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The Foreigner

(Mike Cramer #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,621 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Stephen Leather's BESTSELLING breakthrough thriller, previously published as THE CHINAMAN

**Now a major motion picture starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan.**

He understood death.

Jungle-skilled, silent and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless when his two eldest daughters had been raped and killed by Thai
Paperback, movie tie-in edition, 409 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Hodder Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1992)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,621 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Rob Twinem
I read this book on first publication in the early 90’s and I enjoyed but I must admit on this second reading it felt somewhat dated if not dull and formulaic.

It certainly has an explosive (literally) start with the brutal death of the wife and daughter of a quietly spoken man called Nguyen Ngoc Minh. We quickly learn that this seemingly mild-mannered owner of a Chinese restaurant is in fact a trained and lethal killer from a long forgotten war in the killing fields of Vietnam. He wants revenge
Tom Tischler
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Vietnam Nguyen Ngoc Minh was a Vietnemase killer but he
switched sides and went with the US and he became a ruthless
hunter of his former comrades. At the end of the war the North
was overtaking the South and Nguyen had to get out with his
family. He made it to the American Embassy with passes to go
but the last copter was leaving and they could not get there in
time.He spent three years in a prison camp before he
escsped andfound his family. They made arrangements to get out
but one of his
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads has this book listed as The Chinaman (Mike Cramer #1). I just finished the book, literally less than an hour ago and I have no idea who the hell Mike Cramer is. This is my first book by Mr. Leather, probably not my last.

I saw the movie that was based on this book and while they generally followed the same plot the telling of the stories was much different. I highly recommend the movie, staring Jackie Chan in a pure drama/action role without his usual wisecracks or silliness that
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid action revenge thriller. Decent writing and action scenes. Just felt a little outdated but that is expected due to when it was written. Probably would have had more of a political impact back when originally written. Got this from a friend but I dont think they realised it was originally published some years back.
David Dalton
One of my first Stephen Leather reads from years ago. Due to the movie I thought I would give it a re-read. Different in subtle ways from the movie, but the movie was tailored for Jackie Chan (and he did a great job). The book survives a 2nd reading with no problems. As Rambo's Last Blood demonstrates, do not tick off old war vets.
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was loaned this by a friend and I'll be honest, if I'd seen the book in a shop I'd have taken a quick look and moved on as at first glance it's nothing special.
It's actually quite an enjoyable if somewhat violent story but well written for what it is.

The Chinamen (actually Vietnamese) is not someone you would want to annoy!
They say it's the quiet ones you need to watch out for and boy are they right!
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A very good read. Pact plot and some edge of the seat action. Well written with a reasonably intricate plot that does not answer all of the questions that you may have but not all questions need to be answered. Recommended for any thriller fans.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mix of Viet and IRA guerilla/terrorist methods and the influence of Libya on the IRA. Learned some things about bomb making. Good story.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I purchased the book because Jackie Chan is on the cover. I’m a long-time fan of the martial artist, although the release of the movie had unfortunately escaped my notice. And I must say, Mr. Chan is the ideal choice for the hero, Nguyen Ngoc Minh. THE FOREIGNER, whose original title was The Chinaman (particularly weird since Nguyen is Vietnamese), was first released in 1992, and, in some ways, it feels oddly dated. While there were computers, there weren’t any cell phones or internet, and ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

The Chinaman is the first book in the Mike Cramer Series by Stephen Leather. This was quite a gripping and intense thriller- with violence, bombing, explosions, mystery, crime, IRA/Political elements, grief, heartbreak, loss, revenge, drama, action, and intrigue.
The story kicks off with a bang and holds the intensity the whole way through. We follow Nguyen (the Chinaman) when his world is torn apart, where he feels forced to look for answers and deliver his own form of justice on those
Sheba Hall
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary and an awesome read.
Rishika S.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out my other reviews at:

The bottom line:
A hard-hitting, emotional, violent story that is much more than what its title suggests.

My review:
The first thing to know about The Chinaman is that it is intensely emotional, especially during the backstory of the titular character. But it is equally hard-hitting during scenes where other characters interact. You really feel for the characters because everyone has something going on beyond what the world within
Ian T
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lent to me again by my neighbour. A great book if now after 230 years a bit politically dated. I don't think the IRA or the government would like this now although at the time of release would have been really current.
Sep 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is better than Rambo :)
Tim Mode
Entertaining but not profound. Interesting pov on the fallout from the US war on Viet Nam in the 1960's.
Emma Alston
Wanted to give it more stars, but...
I enjoyed the book, it flows easily and is well written. My issue? The ending. It all ends rather quickly and the main character becomes an after thought.
I loved it... blood, guts and vengence.... fantastic!
Jack Waugh
"The Chinaman" (1992), was an excellent book. It was compelling, thrilling, at times action-packed, and it moved along at a brisk pace. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any lover of thriller books, and especially to fans of the movie "The Foreigner" (2017), which is based on the book.

