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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  6,784 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
From the master of the novel of international intrigue comes a riveting new book as timely and unsettling as tomorrow's headlines.

It is summer 1999 in Russia, a country on the threshold of anarchy.  An interim president sits powerless in Moscow as his nation is wracked by famine and inflation, crime and corruption, and seething hordes of the unemployed roam the streets.

Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 2nd 1997 by Bantam (first published October 1st 1996)
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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
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May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the spy genre
Shelves: spies, thriller, 2015
A destabilised Russia with an up and coming popular politician, the Icon from the title, who is bound to become the next ruler and willing to take Russia into the next century and clean up its internal mess and reshape it into a great country it was once.
Except for a small matter namely the man is mad as Hitler and his thoughts and ideas, full of ethnic cleansing are all written into an account called the Black manifesto. And by sheer accident it lands into the hands of a former soldier who clea
Simon Mcleish
May 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Antonio Rosato
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
La prima volta che ho letto questo capolavoro della letteratura era l'estate del 1997 e Boris Eltsin era stato rieletto presidente della Russia da appena un anno; io comprai questo libro in edizione economica (era il periodo dei Miti Mondadori) senza conoscere la trama ma affidandomi solo al "peso letterario" del suo autore: Frederick Forsyth. Perciò, quando lessi le 450 pagine di "Icona", rimasi davvero sconvolto ma allo stesso tempo affascinato dalla storia quasi realistica in esso contenuta: ...more
Deepak Eshwar
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
We like FF for his original and plausible plots. When you read him the line between fiction and reality blurs, as he seamlessly blends the both. You know that this is imaginary work but still want to believe it. But the same can not be said about the Icon. The premise is so far fetched and the climax is so bizarre you feel like reading a fantasy book. (view spoiler) ...more
Midori Jimenez
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
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!

Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aku cuman mo nambahin kalo buku ini bagussss banget.. trik trik spionasenya ok dah... FF emang jagonya
Salmir Saadat
থরিলার হিসেবে অনেক ভালো কাহিনী। তবে অনুবাদ ভালো লাগে নাই। ...more
Arun Divakar
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nilanjan Paul
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was extraordinarily plotted. Many things were difficult to imagine, but the planning was meticulous and Forsyth-y. Overall loved the buildup of the novel, only complaining about the one man army scenario and useless risk involvement. Rate it 5 stars.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is brilliant for a spy novel. Especially it is so relevant today considering the iconic Wallbuilder and mr spicier. Just keep in mind that you could easily replace the russian character Icon with wall builder and if the KGB head was mr spicier. The problem that I found with the book was it had so many innumerable characters with many of them created in part1 and the dots left without any connection. Having said this I must admit that FF is a master of the spy novel art and weaves a bea ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Engrossing spy novel set in 1980s and90s when the Russians were the bad guys.
Christina Lewis
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't read Frederick Forsythe in a long time and forgot that I appreciate his novels. Although the details can get a little tedious at times.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
Frederick Forsyth certainly knows how to write a page turner and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot got me very involved and I couldn't wait to finish it (although possibly the ending was a bit OTT).
DNF @ pg 94
Too slow paced for my taste.
Too much description dragging the plot.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Game of Thrones and Day of The Jackal both in one.
Plot, pace and power packed drama.
Thorough research and thought process support at every step.
Scott Holstad
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jai M
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
#Verdict #BooksIRead 4*. Another interesting #Spy #Espionage #Thriller by #FrederickForsyth. A bit lengthy and too elaborate at times, but being a #Spy #Fiction fan loved the book.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Frederick Forsyth's "Icon" is a fictional novel based on Russian Politics during the 90's.

Forsyth is known for his meticulous research and strategic style of writing, and "Icon" does not disappoint on that front. Every single detail in every single stage of the story is described in length, which makes reading it all the more gripping. The story is written in a way where we find ourselves constantly moving from past to present and vice-versa. Forsyth has very subtly woven a web between past eve
Christian, Kelanth, Scala
Icona, in originale "Icon", uscito nel 1996, è un libro di Frederick Forsyth 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".

La trama si svolge nella Russia del 1999, dove le elezioni sono vicine e Igor Komarov, leader delle destre, si presenta come l'unico capace di ridare grandezza al suo paese, un'icona umana per il popolo russo: ma un documento rubato dalla s
S.M. Guariento
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
A patchily readable yarn set in a lightly-fictionalised pre-Millennial Russia, where intrepid undercover CIA agent Jason Monk must nobble the election campaign of a hugely-popular nationalist politician with a secret “Black Manifesto” fusing all the best bits from Stalin, Hitler and Ivan the Terrible.

It’s with a weary sigh the reader opens this book, only to be greeted by a FOUR-PAGE dramatis personae listing enough similar-sounding names and job titles to make Gabriel Garcia Marquez grow pale.
krishnendu mukherjee
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Forsyth classic again. Some of the highlights about this book which differentiates this work from rest of forsyth.
1) Russia i.e. Rodina in every detail : This novel contains hugely detailed and researched information about Russia. Its political history, major armies: their inside info, gangsters, moscow, again a rough thorough outline of moscow, machinations of the government and the related systems like military, police etc. Anyone interested in Russia from a political or military point shoul
Diah Didi
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
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
Juan Nieto Cano
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...