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The Third World War: A Terrifying Novel of Global Conflict: A Future History

The Third World War: A Terrifying Novel of Global Conflict: A Future History [Kindle Edition]

Humphrey Hawksley
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A gripping thriller. The attention to detail in Humphrey Hawksley's new book, The Third World War, is amazing. -- Amit Roy Choudray Business Times November 16th 2003

Excellently real. Hawksley has caught the atmosphere of the tense world we live in perfectly. -- Lincolnshire Today September 2003

Hawksley builds a scenario that is every western strategic analyst’s worst nightmare -- Amitabh Mattoo India Today July 28th 2003

Hawksley is the prefect antidote to the escapism dominating our popular culture. Real fiction. -- Steve Murphy, Newbury Weekly News September 4th 2003

Hawksley not only knows his facts but has also lived through many of them -- Felix Soh Straits Times November 9th 2003

Hawksley's nightmare scenario focuses on the repercussions of wrong decisions. -- Mark Schreiber Japan Times Nov 15th 2003

His story is too close to the bone to laugh away. It’s quite literally ‘unputdownable’. -- Karan Thapar -- Hindustan Times July 27th 2003

His story is too close to the bone to laugh away. It’s quite literally ‘unputdownable’. -- Karan Thapar -- Hindustan Times July 27th 2003

The scenario proposed by veteran foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley in his latest political thriller is chillingly plausible -- Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday September 7th 2003

This novel of a terrifying near-future grips from the start and never lets up. A terrific read. -- Huddersfield Daily Examiner August 9th 2003

Amitabh Mattoo India Today July 28th 2003

Hawksley builds a scenario that is every western strategic analyst’s worst nightmare

