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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,989 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Trapped in a snowbound cabin or on a long flight, there's nobody more reliable than Forsyth for guaranteed diversion. His narrative engine is one of the best in the business; his characters spring quickly to life; he blends research and imagination into high drama. Icon is set in the Russia of 1999, where an ultra-nationalist zealot you might recognize from Nightline is ab ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Icon is one of my favorite novels by Frederick Forsyth because in this work he really makes easy to connect with the characters. Forsyth put many complicated characters in this book, and opened up the world post-Soviet Moscow. An excellent read that projects the settings so wonderfully described into the reader's mind. The dialogue does not fail the reader, and the plot is well developed and has a number of good surprises (which kept me on the edge of my seat). Forsyth also uses his previous exp ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 1999.

Frederick Forsyth always has interesting ideas, but his writing never does them justice. Icon is no exception to this rule. The idea - a new Hitler attempting to take power in the chaotic ruins of a Russia devastated by mega-inflation and uncontrollable organised crime - is excellent. The major problem is the narrative style. The story takes second place to exposition of the idea - the reader does not really need pages of description of ficti
I'm a sucker for spy novels and usually think that most good fiction in that genre died along with the Cold War. I will say, however, that this one was great. I took a little while to get through the first chapter but once I did I honestly couldn't put it down -- I stayed up until almost 3:00 a.m. one night to finish it because I just HAD to know what happened. It's kind of a "what would happen if ..." novel. When it was written in 1993, it actually was set to take place in the future (1999). Th ...more
Midori Jimenez
simply one of the best! i simply CANNOT put this book down when i started reading it. the plot was simple - stop Igor Komarov from being the Russian President. and how the lead character did it was simply amazing! it was brilliantly thought of and it is no doubt one of my favorite books of all time!

Deepak Eshwar
This is one of Fredrick Forsyth's best till date. The details he gives is so abundant that after reading you feel like you really had a date with the KGB or the CIA + if you are really interested in espionage this book is mandatory. Hail FF!
Aku cuman mo nambahin kalo buku ini bagussss banget.. trik trik spionasenya ok dah... FF emang jagonya
Arun Divakar
Too good to be true, don't we say this word about the really grand things we encounter at times ? A really hot lady/guy who for no reason strikes up a conversation with you and is willing to proceed further, a boss who suddenly supports you and gives a pay hike for no reason or maybe a new political leader who in a short time makes a tremendous impact on the masses. While any of these or for that matter any such overtly unbelievable incidents are going on, a small voice at the back of your mind ...more
Finitha Jose
Thrillers or detective novels are best when it comes to train journeys; especially if you are in an Express or Superfast which goes slower than a Passenger and is held down in different stations for reasons I know not what. It is on one such journey that I came upon this novel -- a random search in the library revealed the worn out book in the corner and it looked like a good one too for the three hour ride home.
I never got a chance to read any more of Forsyth, but thanks to this absorbing tal
Finished. I liked it. Review sometime to follow - or maybe not because it's been a hard couple of months following mum's passing.

It's a shame I am reading this at the moment because I won't remember a thing about it, being currently consumed with thoughts that won't turn off and boundless grief. Icon covers an interesting period of modern Russian history. sigh. Looks like it's one I will have to come back to sometime.

The west Indies fish make their 2nd appearance around page 168 many years lat
An excellent, exciting story of international intrigue. Frederick Forsyth mixes historical figures and events with fictional ones to spin this yarn of Russia following the end of Glasnost. Major figures are an ambitious Nazi-like Russian and his henchman vs. an elderly British spymaster and his 'pupil'. Forsyth's description of Moscow and its environs allows the reader to experience the grandeur of this capital city.
This is a story with a lot of detail. Fortunately, Forsyth gives the reader a 4
Karthik Vivekanandhan
I came across this book by accident,was not sure if it was too old to be any good because the story happens in 1999 Russia.It had been a very long time since I read The Day of the Jackal and i remember enjoying it then,so decided to give this a try.

The author has done a lot of research on Russia and espionage,once you have read through the first chapter,this becomes really interesting.This is a gripping spy novel with lots of flashbacks, and the part I start to get bored with all the American wr
Scott Holstad
I love this book by Forsyth. It was epic in scale. And he pulled it off masterfully. The first half of the book is plot set up, which is typical of the author. He's really into details and logistics, so this part of his books often bores some readers. But not me. I like finding out about all of the details that go into an operation. The second half of the book was action packed and I had a hard time putting the book down.

