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The Afghan
 
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The Afghan [Format Kindle]

Frederick Forsyth
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

Forsyth writes as if preparing for the movie or television miniseries he knows will surely follow. His multiple focus in terms of characters and settings makes for thrilling cinema and engrossing reading, but in an audio version, a global smattering of Afghani, Arabic, Pakistani, British, Indonesian and other names can cause a bout of verbal vertigo. Wise listeners will replay the first CD or at least part of it. Once the characters, ships and locales are in place, the narrative is much easier to follow, despite Forsyth's love of minutiae. Powell plods through the novel with all the enthusiasm of a distracted Oxbridge tutor. His presentation is careful and eloquent but ultimately dull. He doesn't understand the nuances of most accents, including those of the Americans, all of whom have gruff voices. Powell does best with his performance of Colonel Mike Martin, the reluctant hero of this tale. The action, when it comes, is too little and too late to hold one's attention on audio. Powell's lethargic pace inflates this particular flaw in Forsyth's novel. It would be better to read the print version or wait for the film.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Audiofile

Listening to THE AFGHAN is like watching a train wreck. You know it will be grotesque, that there will be bloodied bodies and hideous dismemberments, yet you can't help yourself. Frederick Forsyth has the ability to mesmerize with an insider's knowledge, and Robert Powell's reading is no less insistent. British and American intelligence learn that Al-Qaeda is planning something big. Will it be nuclear? Biological? No one is sure. Someone has to infiltrate, a nearly impossible task. Nearly. British intelligence officer Mike Martin (THE FIST OF GOD) is the man for the job. Powell's performance as an assortment of Brits, Americans, Arabs, Afghans, and Indians is flawless, and Forsyth's story of imminent disaster is irresistible. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 449 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 467 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0552155047
  • Editeur : Transworld Digital (30 octobre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0552155047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552155045
  • ASIN: B0031RS48Y
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°93.178 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very well documented 22 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The book is written half as a novel half as a documentary. The plot (starts with a detail that uncovers a big threat) is good and one can wonder whether it's real or not. As usual Frederick Forsyth knows how to manage the rhythm of the action and the information. It gives valuable insights about Afghanistan and Pakistan and the way people think and behave in this corner of the planet -which is way far from occidentals.
So -yes- I recommend reading this for your holiday break.
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Amazon.com: 3.4 étoiles sur 5  207 commentaires
93 internautes sur 103 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Diverting but Deeply Flawed 1 décembre 2006
Par A. Ross - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In general, I am highly skeptical of the "international political thriller" genre, however I will concede that Forsyth is a master storyteller well worth anyone's time. "Day of the Jackal" and "The Odessa File" have got to be in the genre's all time top five, and I also greatly enjoyed his short story collection "No Comebacks." This latest book, while perfectly serviceable and engaging (as long as you don't think too hard about it), falls well short of these.

Through a gripping opening highlighting the use of technology in the "war on terror", Western intelligence agencies learn of the existence of an impending Al-Qaeda attack that will be even more shocking than 9/11. Unfortunately, they don't have a clue what it is, or how to find out. A chance remark (one of the many, many coincidences required by the plot), leads them to enlist retired SAS officer Mike Martin in a desperate attempt to infiltrate Al-Qaeda. They do this via an elaborate switcheroo with an Afghan who's been disappeared into Guantanamo for five years. In another massive (though, alas, not the most egregious) coincidence, Martin just happens to have known this Afghan years ago while fighting the Soviets. The first half of the book involves setting this plan up,and the second half follows Martin's attempt to uncover the plot. (Apparently Martin was the hero of an earlier Forsyth book, "The Fist of God", however, I've not read it. Other reviewers report an egregious number of continuity errors between the two books relating to Martin.)

The story unfolds so that readers not particularly conversant with the "war on terror" and the history of Al-Qaeda will get brought fully up to speed. There's also a very clunky section explaining the difference between mainstream Islam and extremist Wahabbism. Similarly, the reader is given a very good understanding of the global reach and appeal of Al-Qaeda, for example, in Trinidad. And of course there is plenty of insiderish detail about the workings of modern espionage, which is fairly interesting stuff: telecommunications, piracy, money laundering, satellite imagery, facial identification software, and so on.

Unfortunately, the plotting is exceedingly awkward. For example, once Martin passes for the Afghan, he is directed by Bin Laden to personally participate in the grand scheme that's been set in motion. Stroke of luck that, eh? It's particularly problematic because there is absolutely no reason for him to take part. He is chaperoned halfway across the world to basically stand about on a ship, and oh yeah, foil the plot. Very weak indeed. Even worse, there's a pointless extended subplot about the "real" Afghan from Guantanamo, who is disappeared to a CIA cabin in Washington State. The reader can only assume we keep returning to him because he's going to escape at some point, and escape he does -- thanks to the engine falling off a passing F-15 and destroying the cabin! This reads like something from a parody of the genre and the reader is asked to swallow such foolishness for no good reason. The escape and pursuit, while gripping unto itself, has no bearing on the rest of the story.

Finally, as the plot accelerates to the finish line, the reader is blindsided by withheld information which is altogether silly. For the last 1/3 or so of the book, Western intelligence agencies know the Al-Qaeda threat is seaborne and have been going to massive lengths to try and figure out its probable target. Suddenly, the reader is informed that the G8 summit meeting is taking place on the QE2 sailing from New York to points south. Gee, you think that might be the target? The idea that the G8 summit would be held in such an uncontrolled environment is silly to start with, but to believe they would continue with that plan even as they are racing around with their heads cut off trying to locate a Al-Qaeda ghost ship? Paugh!

