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The Afghan by [Forsyth, Frederick]
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The Afghan Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Length: 467 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Review

Exciting, frightening, instructive.
-- Literary Review

The Afghan is an extraordinary story of bravery, fanaticism,
extreme espionage and advanced terrorism. -- Daily Mirror

Review

'Forsyth's storytelling mastery goes from strength to strength. Don't ever imagine that you know what's going to happen next.' (The Mirror)

'Forsyth on top form ... the master storyteller has lost none of his touch.' (The Daily Mail)

'Vintage Forsyth ... Back doing what he does best.' (The Sunday Times)

'Exciting, frightening, instructive.' (Literary Review)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (30 Oct. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552155047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552155045
  • ASIN: B0031RS48Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,901 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just read this book again after a number of years. Fantastic read. In the process of reading all FF's books again. He is the undisputed master of action fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read couldn't put it down I'm now hooked on Frederick Forsyth
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Format: Paperback
I read the kill list not long ago but picked up the Afghan from a hospital charity box without realising it was by the same author.
Good bits, very good account of fall of the Taliban after 9/11.
Fairly average life stories of SAS officer and the Afghan man he was trying to portray.

Bad bits,
The style is bad, it is like a very long essay but with bits of dialogue thrown in and it changes in mid paragraph, POVs change without warning, and all the techno babble and insider knowledge of systems and procedures gets too much.

Major gripe.
The big built up was for nothing, the big finish just didn't happen.... Even some action with a real crawbar would have addeded some tension and action.
It just ends.
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Format: Paperback
The back page blurb claims this is 'Forsyth's finest novel since the Day of the Jackal'. If only! Whereas the Day of the Jackal is a breathtaking example of dazzling, original brilliance, the Afghan is an example of an author either a) sitting on his laurels or b) stuck for ideas. The problem isn't the apparently plausible terrorist plot itself, but Forsyth's attempts to crowbar (no pun intended if you've already read the novel) a western agent into the ranks of an Al Qaeda plot. In order to do this the author relies on three astronomical coincidences, only one of which is even remotely plausible - that two of the antagonists met briefly in Afghanistan (and then met a pre-infamy Osama Bin laden into the bargain); the other two are that an unsuspecting Al Qaeda incorporate the agent into the exact plot the west is worried about - as oppose to any other of their myriad operations - and that a malfunctioning f-15 fighter just happens to crash into a remote hut in the remote wilderness chosen by the C.I.A. for it's complete and utter remoteness!

All of this is a shame, because anyone interested in how the security services go about their business would find many sections of the novel very interesting. Forsyth's always been interested in the minutia of how devices/organizations work, but perhaps to cover for weaknesses in the plot here he often overdoes it, for instance giving long, lovingly detailed descriptions of a relatively minor plot device (an F-15) that most 14 year old schoolboys would already have gleaned from the same magazines that Forsyth cribbed his facts and figures from. The upshot of all this is that the character of Mike Martin is swamped and disappears almost completely from view. Which is great if you're an undercover agent, but not if you're the focus of a novel.
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Format: Hardcover
The book gets off to a cracking start. As always Mr Forsyth has done his research, which makes the setting out of the plot all the more believable. Indeed, with a foot so firmly placed in reality the book reads almost as if it was a journalistic account of an actual event rather than a work of fiction. So why does this book that is so engrossing for the first 200 pages suddenly massively disappoint. Well, I am sorry Mr Foryth but suddenly, and for no good reason, this gritty and believable story goes into a complete fantasy land. I shan't go into detail but basically it involves an aeroplane developing mechanical problems somewhere over the vastness of the USA What, we ask, has this got to do with our plot? All is soon revealed, as by a truly staggering coincidence of fantastical proportions, the plane crashes onto the exact spot where one of the main characters happens to be. If he had been hit by a meteor it would have been more believable. As it is, this is the point where the story virtually collapses. The strong thread of reality, which weaves together the first two thirds of the book is severered beyond repair. As a result I felt a profound indifference to what followed. What a shame!
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Format: Paperback
Ever since Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth has had a reputation for explaining the secret world of espionage and terrorism in great detail.

So it's a shame the details are sometimes hilariously wrong.

Here are a few obvious mistakes I picked up from the hardback edition...

Page 70: Referring to the Falklands war, "the Canberra sailed on, shadowing the expedition's only aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal". Wrong: the task force had two aircraft carriers, Hermes and Invincible. The Ark Royal didn't enter service until 1985, three years after the Falklands conflict.

Page 138: Referring to countries with flags of convenience, "among the more enchanting were Luxembourg, Mongolia and Cambodia, which have no coast at all". Actually, Cambodia has 443 kilometres of coast on the Gulf of Thailand. Hardly a landlocked country.

Page 298: "When the Torrey Canyon was ripped open off the French coast...". Actually, the supertanker Torrey Canyon ran aground on rocks between the Scilly Isles and Lands End in 1967, nowhere near the French coast. Maybe Freddy's thinking of the Amoco Cadiz that hit rocks off the coast of Brittany in 1978. Easy mistake to make.

Page 330: "David Gundlach was born and raised in the Wirral county of Cheshire, not fifty miles from Liverpool". Apart from the meaningless expression "the Wirral county of Cheshire" (Wirral is a peninsula in the county of Cheshire - it's not a county itself), Freddy's got the distances very badly wrong. Most of the populated part of Wirral is less than 5 miles from Liverpool, and no part is more than 13 miles from Liverpool; 50 miles takes you as far away as Morecambe, Manchester, Stoke and Anglesey.

You certainly wouldn't read this book for the literary style or the characterisation.
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