Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth

The Afghan (original 2007; edition 2006)

by Frederick Forsyth

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,257366,294 (3.35)10
Title:The Afghan
Authors:Frederick Forsyth
Info:Putnam Adult (2006), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, afghanistan, pakistan

Work details

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth (2007)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (31)  Spanish (4)  French (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
In yet another wonderful book, Mr. Forsyth covers international terrorism at its best. In this book, British and American intelligence agencies receive a terrible message: an Al-Qaeda strike is imminent. But they have no clue when, where and who will cause the strike. There is no clear clue. Security authorities do not have sources of information inside Osama bin Laden's organization. It is impossible to infiltrate someone from the western hemisphere, unless...
Izmat Khan is an afghan and he is a high official from the Taliban. He has been held at Guantanamo prison for five years. Colonel Mike Martin is a veteran with 25 year experience at the most dangerous war places in the world. He is a British official, born and raised in Iraq. In a try to avoid the attack, the intelligence services will try what nobody ever thought about doing: they will try to make Mike Martin impersonate Izmat Khan. If ou are picky, you will find minor flaws on how Mike is examined by the Taliban guys to find out if he really is Izmat or if he is lying... but generally speaking, this is another masterpiece from the master of suspense. If you like to read in the edge of your seat, this is the book you cannot miss in your permanent library. It took me around 13 hours to read this book. I give it a 5 stars. ( )
  rmattos | Jan 23, 2016 |
I have not read a Forsyth book for many years and I picked this up with some trepidation. The stars are definitely for plot and background details, although the former gets a bit over coincidental towards the end. For writing style and characterisation one star would be generous!
But the sum of the parts kept me reading it and as ever, the possibilities posed by Forsyth seemed all too plausible and worrying, ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Excellent example of how to keep the story moving, fast, and build tension. Also tremendous amount of info (well researched) about how wars work these days, and how subtly and quickly things can shift. I have not read anything by Frederick Forsyth prior to this book and will now definitely look for more -- probably some of his older classics such as The Odessa File. ( )
  bjellis | Apr 25, 2015 |
The world of SIS/SAS although not a great story ( )
  keithgordonvernon | Apr 1, 2015 |
This book can be seen as a sequel to [The Fist of God]. The hero of that work, Mike Martin, was too good not to have another excursion. The world has moved on past the 7/7 London tube bombings and Martin has retired to solitary roof repairs in Hampshire when some mobile phone tapping exposes the threat of an Al-Qaeda 'spectacular' the nature of which can only be discovered by infiltrating the Al-Qaeda high command. Martin is the only man for the job.

The first two-fifths of the book, while starting to develop the terror plot mostly deals with Martin's background from his childhood in Baghdad through his long service with the SAS in the Falklands, Afghanistan (during the Russian occupation), Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Baghdad in the First Gulf War, the Balkans and Sierra Leone before returning to Afghanistan again in the aftermath of 9/11. This is a long story of which much would be known by anyone familiar with [The Fist of God]. The reader is also introduced to the Afghan of the title, a young Pashtun named Izmat Khan, influenced by time in Pakistani madrassahs, but initially only interested in the well-being of his country. In one of the several coincidences in the book, he meets Mike Martin who save his life when wounded by a Russian bullet. In the Taliban field hospital both Khan and Martin meet Osama bin Laden. Khan is turned into a jihadist after the complete destruction of his home, family and neighbours by a missile strike and becomes involved in the so-called Battle of Qala-i-Jangi in which his life is again saved by Martin. Forsyth gives us a pretty full and partly factual account of this fighting: an interesting small detail is that, while Wikipedia credits four US troops with a rescue of a TV crew and a CIA agent, Forsyth give the job to four SBS men. Captured, Khan is transferred to Guantanamo Bay and the stage is set for his place in the story as the legend for Martin's character when he infiltrates Al-Qaeda.

The next two-fifths deal with the operation to allow Martin to assume his false identity and contact Al-Qaeda followed by considerable detail about the preparations for the act of terror. We are treated to a lot of typical Forsythian information about terrorist recruitment and organisation, smuggling across the Straits of Hormuz, and international shipping. He does this well, as usual, and never fails to keep the story moving along. After a somewhat irrelevant side track to deal with the loose end that Izmat Khan has become the last 50 pages or so deal with the denouement of the terror plot. After the very detailed preamble the finale seemed a bit rushed, but that is Forsyth's style.

The tradition of almost superhuman and nearly infallible foes is long and honourable from Moriarty through Fu Man Chu and Carl Peterson to Smersh and SPECTRE. Here Forsyth is giving that role to radical Islam. He succeeded in scaring me by his description of the brainwashing of young men in the madrassahs, by the plausible and effective financial management of terrorism and, most of all, by his emphasis on the world-wide scope of the threat to the West. A message that I take away is that we shouldn't get too exercised about phone-tapping and that there is a place for suspension of human rights. I don't like to feel that way but Forsyth is persuasive. I am prompted to seek out rather more objective modern middle Eastern history.

A well-crafted and informative book. ( )
  abbottthomas | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frederick Forsythprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meerman, Jacquessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my wife, Sandy, as ever
First words
If the young Talib bodyguard had known that making the cell phone call would kill him, he would not have done it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451221834, Mass Market Paperback)

When British and American intelligence discover an al Qaeda operation in the works, they enlist undercover imposter Colonel Mike Martin to pass himself off as Taliban commander Izmat Khan. But nothing prepares Martin for the dark and shifting world into which he is about to enter-or the terrible things he will find there.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When British and American intelligence catch wind of a major Al Qaeda operation in the works, they instantly galvanize--but to do what? They know nothing about it: the what, where, or when. They have no sources in Al Qaeda, and it's impossible to plant someone. Impossible, unless-- The Afghan is Izmat Khan, a five-year prisoner of Guantanamo Bay and a former senior commander of the Taliban. The Afghan is also Colonel Mike Martin, a twenty-five-year veteran of war zones around the world--a dark, lean man born and raised in Iraq. In an attempt to stave off disaster, the intelligence agencies will try to do what no one has ever done before--pass off a Westerner as an Arab among Arabs.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
274 avail.
3 wanted
6 pay11 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.35)
1 12
1.5 3
2 28
2.5 14
3 92
3.5 19
4 99
4.5 8
5 24


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 102,989,251 books! | Top bar: Always visible