Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frederick is my man

Just finished Frederick Forsyth's The Negotiator (1989) - totally riveting read.

I'm a little shocked to find myself enjoying and also promoting FF's books to friends. I mean let's face it I'm not really his 'target market' of heterosexual, middle aged males into action - actually mark me down as totally the opposite!

But so far, I've read:
  • The Day of the Jackal (1971)
  • The Odessa File (1972)
  • The Fourth Protocol (1984)
  • The Negotiator (1989)
  • The Deceiver (1991)

so I'd guess you'd say I'm a bit of a fan;-)

I don't think anyone out there does the whole action/ thriller/ political spy genre as well as FF (although I have been recommended John Le Carre).

FF is able to easily combine fact, fiction and history and wrap it all up in a rivetting narrative. There is no doubt his books are page turners, but what I also enjoy is his writing style: a sparse and factual style with no self-conscious attempts at 'literary flourish'.

What I admire is FF's ability to tell often very complicated multi-faceted stories in a very clean, minimal but above all highly effective manner.

I love his slightly wry but detailed descriptions of the intelligence community, ie. M15, M16, CIA, FBI and KGB. Also his incisive comments about the relationship between the British and American governments is fascinating stuff.

I also detected in The Negotiator a very dry, self effacing humour. Throughout the book there are very sly (and funny) digs at politicans, Americans, the British and also even writers too!

I'm currently working my way through his latest The Afghan - can wait!

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