The plot revolves around post-Soviet Russia circa 1999. It's falling apart,
Another "too old to be current and too new to be vintage/classic" book, found on the hallway communal bookshelf, but interesting, as I'd never read Frederick Forsyth. He seems to do a lot of research, a la Michael Crichton, but here, instead of technology and science, the emphasis is more on politics and espionage. Forsyth perhaps came of age (or was of age) during the excesses of the cold war, and there is a definite cloud of that hanging over the story, even though it's set in post-Glasnost Ru ...more
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Juan Nieto Cano
Me ha encantado. Superenganchado desde el principio. Un libro que tiene todos los elementos que a mí me gustan y algunos forman parte de la novela negra: suspense, intriga, acción, espionaje, y una trama y malvado plan político perfectamente detallado, tanto el como llevarlo a cabo y el como destruirlo. El protagonista, Jason Monk, a parte de ser todo un héroe, llega a fascinar no sólo por su carisma e inteligencia, si no por como se desenvuelve en cualquier situación, sobre todo en las adversas ...more
Diah Didi
One of the best novel I've ever read, in my opinion. Though I found it is hard and pretty boring to follow at the first time, Frederick Forsyth makes it so great that the story is getting more and more interesting, so I keep on reading it couple of times.
Since it tells us about spy and politic, all the characters created are full with heroism, cunning, betrayal and intrigue.
Jason Monk, together with Sir Nigel Irvine, as the main characters, presents the ideal type of secret service agent. Brill
Sailen Dutta
The Cold War has, without a doubt, given the world one good thing: Spy Thrillers. And coming from a master story teller like Forsyth, you can expect something exceptional. 'Icon' doesn't disappoint. The story takes place in two parts- Cold War era and post Cold War era. Jason Monk, the protagonist, was a runner of spies in Soviet Russia and he was one of the most successful agents of the CIA in recruiting high ranking Soviet officials to spy against their own country. Post Cold War, his skills a ...more
This book has a very slow start, in fact I did not feel fully engaged until after page 100. But once I got past this milestone I was deeply immersed. The story picked up speed after that. The books title did not immerse until around the middle and then the second part was deeply captivating. An entertaining book following the bitter relationship that Jason Monk experienced with the spy community, and his resolve to do one last mission before disappearing into the deep waters of the Caribbean. Th ...more
Kavitha Seetharaman

This is what I could say after reading the book. Another Forsyth magic!

Book is just great as always. Though the first few pages are dragging, it takes a pace which makes us travel with the book to the old Russia and the agents. The plot description is so live that u can visualize it with every minute detailing.

A good entertainer and a page turner!
Un buen libro de espías. Te deja entrever la trama, pero no te muestra toda su complejidad hasta el último momento.
Estructurado en dos partes redactadas de manera diferente cada una; la primera parte se torna demasiado lenta e inconexa -por momentos- para un libro de acción e intriga, pero afortunadamente la calidad va in crescendo. A pesar de que las 100 primeras páginas son capaces de ahuyentar a más de un lector impaciente, con las siguientes 100 la cosa va mejorando notablemente hasta alcan
Frederick Forsyth is a master of conspiracy and The Icon is another masterpiece of his. He brought us to the post Soviet Russia. Igor Komarov wanted to be in power in Russia and he was not afraid to use any mean to make his dream come true and in the process getting rid of his opponents as well as several minorities which he simply did not like. Everything was playing on his cards, but then a mistake happened and former soldier now janitor who was cleaning the office was well touching things, wh ...more
This is my first Forsyth novel and for the first 250 pages...

...I had determined that it would be my last.

Forsyth spends the first half of of the 500+ page Icon just setting the reader up for the real plot of the novel. Unfortunately, the setup consists of a series of disjointed flashbacks interspersed with seemingly unrelated tales of what is going on in the present of the novel (1999-2000 in the old USSR, now Russia).

Suddenly, once the flashbacks work their way up to the present time the rea
Loved this. First Forsyth novel I ever read, whichprompted me to read his back previous novels. Love the way he changes with the times from writing cold war/post cold war thrillers to now dealing with the modern day threat from al-Qaeda. Long may he continue.
Mahesh Prasad
One of the best of Forsyth. Maybe it's bcz I like Russia very much but even then the portrayal of the great country is a must read. You will feel that you are sitting by the Moskva river and enjoying the cool Russian breeze.

The character portrayal is the masterpiece of Forsyth. Without any bias, without any direct reference as to who is the protagonist, he just narrates the events. We understand the character of a person simply from the events. His character will be as we decipher it; not as t
Zul Guci
Emank sangat berasa too good to be true, padahal separuh dari isi novel bener2 menarik dan seru, tapi makin kesini semakin terasa terburu-buru dan menggampang-gampangkan penyelesaian cerita
The constant promise zooms inside the jet. Will the hook tear? A compound furniture pretends opposite the shouting sphere. The skill applies our enlightened.
Iva Endrychová
Tak nějak jsem čekala, že Monk to nepřežije... Jako dobrý číst si o špionáži v době studené války... Konečně vím proč se jedna povídka jmenuje Lefortovo.o)

Teď mám ve čtečce rozečtenou Boží pěst.
Hannah Etherton
Political moving behind scenes tale, set in Russia. A good read, not normally what I pick up but plenty to keep me interested.
W Roy
Read this pretty quickly after the last few days: a good read in the Forsyth style. I liked the flow of this one.
Really enjoyed this alternative Russian spy thriller. It gets a bit daft near the end, but was a lot of fun to read.
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE (born 25 August 1938) 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, educ
More about Frederick Forsyth...
The Day of the Jackal The Odessa File The Fourth Protocol The Dogs of War The Devil's Alternative

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