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The Dogs of War

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  15,553 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
#1 "New York Times "bestselling author Frederick Forsyth delivers an international thriller that takes readers into the darkest hearts of men and nations...
In a remote corner of the impoverished African republic of Zangaro lies Crystal Mountain. At certain times of the day, the mountain itself seems to glow with a strange light. Only the ruthless and untouchable tycoon Si
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by New American Library (first published 1974)
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Jan 22, 2012 Checkman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military fiction fans
I spent fourteen years in the U.S. Army (1986-2000). Approximately seven years in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve and seven years in the Regular Army. I was eighteen when I enlisted in 1986 and I was all about the "action". I had obviously watched too many Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone movies. By the time I separated from the Army in 2000 I had come to realize a few crucial things about the military and combat operations.

1. Beans and bullets (logistics) are everything. Th
Jul 31, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a lot of years since I last saw any part of the movie & more since I read it, but it aged very well. As usual, Forsyth takes us through a long, convoluted setup that is fascinating, very much the same structure as The Day of the Jackal. The epilogue explains a lot, but... well, I can't say without a huge spoiler. Motivations that don't make sense will, trust me.

While most of my shelf choices are obvious, I put it on the mystery-thriller shelf because it has a lot of that in it. Who

There was a film made - who knew - and starring, wait for it, Christopher Walken and we all love him since Mousehunt and that fab Fatboy Slim 'Weapon of Choice' video.

Description: In a remote corner of Zangara, a small republic in Africa, lies Crystal Mountain. At certain times of the day the mountain emits a strange glow. Only Sir James Manson knows why. The mountain contains ten billion dollars worth of the world's most valuable mineral, platinum.

Now the only question is, how to get hold of i
Chris Ingalls
Oh, man. After almost 20 years of reading and enjoying Forsyth's globe-trotting espionage/mystery thrillers, I knew I was bound to come across a clunker, and this one's it.

In a way, this book is similar to his deservedly acclaimed "Day of the Jackal" in that in concerns the plot and execution of a serious crime for political gain. While "Jackal" is about the assassination of French President Charles De Gaulle, "Dogs of War" concerns the attempted coup d'etat of a small, fictional African countr
Jun 04, 2012 Werner marked it as read-in-condensed-versions  ·  review of another edition
In keeping with my usual practice for books I've only read in a Reader's Digest condensed version, I'm not presuming to review or rate this one. However, I do want to post an interesting background factoid. Zangara, the fictional African nation that serves as the setting here, was directly modeled on the real-life country of Equatorial Guinea, which Forsyth visited just before writing the book, and psychotic President Kimba is a fictionalized version of E.G.'s first president, Macias Nguema, who ...more
Jul 03, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classically Forsyth book The Dogs of War (or: How to take over a small West-African country with a gang of well-armed friends 101) is nine-tenths description to the reader of the meticulous planning that goes into pulling off something big and impressive. The plotting is extremely sophisticated and tension is kept high as our not-particularly-sympathetic protagonist Cat Shannon is fixed to a tight schedule by ruthless employers. The final tenth of the book is needless to say some frenetic, cha ...more
Abubakar Mehdi
Sep 10, 2016 Abubakar Mehdi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book after reading about Forsyth and the way he does great amount of research before writing a book. Intrigued, I bought this book and was sorely disappointed. The story is basically about a modern day Francis Drake (or Robert Clive) called James Manson, who discovers that in order to extract copper worth 10 billion dollars from a distant african state, he'll have to overthrow the current President and replace him with a puppet of his choosing. All that, before the Russians learn a ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Interesting if dated book. I was even then fascinated by the subject matter..mercenary soldiers. I know that many will disagree, but I've never held the opinion that they are universally "evil". This is an interesting story, it hasn't stayed with me as much as say, The Day of the Jackal, but Forsyth is still one of the best ever writers of suspense, thriller, and techno thriller.
Dec 30, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While many of the reviews point to an abundance of information as a downfall I find this to be the major strength of the novel. You are taken on a realistic journey by Forsythe through the shadowy thoroughly researched underworld ending in an unexpected but enjoyable climax.