So, to recap, there is plenty to like in the book, and plenty to dislike. Like virtually everything in the genre, the book is plot-driven and the characters are pretty thin. There is some great detail and some great set piece sequences. However, there are so many contrivances and flaws that it's ultimately a disappointment, not up to Forsyth's usual standards.

Note: Various reviewers have pointed out a boatload of details Forsyth's researcher failed to get right, which I've listed below. None of these are particularly important, except for the last one, which is a pretty bad blunder for an espionage story:

-- Malaysian Airlines _does_ serve alcohol.

-- The hero is taken to the Falklands war aboard HMS Ark Royal, a ship not in service until three years after the war's end.

-- Chivas Regal is a blend and not a single malt liquor.

-- The 9/11 attacks did not occur at breakfast time in London but in the mid afternoon.

-- There is no U.S. Army rank of "Senior Captain"

-- A U.S. Air Force pilot of twenty years is ranked a Major, which is almost impossible under the U.S. military promotion system.

-- In the U.S. government a GS-15 is not a "junior staffer," but rather the highest ranked of the non-executive service, making more than$100,000/year.

-- The British SBS is the "Special Boat Service" not the "Special Boat Squadron."

-- The M21 sniper rifle was replaced by the M24 Sniper Weapon System in 1988.

-- It's somewhat unclear, but the story seems to imply that the hero learned passable Pashto from hanging out with Tajiks for six months. That's roughly like learning learning German by hanging out in France.

-- The hero is impersonating an Afghan ex-mujahedeen turned Taliban fighter. His teeth are inspected by very thorough Al-Qaeda security men, who somehow fail to notice his Western dental work.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Big letdown for Forsyth fans...very average book by Forsyth Standards 28 avril 2007
Par Gaurang Mokashi - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Being a great fan of Frederick Forsyth, I was eagerly waiting for the next installment of intrigue and drama from the great one.

The Afghan was big disappointment for me. The book falls short on a number of accounts when compared to his previous offerings. Detailed information and complex plot are Forsyth hallmarks. This novel fails in both aspects. Also the story lacks the drive and engrossing quality of his other novels. If you add an ending which peters out rather than reaching the climax then you have a very oridinary novel by Forsyth standards.

But then again, the novel is ordinary only by his own standards. If you have not read a Forsyth novel before then it can be a good read. Also the media hype surrounding Al-qaeda and taliban and easy availibility of information about them may have taken out some intrigue from the book.
40 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A SPLENDID NARRATION ADDS TO THE TENSION AND SHOCKING FINALE 23 août 2006
Par Gail Cooke - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD
While "fresh as this morning's headlines" has become a rather timeworn expression, it is not at all trite but decidedly true in regard to Frederick Forsyth's latest spine tingler. Even as I write this we are hearing of another terrorist plot which would have been even more horrific than 9/11 had it not been stopped. Yes, in the very real world we're the targets of hatred and the fictional world of Forsyth mirrors our plight.

A giant at creating international thrillers (The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Dogs of War), Forsyth has now crafted a novel so loaded with the latest in espionage technology and tactics that it raises the hair on the back of your neck.

The time is today and the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service have learned of a planned terrorist attack. That's it, that is all they know. In order to circumvent the unthinkable they must infiltrate Al Qaeda and discover the nuts and bolts of this heinous plan - who, what, where.

Forty-four year old Mike Martin is a British Special Forces veteran who has seen his share of battle in some of the most volatile spots on our planet. Now retired he only wants to spend the rest of life in peace and quiet. However, he is the one person, the only man for this job. He was raised in Iraq, speaks fluent Arabic, and has skin dark enough to pass for a Middle Easterner.

He has a double - it is Izmat Khan, an Afghan who has been held at Guantanamo for some five years. After intensive training Martin takes Khan's place and a fake escape is staged, allowing Martin to eventually contact Al Qaeda.

True to form Forsyth leads listeners on a suspense filled trail as Martin attempts to uncover Al Qaeda's plan. Also true to form, award winning actor Robert Powell delivers a splendid narration adding to the tension and building to a shocking finale.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing sequel 14 mars 2007
Par Dr. Jon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Well below Forsyth standard. As another review noted an incredible string of "coincidences". A character escapes literally by means of a bolt out of the blue, which destroys the walls and kills guards but does not injure him. He then finds added assets under impossible conditions with no possible way of knowing where to look. There are even more one-in-a- million coincidences in this part of the book but any more would spoil it assuming any remaining credibility.

Several screaming factual errors. Chivas Regal is a fine Scotch but it is not a single Malt. Forsyth should know this. The mentioned jet took off from Pensacola "Air Force" base. Pensacola is a Naval base. The Air Force base in the area is Eglin.

Major loose ends at the end, like how did the bad guys know enough to plan their attack, which required very closely held information.

Lots of good material but some real blunders along the way.

I feel he has treated great character very shabbily.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good idea, poor follow through 5 avril 2007
Par Hockey Lady - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I found the beginning of the book quite gripping and educational, but as I got further and further into the story, I found myself getting bogged down with longer than necessary Afghan history, long Arabic names and conicidence after coincidence. That an American AF plan could just happen to crash onto a remote cabin was just too much.

I am grateful for all those in the USA and GB who work daily to see that attacks such as the one planned in this book never happen. That there are some who are prepared to give their lives for people they never knew and who never knew of their sacrifice, I have no doubt. Some probably already have.

The book just needed some shortening and plot reworking. The concept, though, is frightening....
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