producing his most ambitious novel in years by reproducing the minutely organised detail of his most famous book." (Barry Forshaw Daily Express)

"As ever with Forsyth, there is an impressive command of armed weaponry as well as an utterly believable story that moves along at a breakneck pace...Extraordinarily impressive." (Daily Mail)

"Forsyth has produced his most ambitious book in years, reproducing the minutely organised detail of The Day of the Jackal." (Good Book Guide)

"This new blockbuster from one of the world's sharpest authors is everything a modern thriller should be and more!" (Bury Free Press)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 113 people found the following review helpful By bobbewig on 20 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Being a big fan of Frederick Forsyth since his debut book, The Day of the Jackel, I was looking forward to reading his latest, The Cobra. However, much to my surprise, The Cobra is a major disappointment and, in my opinion, Forsyth's worst book to-date by far. To Forsyth's credit, the premise of The Cobra is an interesting and timely one. The premise is that the President of the U.S has decided to destroy the cocaine industry once and for all, and paves the way for a man called The Cobra (who used to run Special Ops for the CIA) to develop and execute a plan to accomplish this assignment. The Cobra is given carte blanche for anything he needs to accomplish this assignment -- no boundaries, no rules, no questions asked. Unfortunately, Forsyth's book reads like a boring, overly detailed chronicle of the events taken to carry out the President's decision rather than a suspenseful story with good dialogue and well-developed characters. Forsyth wrote The Cobra in a style that is highly narrative, with dialogue kept to a minimum, making the book very slow-paced. And, The Cobra, unlike many of Forsyth's previous books, is virtually devoid of character development, which contributed to my feeling that I never got to know any of the characters well enough to like or dislike them. I imagine that many of you who read my review and are fans of Frederick Forsyth will be skeptical that this author can write a book as bad as I'm describing. All I can say to you is that I hope you heed my advice and not read The Cobra. I'm sure you have better ways to spend your time and money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
The Cobra - currently Forsyth's latest book has seemingly gotten a lot of bad press from people, who expected it to be something else. Comments of this being completely unlike him, only partially apply in my opinion. The book simply follows his research tradition, with which he established his name in the first place - namely with his non-fiction Biafra Story, chronicling that conflict and all the backgrounds around it. This then subsequently mutated into the fictionalised The Dogs Of War, which is actually quite similar to 'The Cobra' in many ways - the long and meticulously detailed setup part of the book, the relatively short sequence, where real action takes place, less focus on the personality of the characters, etc.

So if you are looking for an action packed, firefight a page book (or one, where the firefights really come to life), the book is certainly very likely to disappoint. If, on the other hand, you enjoy the development of the slightly left field theory on combatting the cocaine trade, as well as the really elaborate research going with it, you will find the book gripping enough, even though neither the characters nor the action will not mesmerize you.

It is a solid book in my opinion, just not quite of the genre Forsyth has (also) been associated with lately. Hopefully this helps in making up your mind before you swear that Forsyth has gone weak in his old age and turn away from his other, very good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James on 19 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
The US President decides to try to eliminate the global trafficking of cocaine by waging a no-holds-barred covert war. He puts a retired CIA official, codenamed The Cobra, in charge of a secret two billion dollar budget. The Cobra's strategy has two stages: first, disrupt supplies by shooting down planes, sinking ships, kidnapping traffickers, and other actions that would be impossible for the orthodox forces of law and order; second, once supplies have been disrupted, spread disinformation that induces the various drug-related organisations to wage war against each other and in the process destroy themselves. To summarise the outcome whilst avoiding plot-spoilers, the strategy is initially successful but then falls foul of the law of unintended consequences.

I mainly read literary novels but I also like political thrillers, and I have read many of Forsyth's books. In my view, The Day Of The Jackal is the best of its genre that I have ever read, and I also rate some of his others (e.g. The Odessa File and The Fourth Protocol) very highly. Judged by these high standards, The Cobra is a disappointment. I have three criticisms. First, there is too much information about military hardware which gets in the way of the story. Some provision of factual information of this kind is a Forsyth trademark, and in some of his books it is interesting and helps the story along, but here I think he gets the balance wrong. My second criticism is that the plot lacks the intricacy and ingenuity of his best work. In The Day Of The Jackal, the manhunt across France is excellently plotted, with many unexpected twists and turns.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DomB on 29 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Glad I only borrowed this from the library and didn't waste money on it.

I have been a fan of this author since reading The Day of Jackal as a 13 year old boy over 30 years ago. That novel, and the two that followed, Odessa File and The Dogs of War, were superb examples of what used to be known as "documentary thrillers". Their attention to detail and character development were at that time almost unrivalled. Three decades later they are still an enjoyable read.
Unfortunately Mr Forsyth seems to have gone off the boil, rather like another author whose work I used to enjoy, Robert Goddard.
As others have mentioned, there is little character development. Tom Clancy covered the topic of this book in Clear and Present Danger and not only had believable characters one cared about but also superb action set pieces. This book has neither, yet Mr Forsyth is more than capable - the dogged detective Lebel in Day of the Jackal for example, or the mercenaries' attack on the Presidential Palace in Dogs of War.
Cobra begins reasonably well as the plan is put together but there are annoying errors. For example, the SBS Major is described as being a 20 year veteran in 2010, having witnessed an Afghan prison battle against Taliban prisoners in 1991. That battle took place in 2001, as a quick Google check would reveal. A small detail but one that irritated in its sloppiness. Is tha Major a 10 year veteran who has rapidly achieved high rank, or a 20 year veteran who saw the battle as a 10 year hardened soldier? Eventually we no longer care as the Major becomes, like most characters in the book, just a name.
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