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The Devil's Alternative

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,551 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Russia faces famine. The Soviets are forced to pin their hopes for survival on the U.S. But as the KGB and the CIA watch in horror, the rescue of a Ukrainian freedom fighter from the Black Sea unleashes savagery that endangers peace--and plunges leaders from Washington to Moscow into a web of overwhelming intrigue, terror, and suspense. Only two lovers can save the world f ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published 1979)
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Mar 30, 2013 Vinod rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome page-turner crafted by Frederick Forsyth. Like in many of his novels, he combines fact with fiction (and blurs the line between the two), and this makes most parts of this novel exciting. Moreover, there are so many things happening in the novel that involve several nations with multiple possible outcomes, that the author keeps you guessing till the end -- the fun is not in predicting what's going to happen and getting it correct, but rather getting it wrong! (the Oh My God! m ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Vijai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hellyeah
You know you have a master piece in your hand when you read this book. Although the plot does not unravel until the last two paragraphs of the last page, Mr. Forsyth exhibits his skill and mastery in weaving you into a deception that when the truth dawns on you it is like having ice cold water thrown at your face when you were deep asleep.

This is so good, I cannot begin to explain and point out the favorite sub-plots; the whole book is full of it.

I loved this book. An example of what an action
Oct 30, 2014 Justine rated it really liked it
Although a dated novel (first published in 1979), this is still an enjoyable read for Forsyth fans. About the aversion of global war via deft manipulation by players - leaders, bureaucrats, spies - of the then world's political powerhouses of USA, Russia and Britain. Engaging diplomatic and political suspense. Classic Forsyth.
Jim Puskas
Aug 18, 2015 Jim Puskas rated it it was amazing
Probably the best of Forsythe's novels, although The Fourth Protocol is perhaps its equal. It incorporates all of the author's best qualities: a compelling plot with some unexpected twists, seemingly unrealated characters with intersecting story lines and thoroughly researched real-world context.
Mahendra Palsule
Apr 04, 2012 Mahendra Palsule rated it really liked it
Set in the Cold War era, this is a thriller with a plot rivalling Ludlum in its scope but vastly superior in terms of realism & believability. Faced with a looming famine crisis, the USSR is in tough negotiations with the US over import of food grains & arms-reduction concessions. As the different protagonists and conspirators on both sides indulge in power struggles threatening the outcome of the negotiations, a group of Ukrainian nationalists end up almost sabotaging them through their ...more
Michelle Bacon
Sep 11, 2014 Michelle Bacon rated it it was ok
Shelves: political
Oh what do I think about this book?? Well, I was lucky enough to squeeze out two stars in my rating of it when in all honesty it deserves much less. Several times I really just wanted to give up on this and move on to something else but the completest in me forced myself to finish this book nearly a month later.

Forsyth makes one huge mistake right off the bat in this one by introducing the reader to an endless stream of characters. That alone had my head spinning. People were dying, who they wer
Jul 17, 2015 Rajan rated it really liked it
'Whichever option I choose, men are going to die.' This is the Devil's Alternative, an appalling choice facing the president of the USA and other statesmen throughout the world. A very good premise. Moral dilemma. Something like Arjuna faced in the Kurukshetra on start of great war of Mahabharata. Krishna gave him ultimate gyan i.e. Geeta. Very enjoyable page turner.
Danny M
Dec 10, 2011 Danny M rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy suspense tales and spy novels.
Recommended to Danny by: Browing
What can I say about the author Fredrick Forsyth. He is a master storyteller who combines fact with fiction in his writing. He is one of my favorite authors and consistantly writes books that will hold your attention with many twists and turns.