If you enjoyed the details of fake passwords and the black market arms trade in "Day of the Jackal" then this book will likely be even more enjoyable.
Aug 18, 2012 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to read about many killings to no good purpose
Shelves: fiction
Well-written and boring.

Pat Shannon, a mercenary between jobs, contracts to employ of bunch of his mercenary friends to displace the insane dictator of a small African country with valuable mineral deposits. His employer is bankrolling him in order to install a puppet government that will give him a sweetheart deal on the mining. To do so, he must not only recruit the men and acquire the weapons, ammunition, and transportation, but he must also smuggle them all in and out of countries of origin
Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the Dogs of War!
The idea is interesting, to have mercenaries to conduct a coup in a small (fictitious) country in West Africa. However, Forsyth spent too much time explaining the process in preparing the action. Well, might be useful if one wants to do the same thing in the 70s though. I felt kinda bored reading the middle part of this book. Couldn't care less about all of the business arrangements and Bond-esque love affair. Thank goodness, the last chapter was excitin
Dan Sihota
Jun 10, 2017 Dan Sihota rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Until I recently read The Day of the Jackal, I had never really been interested in reading anything by Frederick Forsyth, but after I finished The Day of the Jackal, a book I really enjoyed, I decided to read another Forsyth novel, this time I decided to read The Dogs of War.

A few years ago I saw a film on TV called, The Dogs of War, and despite its well-known cast, which included Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger, the film didn't leave much of a lasting impression, at best, I would describe
Randal Schmidt
Sir James Manson, a scheming mining tycoon, hatches a plan to topple the government of a tiny African country in order to secure the mining rights to Crystal Mountain. This particular mountain contains an enormous deposit of platinum, and through a series of intricate plans involving Swiss banks and the manipulation of shares, Sir Manson plans to exploit the platinum find and make billions.
To carry out the coup on corrupt Zangaran president Kimba, Sir Manson hires Cat Shannon, a ruthless mercena
Jan 04, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd put down Forsyth's masterpiece, The Day of the Jackal, very quickly, many years ago, because I wasn't able to parse through the extreme level of detail buried within the first few pages. In short, it just didn't move very fast.

I picked up The Dogs of War because I'd heard the premise, that of a gang of mercenaries attempting to topple an African dictatorship in order to establish a puppet government that will sell platinum to a British mining magnate at absurdly low prices, and I thought it
Jan 30, 2009 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dogs of War by F. F. is an intricate cultural novel which focuses on the different concepts that underlie politics across the world in a central African location. This book is intricate in all the concepts it deals with, i.e. politics, resource economy and the eclectic types of tribal mercenaries present. All in all, the book is a horrendous yet scrupulous analysis of the complex avarice that is ubiquitous in all socio-cultural hodgepodge novels. The complex metaphorical analysis and connect ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Vijai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I will hurt you for this. I don't know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid.”
- George R.R. Martin as Tyrion Lannister.

Revenge is such. Not the spontaneous display of anger and bravado as movies would have you believe. Smart ones know better. You turn that sourness and pain into a slow burning fuel. You plan, put things together, caress the details into place a
David Jarrett
This was a good, but not a great book, The premise was interesting -- a wealthy and unscrupulous English tycoon's attempt to overthrow the corrupt government of a backward but mineral-rich African country in order to install his own corrupt head of state in a coup de-etat. In order to accomplish this, he hires a mercenary, Carlo Shannon, an experienced fighter with African experience, who, in turn, hires his own team, selected from men with whom he has worked before.

