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The Afghan

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,828 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
"When British and American intelligence catch wind of a major Al Qaeda operation in the works, they instantly galvanize - but to do what? They know nothing about it: the what, where, or when. They have no sources in Al Qaeda, and it's impossible to plant someone. Impossible, unless ..." "The Afghan is Izmat Khan, a five-year prisoner at Guantanamo Bay and a former senior c ...more
Published August 1st 2006 by Bantam Press
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David J.
Oct 30, 2007 David J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any writers circle wanting an illustration of how not to write a thriller
You don't read Forsyth for the dialogue or the narrative style - you read him for twisty, page-turning plot and for know-how. This one, I have to admit, kept me turning the pages, but I found precious little new in the know-how.
Forysth's dialogue is wooden at best. In this one, he handles dialogue by mostly omitting it altogether. When he does break his long, grey, heavy paragraphs for a line of dialogue, it's not wooden any more - it's like lead.
Much the same goes for the narrative style. Th
Mar 05, 2009 Ed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Died in the wool Forsyth fans, Clancy fans, spy story fans
I have always felt Forsyth's "Day of the Jackal" was one of the best suspense/thrillers, I've ever read.

How far the mighty have fallen.

In what reads like a channeling of Tom Clancy, "The Afghan" goes on and on with details that have little or nothing to do with plot or character development.

The actual "story" isn't bad but is dragged down by the constant insertion of irrelevancies and the over-reliance on stereotypical descriptions of both the terrorists and the good guys".

To be fair, some of t
Anoop Pai B
It cannot be that a piece from the master be anything short of a masterpiece?
Ramakrishnan M
I am reading a Forsyth novel after long time. I felt very nostalgic (such fond memories from school and college days…) as I opened the pages of this thriller. Forsyth has always focused on FACTS, as a friend of mine used to say. You can always find very detailed, intricate details of missiles, military organizations, etc. in his novels. I have seen some debates on the accuracy of his research, though. In this book, I did notice some comments on Kerala that were not completely correct. I am not s ...more
Saurabh Sharma
This was the first time I read a book by Frederick Forsyth and it was not the initiation I was looking forward to. The Afghan as a spy thriller simply does not live upto its genre. The story moves at a slow pace till the final act, when it speeds up somewhat, and the author frequently goes into background mode for each and every event, derailing the pace and development of the plot.

'The Afghan' is a story of a retired British Special Agent, Mike Martin, who is sent on an undercover mission to u
John Grinstead
I came to this not expecting to enjoy it - something I'm quite used to when reading things with a military theme or connection, where I have a tendency to cringe at the inaccurate references - but Forsyth lived up to his reputation of producing a well-researched story that entertains.

Building on a number of contemporary themes, he manages to spin a good yarn, whilst including sufficient factual references to suspend the readers disbelief; the only thing that you might have difficulty with is th
Apr 09, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
I think this was the first Forsyth I've read (so far), and I enjoyed it. Definitely a manly style of writing, a bit ludlumesque, but different. The story was told a bit like a documentary, but the biggest difference to most other spy/suspense/thrillers I've read in ages was that there was no hot lady spy and no ladies to rescue. (I'm curious whether the other Forsyth books are like this - in this story any ladies to spy or to rescue would have fit like a pink glamour tracksuit in Afghanistan)
Scott Holstad
Apr 03, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike most reviewers I've encountered online, I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps it's because it's the first Forsyth I've read since Day of the Jackal, I don't know. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I really wasn't disappointed.

The plot revolves around British and American intelligence agencies finding out about a super secret Al-Qaeda plot to do something bigger and worse than 9/11. The questions are what, when, and where? Several people are brought in to do something about it and only
Doug Clark
I am a huge Forsyth fan, and as such, was eagerly anticipating the reading of The Afghan, Forsyth’s latest thriller. I did enjoy it, but…it just wasn’t as page-turning as many of Forsyth’s earlier works such as The Day of the Jackal or The Dogs of War. Forsyth has clearly done his homework on terrorism, modern technology and intelligence agencies. Unfortunately, the display of that research came at the detriment of the plot and the characters in the plot. In filling in the backstory of the Afgha ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Efka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are interested in middleast political situation; suspense lovers; pro-americans;
Shelves: suspense
Though all the book is rather moderately paced, it engages you from beginning till the very last page. It is a briliantly fulfilled story about an anti-terrorist spec op, preparation to it, infiltration and the result of the whole operation. What was most exciting and intriguing for me, is that this book is written not as a run-and-gun or a typical James Bond style novel, but more like a true event, as fiction intertwines with real facts, real locations, and, sadly, real casualties. Interestingl ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Sameer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a Day of the Jackal and must say that "The Afghan" does not entirely live upto the expectation. Although that may sound too harsh, it was a good read. The plot remained as a mystery and the details kept me thinking over and over and how and when. The reference to Al-Isra actually made me intrigued. The book keeps good pace and the switch of events is seamless.

