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Review: The Dogs of War

More charity shop specials, aka good books too old to be cool anymore, but cheap and right up my alley (™). This time, Frederick Forsyth's The Dogs of War. I haven't read a Forsyth novel since high school, I don't think. The Dogs of War: wasn't that a movie, thought I? Turned out yes, but I don't think I've ever seen the movie, (or if I did, it was a long long time ago), and apparently the movie and book are quite different.

The book itself - simple plot - rich fat cat mining magnate in London gets greedy after learning about a mining opportunity in a godforsaken African banana republic. Only problem is the pesky corrupt and incompetent president. Well, if a pesky corrupt and incompetent president is in the way, get rid of him. Mercenary, hero of the story, gets hired to plot and execute a coup, and we have ourselves a novel.

The majority of the novel deals not with the actual battle, but instead with the planning and preparation, which is deeply meticulous and thorough. Turns out Forsyth was involved in plotting a coup in the early 70's (for real or research, who knows?). Either way, the book is apparently regarded as a manual for coup plotters, and unsurprisingly so.

The ending wasn't the most momentous, but nonetheless satisfying. Most enjoyable thing about the book, though, and in stark contrast to the Da Vinci Code's ploddery, is quite simply that Forsythe knew how to write. An engrossing read by an author with a gift for crafting words, paragraphs and chapters. More Forsyth in my future, that's for sure.

{2008.04.23 - 00:58}


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