The Feather Men
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The Feather Men

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  451 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The story of a secret organization called "The Feathermen" and their 14-year attempt to trace the killers of a number of British ex-servicemen in Britain and abroad. Ranulph Fiennes has published eight books, two of which have been in "The Sunday Times" bestseller list.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published October 17th 1991)
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I'm amazed this hasn't been made into a movie. What a suspenseful, complex, and compassionate real-life story this is, a gem of a book. For better or worse, I almost never read a book without finding out what it's about, but I do wish I hadn't read the foreword until I'd gotten into the story. Really, it seems misplaced at the beginning. It would have been enough to know "The Feather Men" chronicles the systematic murder by a team of technically savvy contract killers of several British SAS men...more
Nov 12, 2012 ^ rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The military & those with strong stomachs
At first I struggled to get my bearings in this book. Once I’d grasped the plot, I surprised myself in realising that I had actually begun to rather enjoy it; that is if a reader, who in this situation is essentially a voyeur, can actually claim to be favorably interested in seedy sex, brutal violence and carefully calculated cold blooded killing. Not my usual fare, I must admit.

By three-quarters through there was no way that I could have laid this book down unfinished. But I continued to quest...more
Max Magbee
Interesting based-on-fact thriller about an underground network of ex-British army individuals whose sworn duty it is to protect their fellow armed forces brethren from external threats.
They are not exactly vigilantes (as the book states, they are called "The Feather Men" because their touch is light), because they shun violence and killing but still put the fear of god into their target, thus forcing them to cease whatever nefarious activity they have been engaged in.
This story follows the grou...more
This is allegedly a true-life account of a group of contract assassins (The Clinic) who were hired by an Omani shiekh to carry out revenge killings for the deaths of his four sons during Oman's civil war against Marxist rebels. The targets for assassination end up all being British SAS officers who were "seconded" to the Sultan's army during the war. Now supposedly there was a secret British vigilante organization (the "Feather Men") looking out for the health, welfare and families of former SAS...more
Mar 14, 2008 Frank rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller / Special Forces Readers / anyone
I just re-read this real-life thriller (March 2008) to my girlfriend (and goodreads 'friend' lol) Yulia. We share several books this way and this one was truly like picking up an old friend. This book was widely read in Great Britain (Sir Ranulph Feinnes) homeland. As you may or may not know he's a nut-job "this'll be the death of me surely" adventurer who's been to both poles, attempted to scale Everest, competed in 7 straight marathons around the globe for charity and served Her Majesty as an...more
My dad recommended this book to me & said I would not be disappointed. It wasn't until I watched Killer Elite & found out the movie was based on this book that I decided to read it. My dad was right it was a excellent read & I wasn't disappointed. The only downside being I wish I read the book b4 I watched the movie. Strong 4 stars & hard to believe that it's based on True Events.
I read this book after watching the movie "Killer Elite." The book I read is no longer called "Feather Men." I must say, I enjoyed the movie more than the book. The writing style was very difficult to follow. He switched between characters mid-paragraph. I reread many sentences and paragraphs trying to figure out what was happening. Despite the writing style, the book was quite good. And for the most part, the movie was very close to what happened in the book. I do like how the ending was writte...more
Andrew Shipway
Whether its true or not its a cracking story. Now I'll have to see the film( Killer Elite) and see if its as good.
This is the first of Sir Ranulph Fiennes books I have ever read. He has about 10 out. He is an excellent writer...and wrote this one more or less under pressure...with an 18 month timeline. This is a true story. My attention was brought to this book after we watched the movie "Killer Elite." The movie was based on this book. The book is about the murder for hire by Amr bin Issa, sheikh of the Bait Jarboat tribe in Dhofar. Three men work together (the mercenaries), called the Clinic. They are int...more
Hilmi Isa
Empat orang bekas anggota tentera British didapati meninggal dunia di dalam keadaan yang dianggap normal. Tetapi,sebenarnya,mereka dibunuh! Cuma,modus operandi pembunuhan dilakukan supaya kematian mereka tidak menunjukkan kesan-kesan pembunuhan dilakukan secara sengaja dan terancang. Mereka dibunuh kerana mereka didapati terlibat di dalam kematian anak-anak seorang sheikh Arab yang berasal dari Oman. Dengan mengupah The Clinic,sebuah kumpulan trio pembunuh upahan,misi memburu dan membunuh keempa...more
Brian Wade
First learned of this book from my brother & his fiance. Apparently this book was published and then quickly discontinued due to classified information it contained. (That's what I've been told.) As a result some earlier editions have increased in value and the book has become a rarity. Not sure how this works since the book has since been re-published under a different title, "Killer Elite". In any case, I came across this book at one of my favorite used book stores and picked it up at barg...more
Andrew Russell
This book is certainly well thought out and very well written indeed. The plot is rich and contains enough twists and turns to hold the readers attention. My only gripe is the controversy which has surrounded this book since its original publication 20 years ago. Mr. Fiennes "clever" manipulation of the reader regarding whether it is fiction or not adds absolutely diddly squat to their experience of the book and I can only put my cynical hat on and imagine that he is trying to coin it at the exp...more
Erik Willén
The Feather men by Ranulph Fiennes - also titled Killer Elite in a new publication - is a very well written book that are based on historic accounts, according to the author. The historic accounts throughout the book are most likely true - and I doubt any government will ever admit to any of them.