The story takes place in the late 70's early 80's. The story is a prelude to the cold war era. A political intrigue novel that threatens disastrous results worldwide, with a surprise ending. The book is a very interesting read and you will not be disappoin
Jan 18, 2012 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one started out reading more as a Tom Clancy-style thriller than the other Forsyth books I've read. All "Soviet-Union-plans-to-overthrow-the-West-using-brute-force-and-only-one-spy-can-stop-him!" sort of thing. Then at the half-way point it got rather interesting and quite tense for a couple of hundred pages. Then it got silly at the end. Shame. I really enjoyed that middle section. Still, a superior writer in the genre. Rated MA for adult themes and some violence. 3.5/5
Oct 20, 2014 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Thriller potente.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. En 1982, la combinación de una muy mala cosecha en la URSS con los efectos perniciosos de un pesticida en cuya producción hubo una grave falla, deja a los soviéticos frente a una futura hambruna. La posible negociación de compra de los excedentes de grano de Norteamérica podría implicar contrapartidas geoestratégicas que los líderes de la URSS no están dispuestos a admitir, por lo que se empieza a hablar en el Politburó de una operación para i
John Morey
Feb 27, 2012 John Morey rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read. It's been about 12 years since I read it but I would go back and do it again.
Jun 17, 2014 Ron rated it did not like it
With all of those 5 star ratings... I just could not get into this book. Quit at page 53.
Scott Holstad
Oct 27, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most exciting books I've ever read! It's a Cold War story about the US versus the Soviet Union, mixed in with some Ukrainian nationalists bent on raising hell in Russia and upsetting world events as a result. We've got the CIA. We have the Politburo. We have the world's wheat production, which -- when I first started reading this -- I thought was going to be boring, but actually turns out to be essential to the plot. We have weapons reductions. We have war plans. We have supe ...more
Dec 24, 2014 Bhanuj rated it really liked it
Forsyth, the master of detail, as i would like to call him. Every single novel is not just a story, not just a plot full of interesting characters but is also a dossier of research. From nuts and bolts to international organizations everything is so well researched that for that little 'Fiction' printed at the back of the book, you would think it is all real.

The devil's alternative is another international thriller set in the time of cold war that takes the reader from oval office to the rottin
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow, that was a literary workout! Although the author took the first half of the book to set up the events that would cascade down on the reader in the second half, one leaves the last page wondering how all that tension could have been resolved, was it really over? A welcome Epilogue tied together all the loose ends, leading to a satisfying conclusion.

Yet looking at the perfect storm of events that precipitated the heart of the action, it often seemed as if there was no way out for the many nat
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it
USSR cannot allow their people to starve, leading to riots and disintegration; allowing US to know the desperate need of grains due to shortage yet not known might lead to high concessions, unacceptable; while dealing with all this is urgent, nor can loss of face for nation in letting go of two men caught in terror and murder in a cause against state oppression of minorities be allowed. And yet there is a small matter of a threat to the world if the two are not allowed to go free.

From Moscow to
Apr 07, 2013 Gina rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome, edge of your seat, page turning epic storm of a story. I got so engrossed in this story that every time I saw that the prices had gone up (again) at the local petrol station, I thought it was because of the situation surrounding the oil tanker!
Feb 04, 2014 Dick rated it it was amazing
This year I'm saving some of my really good books. Anyone who reads this space will remember that one of my resolutions ( to pay no more than $2.99 for a book this year (see here). Thank goodness I had an unread stockpile of brandnamers in my library. The Devil's Advocate by Frederick Forsyth was one such stockpiled book.

If you are looking for a book worth the money, with depth of story and intrigue everywhere, this could be it. Unlike Avenger, also a good
Jan 07, 2016 Pete rated it really liked it
Even the most discriminating fans of the genre will find this political thriller a special treat. Totally captivating and superbly crafted story.
Jul 11, 2010 Ann rated it really liked it
Another political page turner. Shades of today with threatened terrorist
blow up of oil tanker. Thrilling read.
David Rubin
Feb 20, 2015 David Rubin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Frederick Forsyth is an author ahead of his time. Here he writes a broad novel about the last days of the Soviet Union and the cold war involving European geopolitics, the oil tanker industry, ethnic unrest, and last but not least, a love story.

Forsyth writes as usual in his low-drama style, but with action aplenty, and great character development. This is not a book about heroes or villains, but about highly competent people doing their jobs very well.