There is very little action i
May 30, 2014 Abhishek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant work of fiction by the master of details. It is fast paced and keeps the reader interested throughout the length of the narrative. It is the story of a group of mercenaries who take up a job of dethroning the government of a small African country. The group has its leader the inimitable C.A.T. Shannon, the main character in the plot, and who has led this group successfully in the past.

As a reader I sometimes have felt that some of the Forsyth's books get lost in the details,
Jan 01, 2015 Aveek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a thoroughly exhilarating read. This book portrays an almost perfect picture of mercenary warfare in Africa. Various nations in the continent have been ravaged by Civil Wars, not to forget that some of these do not have stable governments yet. By coming up with a fictitious nation, Zangaro, Frederick Forsyth is able to convey the situations dealing with the usurping of a dictatorship,rather a coup d'etat, interests of big business houses and conglomerates in African resources (the movie ' ...more
Vignesh Karthik
Mar 14, 2013 Vignesh Karthik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is stands apart in style and expression.The minute details of the plot, the development of the story line-explaining the meticulous planning to pull out the plot are somethings rarely seen.The authors experience as journalist covering biafra civil war is lucidly depicted throughout the book.The plot is sophisticated, complex and high in tension.The complex metaphorical analysis and connections present in the book allow the reader to better discern the sundry of indelible characters tha ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a lengthy dissertation on the world of mercenary soldiers. It details, really details, the preparations for a mercenary-led coup in a tiny African nation. It's apparent that Mr. Forsyth's knowledge of the international black market for weaponry, the methods and tricks of moving it around, and probably even some of the actual persons involved in that game are all very impressive. The coup engagement itself and its results occupy only a small portion of the book. This was a surprise ...more
Ronald Gumede
Aug 05, 2015 Ronald Gumede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was great. A real thriller and you believe that you're in the hands of a guy who has researched his stuff. The preparations for mercenary warfare were impeccable. I prefer Day of the Jackal - which seems to me to be the first of the really good brand of thrillers with an international espionage dimension. But this is in the same bag. Lovely action and believable characters and plausible scenario. In fact this looks very much like the Equatorial Guinea fiasco that occurred some years ago. Th ...more
E.D. Martin
Mar 11, 2011 E.D. Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just spent the half of the last 20 hours or so devouring this book. I'm not an espionage/action-y book reader, but this one really pulled me in, despite the constant POV shifts. I was impressed by the detail of the politics of 1970's West Africa and the horrific averice of Western capitalists. And I'm now in love with the main character, Cat Shannon - a mercenary fighting for the good guy underdogs against the capitalist bastards, who lose in the end. The way it should be.
Jun 26, 2009 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I liked this quite a lot but for some reason have not felt a tremendous urge to read more by Forsyth. I think the thing is, I like books with something more, some more fantastic element. This is pretty much straightforward realistic fiction.
Sep 28, 2015 Jerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for someone interested in the arms dealers and how blackmarket guns are sold and resold around the world, all wrapped up in an interesting story of the overthrow of an African dictator. With a pretty interesting ending.
Jun 24, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, another excellent novel by FF. Though a tad tedious in the middle of the book gathering all the equipment needed for battle, it was nonetheless plenty of stories within the story, all woven into somewhat of a surprise ending.
A stand alone novel.
Foysol Ahmed
জাঙগারো দেশটির সাথে বাংলাদেশের অনেক মিল পাওয়া যায়! বইয়ের শেষের পাঁচ পৃষটা যেন পুরো বইয়ের কাহিনী বদলে দিয়েছে! ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Gerard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last 40 stunning pages with the brilliant climax, is definitely worth the remaining 400, often gruellingly detailed ones! Glad to finish the year with a good book. Happy New Year!!
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan, and recently The Cobra and The Kill List.

The son of a furrier, he was born in Ashford, Kent, educated at Tonbridge Scho
More about Frederick Forsyth...

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“… Shannon’s fingers itched to smash the man in the face. Inside his head he kept telling himself,
Keep cool, baby, absolutely cool.”
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