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The Devil's Alternative [Paperback]

Frederick Forsyth
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

7 April 2011

'Whichever option I choose, men are going to die.'

When the entire Soviet Union wheat crop is destroyed by a devastating string of failures, the population faces starvation. The USA is quick to offer assistance. They devise a plan to trade vital food resources with the Russians in exchange for sensitive political information. But the Politburo has other ideas: the invasion of Western Europe to commandeer the food for themselves...

As the paths of communication breakdown the president of the United States and leaders from around the world face an appalling choice: Should they allow the loss of thousands to save the lives of many more? This is the Devil's Alternative and in this incomparable and gripping thriller the Cold War giants must fight a battle to the death.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009955982X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099559825
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Again reveals Forsyth as a master of the meticulously researched thriller" (Bookseller)

"Compulsively readable... I was hypnotised" (Financial Times)

Book Description

The chilling thriller from an international bestselling phenomenon

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best from the best. 30 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Forsyth has been noted for the detail and realism his books convey. I realised how true this was while watching the news and having just been reading this book on the train home, I suddenly realised I was waiting for news on the events in this book. I think this shows how involved I had become in the story.

On top of the extraordinary but believable storyline, is a good writer at work. Throughout my reading I had seen one nagging drawback to an otherwise brilliant tale. In order not to give anything away, all I can say is that I thought it was a bit biased. However as the book reaches its conclusion, with a superb twist, the idea dawns that you've been lead up the garden path, by a skilled author who can give you more than a stunning narrative.
Having read the majority of his books I would recommend any of them, but this one is especially good.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"The Devil's Alternative" is a spy thriller from the end of the 1970's. The story pits the Russian leader (modeled somewhat on Leonid Brezhnev) against the American President (modeled somewhat on Lyndon Johnson) in a world crisis situation. At the same time the story is very European in that it is the British who just happen to have a spy with access to the Russian Politburo meetings. Also, most of the scenes that do not take place in the White House or the Kremlin take place in Europe.
The story is very exciting, although somewhat unrealistic. As usual, the good guys are trying to prevent World War III while the "hawks" in both the Kremlin and the White House can hardly wait to get going. The ending is somewhat contrived but on the whole the book is a very good read.
For someone reading this book nowadays it seems rather dated because of the huge changes in the world political and military situation since the 1970's. This can be considered either negative or positive depending on whether you are interested in the history of this era.
The differences between then and now are amazing. At that time the Soviet Union and Russia were a world superpower. Eastern Europe was communist, Germany was divided, and West Berlin was an isolated non-communist island in communist East Germany. The major political and military conflict in the world was the efforts of the communist countries to try to convert the whole world to communism and the efforts of the non-communist countries to prevent this from happening.
All of the above facts play a major role in this story, so an understanding of the situation then being different from the situation now is brought forcefully home to the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Alternative 9 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Classic early Forsyth, brilliantly researched and incredibly detailed. The story starts with a series of seemingly completely unconnected events which then slowly come together in a way you couldn't have imagined, until the US President is presented with The Devil's Alternative. The solution, the final twist, is brutal and totally unexpected. The politics may be a little difficult for the younger generation, but I was around during the Cold War, and this book is a Cold War classic. Brilliant.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 13 July 2014
Format:Audio Cassette|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. One of Freddie's gripping earlier books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining 24 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The plot of this book is a little far fetched and some characterizations overdrawn. Nevertheless, it keeps you in suspense and captures the mood of the 1980s rather well.

The Ukrainian nationalist angle of the story gives the book surprising contemporary relevance.

A good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As expected 1 Jun 2014
By chaz622
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great author well researched book with great detail. Fantastic storyline. Very hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I h
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By TonyR
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Forsyth always writes books that are so well researched and believable. He also really knows how to wind the tension on and keep until the end. I would recommend this or any of his books to anybody who enjoys a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 4 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
brilliant book 1st class service as always your deliveries and service are the best. what's more to say your the best
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
I have always considered this book to be Forsyth's finest.
Published 10 days ago by Biographer
4.0 out of 5 stars Second reading
This book is like a fine wine. It gets better with age. Will probably read it again in 5 years
Published 4 months ago by Jim McInally
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Class
First read this year's ago, now read again on my Kindle. As Greg on Master Chef might say "story telling just doesn't get any better". Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
Must be go down as one of his best tales yet. Full of intrigue with many twists from the start and in particular at the end. He is a master of his art.
Published 5 months ago by Hieronymus
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Held you from start to finish.easy to read and follow.The plot was great and so was the ending was not a confusing read.
Published 5 months ago by ALASTAIR FERGUSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
What a good read. So much so I have ordered another Forsyth book from Amazon (Kindle Edition)-'Fist of God' -looking forward to it. -Colin Rankin.
Published 6 months ago by Niloc Niknar
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
I do not wish to write ay more words than I have already written. I do not wish to write ay more words than I have already written.
Published 6 months ago by P. Birmingham
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for Forsyth Fans
It is obvious that a lot of effort has gone into the research for this book, but whether it was worthwhile I am not too sure. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Salvatore
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