And, because of the Ukrainian connection,
Bob Conner
Jan 18, 2015 Bob Conner rated it it was amazing
If you're reading these "reviews," you'll no doubt notice that I say the same thing about all of Forsyth's works.

I devour every book he writes; there's simply nothing better in the world of intrigue, in my opinion.

Once you read one of Forsyth's books, you'll read them all. I began reading his work in the 1980's and haven't stopped. This guy gets you into his stories and doesn't let you go.

Forsyth's writings are an accurate representation of "eat or be eaten" and that coupled with his knowledge o
Copyright Fredereick Forsyth 1979
Penerbit Serambi
Alih Bahasa : Kristina Sundari
Editor : M. Sidik Nugraha
Lay-out : Aniza Pujiati
Desain Sampul : Altha Rivan
Cetakan I : Juli 2013 ; 602 hlm ; ISBN 978-979-024-412-2
Rate : 4.5 of 5

Pernahkah Anda membayangkan bahwa sebuah situasi menyangkut hubungan diplomatik serta permainan politik serta perebutan kekuasaan, dimulai dari suatu hal yang awalnya tampak sepele ? Dan bagaimana peran serta pemimpin masing-masing negara
Jun 18, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
The best ending I ever discovered in novel.
Feb 01, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
L'alternativa del diavolo, in originale "The Devil's Alternative" è un romanzo thriller di Frederick Forsyth pubblicato nel 1979, che è uno scrittore britannico noto come autore di spy-story come "Il giorno dello sciacallo", "I mastini della guerra", "Dossier Odessa", "Il pugno di Dio" e "Il quarto protocollo".

Scritto prima del 1979, i capi di Governo e di Stato rappresentati nel libro sono fittizi, ma è possibile riconoscere alcuni protagonisti degli anni Settanta: Joan Carpenter, il primo min
Christian D.  Orr
As long-time readers may already remember, Frederick Forsyth originally vowed that he would only write three novels. "The Devil's Alternative" was the book via which Mr. Forsyth broke that vow, and we the aficionados of thrillers are all the richer and grateful for it!

An absolutely fantastic novel with nary a dull moment. Yes, it was written in 1979 and set in the "future" date of 1982 when the Cold War was still raging and the Soviet Union was very much a real entity....yet paradoxically, in 20
Jan 26, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
If you like political dancing and a long set up in your political thrillers then this is the book for you. Personally I enjoy these kind of books. I read The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy and enjoyed it.
To me books like this give me a peek into the minds of our political leaders and how they view the world. Now is this book accurate to the reaction that politicians would have. I have no idea, but I have a feel that it might be close.
The characters are well developed and you get a vested
Rafal Jasinski
Apr 18, 2012 Rafal Jasinski rated it really liked it
Thriller polityczno-sensacyjny w bardzo dobrym wydaniu. Jeśli nie zrazi Was nieco dłużący się początek, w którym autor zręcznie rozstawia figury na szachownicy i zimnowojenny sztafaż - który dziś może budzić bardziej nostalgiczne wspomnienia, za literaturą i filmem opisującym zmagania dwóch supermocarstw, niż wywoływać dreszcz niepokoju z powodu kilku "czarnych scenariuszy", jakie się na kartach tej powieści pojawiają - to po, mniej-więcej jednej trzeciej lektury z pewnością dacie się porwać świ ...more
Arvind Vaidyanathan
Sep 11, 2015 Arvind Vaidyanathan rated it it was amazing
This is truly one of the best books I have ever read! Frederick Forsyth is really a master writer who can blend so many elements into such a long book, and not one page of it is boring. The story moves along so beautifully and then twists when you least expect it. As always his attention to detail is fabulous, he seems to know every precise detail of the working of the intelligence agencies of every country!
Certainly a book everyone should read!
Apr 14, 2016 Paul rated it liked it
Ridiculous in details but and interesting overarching plot. It's sad how little has changed since the cold war. Ukraine wants to break free from Soviet hegemony and the West couldn't care less and will in fact help Russians put them down just to make a deal. Am I describing the plot of the book or the current state of affairs? This story has repeated itself over the last 70 years so many times it's depressingly familiar.
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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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