There s very little action in terms of the war in the title, but this is nevertheless an entertaining read It s a clever satire on world politics, and is unfortunately still relevant. In keeping with my usual practice for books I ve only read in a Reader s Digest condensed version, I m not presuming to review or rate this one However, I do want to post an interesting background factoid Zangara, the fictional African nation that serves as the setting here, was directly modeled on the real life country of Equatorial Guinea, which Forsyth visited just before writing the book, and psychotic President Kimba is a fictionalized version of E.G s first president, Macias Nguema, whose dictatorial reign of terror 1969 79 was ended by his overthrow and execution The country is still a hotbed of tyranny, paranoia and corruption and The Dogs of War is still a banned book there. Note Alternate Cover For This ISBN Can Be Found HereIn A Remote Corner Of Zangara, A Small Republic In Africa, Lies Crystal Mountain At Certain Times Of The Day The Mountain Emits A Strange Glow Only Sir James Manson Knows Why The Mountain Contains Ten Billion Dollars Worth Of The World S Most Valuable Mineral, Platinum Not Only Exciting But Truly Surprising Atlantic Now The Only Question Is, How To Get Hold Of It Sir James Knows How Invade The Country With A Band Of Savage, Cold Blooded Mercenaries Topple The Government And Set Up A Puppet Dictatorship Unleash The Dogs Of War There was a film made who knew and starring, wait for it, Christopher Walken and we all love him since Mousehunt and that fab Fatboy Slim Weapon of Choice video.Description In a remote corner of Zangara, a small republic in Africa, lies Crystal Mountain At certain times of the day the mountain emits a strange glow Only Sir James Manson knows why The mountain contains ten billion dollars worth of the world s most valuable mineral, platinum Now the only question is, how to get hold of it Sir James knows how Invade the country with a band of savage, cold blooded mercenaries Topple the government and set up a puppet dictatorship Unleash the dogs of war https www.youtube.com watch v dyxBx Sir James Manson, a scheming mining tycoon, hatches a plan to topple the government of a tiny African country in order to secure the mining rights to Crystal Mountain This particular mountain contains an enormous deposit of platinum, and through a series of intricate plans involving Swiss banks and the manipulation of shares, Sir Manson plans to exploit the platinum find and make billions.To carry out the coup on corrupt Zangaran president Kimba, Sir Manson hires Cat Shannon, a ruthless mercenary, and a professional in the business of war.This book has a very interesting premise, and it begins well, with Cat Shannon and his cohorts defeated at the end of an unspecified African war The atmosphere created in these first scenes really draws you in Each of the mercenaries has their own unique personality, and the character of Shannon makes a likeable, interesting protagonist.After the first scene, the mercenaries make their way out of Africa and back to their various home bases And here things begin to bog down As many reviews have pointed out, the level of detail that goes into planning Manson s grand scheme is insanely meticulous and realistic which means like real life, it s monotonous and tedious at times.Some of the pros of this book are Any of the scenes set in Africa The mercenaries themselves The characters of Shannon and Endean and Roux The attack on Zangaro when it finally, at long last, happens The ending Did not see it coming, and it ALMOST made all the lead up worth it.Some of the cons of the book There are not enough scenes in Africa And way too many in places like Belgium and Switzerland boring Pacing Terribly slow Lack of action for significant portions of the book Very little war for a book with such a promising title.Overall, I understand that the focus and emphasis is on realism here But sometimes too much realism in writing is just downright boring This may be the way that a real operation like this might be planned, but it reads boring Add a little action and excitement, and don t spend 50 pages explaining to me how each and every single piece of equipment was bought and paid for I wanted to read a thriller, not somebody s budget. While many of the reviews point to an abundance of information as a downfall I find this to be the major strength of the novel You are taken on a realistic journey by Forsythe through the shadowy thoroughly researched underworld ending in an unexpected but enjoyable climax.If you enjoyed the details of fake passwords and the black market arms trade in Day of the Jackal then this book will likely be even enjoyable. I picked this book after reading about Forsyth and the way he does great amount of research before writing a book Intrigued, I bought this book and was sorely disappointed The story is basically about a modern day Francis Drake or Robert Clive called