Afghan also opens up a lot of questions, specially around those where unknown people have given away there lives to protect c
Oct 11, 2014 Graham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contained some well researched an incredibly interesting material about Afghanistan and the recent military and religious history of the area. The concept of placing a Western aligned spy into al Qaeda was interesting, quite well thought out and presented.

The current brutality, ignorance, greed and mindless stupidity of ISIS was an interesting backdrop while I read this book.

The core of the book is that there is a significant al Qaeda attack planned. The governments of the UK and The
Ian Mapp
Apr 17, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2010 Lany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Forsyth all right. When I read Forsyth it's like I read a history book only better. Because then I knew it's not going to come out in any quiz or mid I enjoy it even more.

The story is more or less the same as the Fist of God...with the same character. But you don't have to read Fist of God in order to understand the character or lose the story. This book provides quite a repetition so for me who have read the Fist of's a bit boring. You know how Forsyth is with details
May 31, 2008 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, fiction
I wouldn't rank this in the same league as Forsyth's earlier, first-rate work (e.g., The Dogs of War or Day of the Jackal) Still, below-average Frederick Forsyth is better than a lot of espionage thriller writers who are on form.

The basic premise of this one is that British and American intelligence services have got wind of a plan for a terrorist attack. They do the near-impossible job of infiltrating an agent into al-Qaeda. For the mission, they choose a former SAS officer who is able to pass
Tim Merriman
Jan 14, 2008 Tim Merriman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Forsyth fans
The story within the book is fascinating and convoluted but Forsyth writes with very little dialogue and long narrative passages that cover vast portions of the story in short order. He gives interesting background and too much background for me. I found myself skipping areas where his narration told me much more than I needed to know to follow the story. If you read to know more about the amazing armaments carried on helicopters, ships and portable weapons, this may be a lot of fun.

Michael Mar
Dec 09, 2008 Malakeo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have a habit of when at the library picking up books for the kids, I take a quick tour of the Adult Fiction or New shelves and grab something that sounds interesting and that I have not read.
This was my latest, having not read a ton of "spy thrillers" but I was definitely entertained by the story. I appreciate Forsyth's interest in detailed background which helps make the story seem that much more lifelike, especially with a timely story that covers terrorism/Afghanistan/Gitmo. Another surpri
Florian Pekazh
May 14, 2014 Florian Pekazh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
"Денят на Чакала", "Четвъртият протокол", "Кучетата на войната". Все произведения, които оформят сегашният изглед на жанра трилър. Не можете да очаквате от Форсайт страхотен език или интересни диалози, човек го чете заради неочакваните обрати и достоверността, която историите му излъчват. Точно това ще получите и от "Афганеца".

Главният герой в историята на Форсайт е пенсиониран таен агент на име Майк Мартин, който бива изпратен под прикритие да разкрие таен терористичен план. За целта той минава
Kelly Crigger
I'm normally a fan of Forsyth (The Deceiver was one of the best books I ever read), but this fell short for me. Forsyth usually has a way of describing a character in painstaking detail without distracting from the main story, but he violates this principle in The Afghan. I knew way more than I needed to about each character and after several pages dedicated to their backgrounds, forgot where we were in the main story and where it was going. It's a compelling concept - a westerner infiltrating A ...more
Arijit Chatterjee
a great narrative ... well designed plot and characters ...
Nov 24, 2008 Sriram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forsyth disappoints.

This has nothing on "Fist of God".

The Afghan relies too much on coincidence and needless subplots that do little to help the flow.

The final Al Asra that is hinted at is so ham handed so as not inspire any terror.