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 992 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (22 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005E8A9VI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #437,248 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're all doomed! 1 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Attempting to depict the possible circumstances of a third world war is no small undertaking, and Humphrey Hawksley has given it a pretty good effort.
Centred on the constant hostility between India and Pakistan, a coup in North Korea and an uprising of Muslim fundamentalism across Asia is thrown into the mix, and before the rest of the world knows it we are on the brink of nuclear war.
The circumstances in which this all occurs are highly plausible, although they possibly lean on a fairly shaky conspiracy a little too heavily. The idea is that a military faction in Pakistan has allied itself with a rogue North Korean general who seizes power and begins to threaten the safety of the South, Japan and other US interests in the area. Terrorist attacks by Muslim-centred terror groups also spring up to destabilise the region.
The US is (very) slow to react, and unfortunately Hawskley loses his way a little bit and bogs down much of the middle portion of the book with too much talking, philosophising and hokey diplomacy. Not an awful lot happens whilst the US president wrings his hands and fails to act convincingly at any point, whilst the Chinese begin to become prominent as the nation looking to gain the most from all this.
This lengthy lull in the action finally leads into a shattering series of cataclysmic events which don't hang together too well as they appear to suddenly just happen for dramatic purposes. The motives and thought processes of the world leaders who begin ordering nuclear strikes all over the place are not too clear and it all ends rather abruptly.
Nonetheless, it is an interesting read and frightening in the respect of despite the book's few flaws, many of the events and actions taken are easy to believe. Worth a look.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars World-wide mayhem 7 Oct 2003
This is Humphrey Hawksley's third book portraying realistically how Asia's tensions could play out in nuclear or near-nuclear wars. The strength of all his books is that they are firmly based in reality, firstly in terms of existing tensions - for example between India and both Pakistan and China - and then in terms of how world powers might react to an escalating conflict.
This book centres on biological and nuclear warfare triggered by the unrealistic ambitions of North Korea and Pakistan - two countries that are currently liasing in real life on the development of weapons of mass destruction. It is scary because of the (often unwise) rapid-fire decisions that are taken by alarmingly ill-prepared world leaders, especially an (unsurprisingly) knee-jerk-prone US president and a blunderbuss of a British prime minister who punches energetically above his country's weight so that he can play alongside the president. There is no ultimate winner - certainly not Pakistan and North Korea, which get punished for their mad leaders' adventurism, nor the US, Russia, China and India. Mr Hawksley would like us to see India coming out best, both in terms of its responsibility during the crisis and its chances of recovery from the holocaust. Indeed he has told me that he sees India as a "moral guiding force of the whole book, putting everyone else to shame" because (as in his earlier Dragon Fire) it resists, for as long as it can, the escalatory spiral that engulfs the rest of the world.
Mr Hawksley knows his characters well. As a BBC tv reporter, he has interviewed world leaders and army and intelligence chiefs in many parts of the world - especially India and China where he has lived and visits frequently. He has good sources in the corridors of power and policy institutes of the US and other countries, which he taps before writing each novel - making each one a worthwhile read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Third World War - from the top 4 Aug 2003
Let me say first I am a fan of the genre – I bought the General Sir John Hackett book of the same name in 1978, and I quite enjoyed Simon Pearson’s ‘Total War 2006’. Sadly since ‘Red Storm Rising’ Clancy has really become a marketing brand and the novels have become formula driven.
Hawkesly’s TTWW is quite an interesting concept – linking rogue Koreans with Islamic fundamentalists, but the leaps of credibility he asks us to make spoil the basic premise. His characters are unremittingly heroic, weasely and self –serving, or just plain brutal. I can’t help feeling that in spite his impressive journalistic credentials he hasn’t really got under the skin of the Chinese, Russians or certain brands of Muslim fanatic. His main Muslim character is a thinly veiled pastiche of what little we know of OBL.
The characters he admires – like the Indian or British PMs are square jawed men of action – witness the opening scene in the assault on the Indian Parliament… His Chinese premier ‘Jamie’ (?) is frankly laughable.
What’s missing is the worm’s eye view present in Hackett’s TTWW and in Clancy’s RSR – we get all the high level hotline diplomatic conversations – but this needs cutting with what Joe, Ahmed and Lieu (or their female equivalents) on the ground think. Where minor characters appear they are wooden and one sided – like the SAS officer in Brunei.
The Korean villain Park is straight out of Ian Fleming and unremittingly wicked with no light and shade.
Despite the fact it appears to have been rushed out hard on the heels of the Iraq war, even though that conflict is far from resolved, it’s a good read and will appeal to fans of Clancy or those with a long journey ahead of them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting points raised
This book is thoughtful and succinct in the way it presents the views and outlooks of the different cultures at play in the game of politics of the modern world and the outcome is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by krobar81
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying scenario
An excellent book, with a terrifying scenario that could be happening at this minute. The concept of a nuclear conflict is the most realistic I have seen so far.
Published 4 months ago by Robert Jackson
2.0 out of 5 stars entertaining premise
But somewhere along the line I lost interest and as I tried to go back to it I found myself loosing the will to live. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars frighteningly realistic scenarios
Makes you think about the how and when, not if the unthinkable should happen. A truly 'unputdownable' book. Superb read.
Published 8 months ago by Wayne_Clapham
4.0 out of 5 stars We're all doomed!
Good book, which I did enjoy. Alas not enough into the weeds for me. What I mean by that is not enough individual combat scenario at unit or corps level. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr. Kr Brooks
1.0 out of 5 stars The Third World War Future History
This book is an absolute rip-off. Sure its a good story, sure, it is well written, but when it makes you have faith in the author so that you buy OTHER books he has written, namely... Read more
Published on 18 July 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!!
This is a real page turner. One of the best books I've ever read on this subject. Well researched and frightenly thought-provoking. Read more
Published on 1 July 2012 by Agnes
2.0 out of 5 stars Third World War
Although a fascinating subject of what might have been - or indeed may be, this book takes a long time to "get going" Other similar books get to the point quicker.
Published on 17 April 2012 by D. S. Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down.....
The Third World War is one of the few books that i have read cover to cover without putting it down. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2008 by W. O'Dell
4.0 out of 5 stars A chiller to the bone.
A very credible and well researched portrayal of the likely turn of horrific events in the Indian Subcontinent and Far east, ultimately leading to a disastrous fallout for America... Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2007 by Arup Sarkar
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