Saturday, 30 July 2016




Title: The Afghan
Author: Frederick Forsyth 

Genre: Fiction
Publishers:  Corgi Publishers
Price: INR.399
Goodreads Rating: 5/5


After reading 'The Fist Of God',Frederick Forsyth,for me, owns an image of giving a captivating fictional thriller, bolstered by the real details. And again in "The Afghan" , the author had given the work that could only be expected from him. The Afghan is an all-guns-and-terror-plots fantasy set slap bang in several parts of the world. As expected, it adds a lethal dose of unreality with an authentic historical setup. What would happen, Forsyth wonders, if Al-Qaeda plans another attack, more noxious than 9/11,on the west ? The Afghan, in other words, is an all manly thriller plot full of state-of-the-art communications, Special Forces Operation and the hidden but gloomy world of marine-terrorism.An attempt to make a western to infiltrate deep inside the Al-Qaeda to excavate the  details about " Al-Isra " .
After London bombing, a young Talib mistakenly used a stolen cell phone which is traced in Peshawar and raid reveals that the owner is the finance handler of Al-Qaeda.Encrypted letters in were retrieved from the laptop and on decryption, the western Intel agencies faced a serious security threat.And then the race against the time begun, in which an SAS veteran of war was made to infiltrate inside the Arab world. Mike Martin entered the shady world in disguise as an Afghan, Izmat Khan, who was held in Guantanamo for past 5 years.
In his early novel, Author achieved a well-deserved renown by introducing fierce documentary details into the unreal world of the thriller. The Fist of God slid a meticulous SAS commando inside the Iraqi-occupied-Kuwait, and then infiltrated deep inside Saddam's Baghdad to provide fresh intel to the west.Along the ways, readers could pick up the interesting tips of how to live a life of rebel inside the enemy lines, how to make sure that the safe house had not been compromised (by leaving minuscule items on key entry points. ) . So I guess there's a new accolade : from now on the best thing will be frighteningly plausible.
No one could blame Forsyth for ploughing so promising a furrow again.His overfondness for virile factual data puts a heavy load on an ordinary plot. Perhaps because he adores the glamour of tough soldiers lugging enormous packs across the desert, he shoulders too much. The novel wants to yomp, but the weight of technical detail keeps bringing it to its knees. At least a quarter of the book feels like a straightforward account of catching a quarry, and we end, with a sad end.
Forsyth prefers to quote the manual. Characters communicate with a lethal & modified Hercules called Spectre which could take thermal imaging of a large amount of area from space. The typical paragraph goes : ' Linnett needed a guiding hand from heaven and it came just after midnight in the form of Lockheed Martin AC-130 Hercules gunship, circling at twenty thousand feet, above the cloud layer but looking straight through it. The original Hercules transport plane has been gutted and her innards replaced  with a cockpit-to-tail array of technology designed to locate, target and kill an opponent on the ground. It is seventy-two million dollars' worth of pure bad news.'
The fact remains, Forsyth pulls the characters on the verge of non-fiction in an interesting way.For one thing, it's hard to see the nexus between real & unreal, the clandestine relation of Mike Martin & Izmat Khan.The made-up characters share a limelight with the real life hero Mike Martin, SAS commando.
So, "The Afghan" is a must read for the folks who wishes to read the military fantasy with the tinge of reality   !!!

THE AFGHAN is available on following Online Store


This is Not a Paid Review ! The Opinions expressed in the review are my own , and remain unbiased and uninfluenced . "

                                                                            - Rahul Rai Khatri