Col. Mike Martin R.I.P.

and with it, hopefully we'll bury the hackneyed snippet found 3 times in 2 novels

"To every man upon this earth, death comes soon or late

And how can a man die better, than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his G
Jan 07, 2016 Pete rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing talent of Forsyth is evident here but unfortunately he misses the mark with this novel. He is known for developing a storyline slowly but in this case the story moves just too slow. The first half of the book is spent on character development of the Afghan prisoner who plays no role in the actual terrorist plot. The reader gets a thorough history lesson on armed conflict in Afghanistan but again that is not relevant to what the novel is suppose to be about.
Nov 30, 2009 Forn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A seemingly well researched story told in an impassionate way, this book could well pass as a report of facts, and so it surely is interesting to read. But only when the man hunt was going on, which was forseeable, did the story kind of catch me and some suspens built up. A question that remained after finishing the book: would an Englishman and an Afghan from the mountains have the same sorts of tooth fillings?
Ranjan Atreya
The Afghan is very honest in what it is. An out and out Hollywood film waiting to be made. In a world where terrorism has become the source of much sorrow and horror this book is just a minor by product. Mind you the writing is good, the plot deserves an action hero and the climax is just as expected, there is something about the way in which sides have been taken which un-nerves me. Sure the Arab world has a few bad apples, sure its not perfect and yes, there are people who are out to cause evi ...more
Kerstin Lampert
Mar 01, 2015 Kerstin Lampert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: laundromat
I enjoy reading a book when current events are playing out, such as the ISIS/Middle East threat, that are applicable to the content of the story.....In this case, a British agent becomes a critical piece n the puzzle to figure out what "Al Isra"...means....a dramatic, explosive event to exceed that of the twin towers in NYC on 9/11. What could it be. Well, he is so good at languages, culture of the Afghan leader he personifies...that he convinces everyone that he is indeed the famous Gitmo priso ...more
Niet mijn soort boek maar het stond op mijn e-reader toen ik die kreeg.
Ik moet zeggen dat ik het een intrigerend verhaal vond.
Inhoudelijk verontrustend en qua stijl verbazingwekkend. Het deed nog het meest denken aan de voice-over van een documentaire op Discovery Channel.
Ik heb geen idee of dit de gebruikelijke stijl is van Forsythe; waar mij altijd is geleerd dat de alwetende verteller achterhaald is en dat "show, don't tell" de gouden regel is, doet hij juist precies het tegengestelde en ho
Apr 04, 2016 Sravankumar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very wry book. There are some books that forced me to concentrate, but this one is the epitome of dry writing, i had to really push myself through the pages. A very thin beaten plot and there is lot of unwanted junk, excessive description of unnecessary places/characters, and a repetitve boring style of writing. And the climax was absolutely baffling, like one of those movies where you expect a matrix-like ending, but then just as you think something might happen, you see 'The End'. 'Fist of G ...more
Nitya Sivasubramanian
Oct 23, 2014 Nitya Sivasubramanian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1star
I usually know well enough to steer clear of potboiler thriller writers like Forsyth. I don't care enough about military tactics and political intrigue to enjoy them, to the extent that I admit I didn't even really enjoy Day of the Jackal as much as almost everyone else I know.

But this particular title intrigued me because I do enjoy experiencing Western authors sending their characters into the Eastern world. I'm always hopeful that they find a way to do it that is new, creative, or mind-openin
Jari Peteri
Frederick Forsyth has not been in best form for a long time, alas. There is something of his old peculiar strenght here, that is, meticulous description of careful planning of something that, in the end, fails to happen. But where The Day of the Jackal or the Dogs of War were brilliantly executed specimens, the end of The Afghan is a serious disappoinment.
But Forsyth has understood the fact that suspense is not in the action but in the anticipation. Like in a Hitchcock film. The Day of the Jacka
A retired SAS and Para soldier goes undercover to thwart a mysterious terrorist plot.
I have been a Forsyth fan ever since I read The Day of the Jackal in the '70s. I'm particularly fond of his The Devil's Alternative.
I found The Afghan more draggy than those books, at least until it neared the denouement. Thus it's probably a good thing that I also found it shorter.
Still, it's Forsyth. I put The Afghan in the second rank of his books, along with other works such as The Dogs of War.
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About the book 12 31 Dec 27, 2014 11:20AM  
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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...

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