The plot follows Nguyen, a Vietnamese father and restaurant owner, who seeks revenge after a terrorist bombing by a rogue IRA group kills his wife and daughter, he unearths lethal skills he obtained
Elite Group
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Never giving up the justice until the job is done!

The reigns of the breakaway IRA group’s bombing terror campaigns rocked the United Kingdom a quarter of the century ago. The true IRA and Sinn Féin might not approve of the physical attacks against the public.

Nguyen, the former Viet Cong soldier who later switched to the American side during the Vietnamese War. He had an ordinary family life and ran his Chinese takeaway premise. He already lost his two daughters in the sea. One day the police
Pam Bales
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw Jackie Chan on a couple of talk shows and was introduced to this book. I have a couple of other Stephen Leather books and figured this would be a good deal. I hadn't quite finished the book when I saw the movie last week, but that was okay. It's a great movie and a great read. It's always interesting to see how books translate to the "big" screen and this one was spot on in many ways. I "like" the way both stories ended. It was very interesting to see how some characters can't be included ...more
Bill Conrad
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life has many quirks and you never really know who you are talking to and what they would do in a bad situation. I got this book because I liked the Jackie Chan movie. Granted, the two stories deviated quite far from each other.
The plot centers on an unassuming guy who quietly raises a family above his small restaurant. Tragedy strikes wife and daughter who are killed in an IRA bombing. The seemingly meek individual simply wants justice and nobody will help. This is where the story becomes
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D. E.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Vietnamese Warrior Against an Offshoot Faction of the IRA

SL has penned a novel about a Viet Nam veteran who fought with US Troops in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos who escapes with his family as the North Vietnamese take control after the US leaves. His wife and two of Hus three daughters are killed and he settles in London, England. When he takes his daughter to ship she is killed by an offshoot faction of the IRA. He tries to used proper channels, but to no avail. Then he declares war on the
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Yeah, The Chinaman. Only I’ve found out he’s Vietnamese, not Chinese.”

Just one of the many twists in this book! I picked it up after seeing "The Foreigner", the movie adaptation that just came out on dvd. Turns out, this is one of those rare times where the movie is pretty faithful to the book! Only, for me, the IRA plot makes more sense in the book, as it was written in 1992, as opposed to the movie, which seemed to be set in 2017. Nguyen Ngoc Minh is one hell of a character and I was rooting
Thom Brannan
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy shit, is this another entry into the rarified "the book and the movie are equally enjoyable" pantheon? I think it is. While the movie has more action and Jackie Goddamn Chan, the book has quite a bit going for it, as well, and more in some aspects than does the movie, since you can only fit so much into 90 to 120 minutes. I liked it enough to probably read it again sometime, after the ravages of time have blunted my recollections some, but I'm not sure I'm going to embark on further ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Action Read

We’ve all read the revenge plots, where the protagonist is some sort of bad-ass former soldier, assassin, martial artist, etc. This was quite fascinating in that it took this standard plot line and gave it a twist, with a former Vietnamese soldier. Add in the IRA politics and northern Irish countryside, & it adds up to a good read. The Jackie Chan movie is not bad, but different from the book.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am overwhelmed by this book, pure action and a lot of heartbreak.

It was very entertaining to read and I don’t want to put the book down. A father so eager for some answers to his daughter’s death is clearly one of my #FatherGoals. (like the movie Taken).

Who knew an ordinary citizen could be so dark. The book is more about action and has some violent scenes. No matter…it is a good one-sitting book to read!
Navneet Sharma
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending was not what I expected it to be. After reading more than 30 crime thriller novels I thought I would guess the ending correctly, but yet here we are with this amazing novel with a twisted story line up.
I came across the Chinaman after watching the trailer of The Foreigner movie. I must say the movie has somewhat different story line up than the novel. All in all the novel is a great read.
Mark Baines
Decent enough thriller with enough activity to maintain interest and keep the story flowing. Good enough plot that does get a bit far fetched in a simple way without grand effects. Now (2017) a movie called the Foreigner with Jackie Chan and the trailer showstopper lots of Kung fu and action that isn't in the book and doesn't add anything to the story.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie adaption first and then read the book. The movie was quite close to the book plot allowing for updating to the current time period. I enjoyed the movie with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnon as the two main characters. The book was great for filling in the thoughts and emotions of the various characters.
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Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series. For much of 2011 his self-published eBooks - including The ...more

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