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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my modest opinion - the best spy novel ever
I am aware that there are many excellent spy books, but in my modest opinion this is the one that describes the best this strange and dangerous universe that is secret war.

Frederick Forsyth wrote a couple of even better books ("The day of the Jackal", "The dogs of war") but they were not exactly about spying. In this book, written in the 80s, he describes a...
Published on 1 Oct 2007 by Maciej

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Saint
I got lost in a myriad of Russian names, and even English names, and found myself having to turn back the pages quite a lot
in an attempt to keep up with the plot. However, The tale was interesting and the run up to the end was quite intense. I like the
author - Mr. Forsyth usually produces an exciting story.
Published 5 months ago by thesaint


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my modest opinion - the best spy novel ever, 1 Oct 2007
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fourth Protocol (Paperback)
I am aware that there are many excellent spy books, but in my modest opinion this is the one that describes the best this strange and dangerous universe that is secret war.

Frederick Forsyth wrote a couple of even better books ("The day of the Jackal", "The dogs of war") but they were not exactly about spying. In this book, written in the 80s, he describes a very clever and dangerous plot of KGB, which, if successful, could really break NATO and leave Western Europe vulnerable to a possible Soviet takeover. The description of Soviet inner circles of power are very good, much better that in the usual spy stuff - Frederick Forsyth was one of the few Cold War spy writers who had a really good understanding of USSR and it shows here. The story is very coherent, the plot is plausible and technically possible and its execution is described in incredibly professional way.

There are however other stories circling around the main plot which describe some of the horribly dirty tricks used by the intelligence communities all around the world (the story takes us from United Kingdom to Soviet Union and then to Africa, before coming back to UK). There are no superheroes in this book (although there are superlosers) and this is definitely not a James Bond movie material - there is however a masterly executed description of the gray, shadowy, dirty and smelly world, where virtually nothing is what it appears and every double bottom has a third bottom... I will absolutely not reveal anything about the plot, but prepare to be surprised. Many times. There are humouristic moments in this book, although this is a dark humour - there is much more tragic fragments, some of which can break the heart.

This is a dark, somber, rare and precious jewel, which didn't age at all since 80s. Excellent to read on holidays or on a rainy weekend. Once you finished it, a good idea could be to read some other early Forsyth books, like "The Day of the Jackal". If by any chance you saw already the movie, with Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine, please be aware, that although a honest effort this film was only a shadow of this great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dated but perfect, 24 July 2007
This review is from: The Fourth Protocol (Paperback)
Wen I was young (20 years ago), my two favourite books were this one and Ludlum's Parsifal Mosaic. Hundreds of thrillers later, they remain in the top five. The 4th protocol contains lots of clever twists, it is much better than the (not bad) movie they made with Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine out of it. It is probably dated now, cold war is over, but it still remains a top book for me. I shall re-read it someday. If you have never read it you should, Forsyth could write good stories at that time (now he has lost his edge but who does not age ?).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterfully written, 10 Feb 2009
This review is from: The Fourth Protocol (Paperback)
This book is set in Britain, South Africa and Russia in the 1980s. Unlike other agent stories, which I had tried in the past, the necessary background information for this intelligent plot is given in a compact way. Thus the book appears to be well researched and it is kept both exciting and understandable. Several story lines are intertwined in a neat way which helps to keep the suspense.

I had come upon this book after reading The Day of the Jackal (also by Forsyth) which I had experienced as similarly well researched and exciting. Thus this was my second book by Forsyth and I look forward to try out some more in the future.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie, but definitely a goldie!, 26 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Fourth Protocol (Paperback)
I first read this book about 20 years ago, and since then have not only reread this countless times, but have read all of Forsyth's work. They are all excellent reads, and far above the commercialiastic commonplace crud of other more "popular" writers. There is a sense of timelessness in his writings that transports you across continents and eras! Beautiful and enthralling!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freddy, 1 Mar 2014
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This man is, and always has been a master storyteller. His characters are totally believable, because he describes them so thoroughly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 1 Feb 2014
By 
John Murray "John M" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I am rereading Frederick Forsyth's novels after many years as I enjoyed his latest (Kill List) so much. This one is right there at the top. A superb story, told brilliantly. As ever the research is intensive, making the tale very believable and the story telling genius of Forsyth keeps you page turning long after bedtime.
The action takes place in the eighties so some of the technology - phone boxes, telegrams and such - ,is dated but detracts little. Read and enjoy a master at work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced Enjoyable Thriller, 17 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. Ross Maynard (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fourth Protocol (Paperback)
Frederick Forsyth gives us a fast-paced thriller with a credible plot (for the 1980's). As usual he writes in a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact style, which doesn't offer any character development or emotional involvement, but the story is superior to many in this genre.

With the benefit of 25 years hindsight large elements of the plot are far-fetched (and reveal Mr Forsyth's right-wing tendencies). I don't believe for a moment that the British people would tolerate a Marxist government, but I do remember the fetid atmosphere of the mid 1980's, and it would have felt more credible then. I notice also that there are virtually no female characters in the book and a few vaguely sexist comments in there.

The story does run out of steam a bit in the final quarter - the plot is revealed: it's just a matter of chasing down the agents before they can unleash hell. For me this lacks tension, but the book is an enjoyable train/ airport read which passes the time well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 12 Nov 2013
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A very fast moving book that shows just how fragile our democracy is and how easily open to manipulation from outside sources. A Frightening read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Saint, 1 Nov 2013
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I got lost in a myriad of Russian names, and even English names, and found myself having to turn back the pages quite a lot
in an attempt to keep up with the plot. However, The tale was interesting and the run up to the end was quite intense. I like the
author - Mr. Forsyth usually produces an exciting story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, poor Kindle version, 31 Oct 2013
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The Fourth Protocol is a very good book but here it's let down by the poor ebook version. There are far too many typos / spelling mistakes in the Kindle version. You'd expect better from Amazon / the publisher, Random House.
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The Fourth Protocol
The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth (Paperback - 4 April 1996)
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