The story is about assassins, victims, and vigilantism. All three parts are very well presented. Personally I would have liked a more in depth on the characterization, however, given the nature of the...more
Alleged true story of a secret unit within the British military operating above the law, and their clashes with a squad of hitmen hired by an Omani aristocrat to avenge his sons' deaths at the hand of the SAS in the Omani civil war. It's quite controversial in its home country, not in the least because not just the author but his main sources have changed their stories several times. There are also no hard evidence for such an unit's existence, and if there was there'd be quite a few political s...more
This was an interesting but at times confusing book. There were several times when I had difficulty keeping track of events in the book, but in the end I found it an enjoyable read. If you are looking for an intricate, fast-paced action novel, then this is it. It purports to be factual, which to me seems most unlikely, but in the end it was a good story. If it was in fact based on actual events then it was one heck of a story!
Is this fiction? It's fictionalized, but then all of a sudden at the end, presented as if it really happened in some shape or form. It doesn't seem believable.
Fascinating story, implied to be true, with keen insights into the SAS community and the level of people they oppose.
Neil Morgan
A three out of five book. I read it a few years ago. Can remember bits and bobs but did not stick in the mind.
I don't often read a lot of 'fiction' and here Fiennes plays with the idea that this book contains only an element of fiction to fill in the 'gaps' in an otherwise true story.

I wouldn't want to argue with the man, so I went along with it all, and if you do, this is as good a 'thriller' as your likely to read in a long time.

I had to order a second hand copy as the book was out of print. I don't know why it wouldn't be more popular, as its as good as anything in this 'genre' that I have come acros...more
This book has the correct title of "The Feather Men" and is a stormer of a goodread, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, no less, is a living legend in Britain, Ex SAS-Artic Explorer, Heart of a lion, Stamina of a migrating widerbeast, and a top notch story teller to boot. "FICTIONAL" account of how to Assassinate your enemies while making it look like an accident, with a different twist in the tale ending.....Forgot that I had read this and would STRONGLY recommend it to our Langley suckers.

I enjoyed this book. It is kind of scary to think that these people are out there. I really like how we got so much more back story than in the movie. I came to my own conclusion that I don't feel you can have a retribution killing for something that happens in a war or military encounter, especially when the person being hunted down and killed later wasn't even the aggressor. I also liked how the past and 'current' were blended easily to tell the story.
Suzanne Auckerman
Best book I have read in a long time and it is a true story, with a lot of it set in Oman, a country I have never thought very much about. However, Jo is arranging a trip to Oman in October that I have told her I would go on. I found this book in a NY Times book review section on mysteries and did not know it was about Oman, when I started to read it. The review said it was a bestseller in England for years. Interesting how things start to intersect.
Another book recommended to me by John Thompson. He recommended that I set aside twenty-four hours for a dedicated read, that I could not put the book down. Yeah, heard that before. John was, as usual, correct. Assassins, plotters, men who specialize in wet-work. The book is a marvelous, globe-spanning, adventure in the world of the kind of justice the governments of the world cannot mete out.
Ystyn Francis
A satisfying and interesting read, despite being a little clunky intitially. It feels a lot like George Jonas' far superior "Vengeance", but "The Feather Men" has its own moments of quality, and the twist in perspective at the end is quite neat. I wonder if it will ever get a worthy film adaptation, not the hodge-podge reinventing that was "Killer Elite".
Mike Philbin
an absolutely amazing read,

the amount of detail that went into both the story and the characterisations.

I especially appreciate the could-have-been cheesy but were-totally-brilliant last couple of chapters.

5 stars, thanks for writing a corker, Sir Ranolph.
Anoop Subramanian
Decent read. Interesting theme, good description of characters. The author has described every single detail in the story, which is good, but at most times irrelevant. Even with such an exciting theme the book fails to be a page turner.
Very intriguing in a sort of disturbing, unsettling way.
don grant
I had seen the movie and then read the book, this is an amazing story and as expected the book is better than the movie. I wont spoil it but the movie got it backwards. A great read!
Dennis Willingham
Good page turner with enough detail and plot to keep you interested. A bit hard to believe it's based on a true story, but well told even if it seems a bit far fetched.
Peter Sharpe
Gripping account of contract killers and an Elite British unit sent to hunt them down. Very well written. Recommended for any readers who enjoy Frederick Forsyth.
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Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE, better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records.

Fiennes has written books about his army service and his expeditions as well as a book defending Robert Falcon Scott from modern revisionists. In May 2009, aged 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. According to the Guinness Book o...more
More about Ranulph Fiennes...
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know: The Autobiography Captain Scott Race to the Pole: Tragedy, Heroism, and Scott's Antarctic Quest The Sett Mind Over Matter (Delta Expedition)

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