James Manson, who discovers that in order to extract copper worth 10 billion dollars from a distant african state, he ll have to overthrow the current President and replace him with a puppet of his choosing All that, before the Russians learn about the whole affair So he hires a group of mercenaries to execute this plan.Now, this is where the story was supposed to get exciting and thrilling, but well, it was anything but exciting Hundreds of pages with long lugubrious descriptions of how Swiss banks work, how shell companies are used to back dubious activities and how mercenaries get their weapons and ammunitions The dialogue is monotonous, characters lack dimension and the plot lacks the strength one expects from a spy thriller And frequent indulgence in pointless existential gibberish A Total waste of time. Of all Forsyth s novels, his first two are for me by far the best, and also the most authentic Here he combines his skills as a master story teller with an intimate knowledge of the esoteric and closed world of mercenaries, and of Africa It is clear that his research for this novel went far beyond a desk study Readers of his non fiction work Biafra Story will know that he is no stranger to Africa All in all, a ripping yarn. It s been a lot of years since I last saw any part of the movie since I read it, but it aged very well As usual, Forsyth takes us through a long, convoluted setup that is fascinating, very much the same structure as The Day of the Jackal The epilogue explains a lot, but well, I can t say without a huge spoiler Motivations that don t make sense will, trust me.While most of my shelf choices are obvious, I put it on the mystery thriller shelf because it has a lot of that in it Who is doing what why is often a question Plus, there s a scene that would have made Luca Bragi of The Godfather proud.The setup of the novel is wonderful There s nothing magical or easy about planning or staging this operation the descriptions of the operations, people, scenery read as if they were real It s practically a text book for staging a revolution, just as The Day of the Jackal was for assassinations This last sentence was mine, but the Wikipedia articles for the book has almost the exact same sentence at the bottom Great minds think alike I really liked the 1980 movie starring Christopher Walken Tom Berenger, it isn t nearly as good as the novel because there were a few critical changes that sucked a lot of the juice out of it If you re familiar with both spoilers abound for both , I d recommend reading the Wikipedia entries Here s the one for the bookhttp en.wikipedia.org wiki TheDogsCompare the story to the one above for the movie Huge difference that even Christopher Walken couldn t make up CAT Shannon is SO much interesting than Jamie Shannon.Very well read, although I didn t like the English voice at first Davidson s voice inflections really fit the story, though.4 stars highly recommended. Oh, man After almost 20 years of reading and enjoying Forsyth s globe trotting espionage mystery thrillers, I knew I was bound to come across a clunker, and this one s it In a way, this book is similar to his deservedly acclaimed Day of the Jackal in that in concerns the plot and execution of a serious crime for political gain While Jackal is about the assassination of French President Charles De Gaulle, Dogs of War concerns the attempted coup d etat of a small, fictional African country in order for a British mining company to take advantage of the country s seemingly endless supply of platinum In order to do this, the company hires mercenaries to invade the country and depose its dictator Sounds like a great yarn, right WRONG Great idea for a story, horrible execution First of all, Forsyth seems to have come across the problem that makes Tom Clancy s books so insufferable endless, monotonous details about a the planning and execution of an operation We get it, Freddie you did your research Now, how about some interesting characters and dialogue How about some suspense, maybe While Day of the Jackal went into great detail about certain aspects of planning for the operation, it was on a much smaller scale and therefore, much easier to take in Here, it s torture Also, Jackal told its story from the point of view of both the assassin and the police chasing him It s a fantastic cat and mouse thriller Here, there s nobody to root for It s incredibly dull The book does have it s rare moments, and I particularly enjoyed the twist ending But other than thatmeh.Forsyth wrote great novels before this one Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File He also wrote many great novels since The Negotiator, The Deceiver, The Fourth Protocol, Icon, among others Also, his short story collection, No Comebacks, is definitely worth checking out But he seemed to be sleepwalking through this one.
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
- 400 pages
- The Dogs of War
- Frederick Forsyth
- 12 March 2017 Frederick Forsyth