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Read The Fourth Protocol (1996)

The Fourth Protocol (1996)

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3.96 of 5 Votes: 5
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0099642611 (ISBN13: 9780099642619)
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The Fourth Protocol (1996) - Plot & Excerpts

Frederick Forsyth is one of my all time favorite novelists and my favorite of all "spy novelists". The Fourth Protocol is my favorite spy novel of all time. It definitely falls into the "Commando Spy" category but is far better written than most. I love spy novels of most types and the Commando spy novels (of which I refer to the 007 novels as) are particular favorites of mine but I also like the more behind the curtains novels that LeCarre writes. This book of Forsyth's is a fantastic cross breed of the two. I've read this book numerous times and never fail to get drawn in from head to toe. It is great in all the little details you get from Forsyth's novels about the steps of the KGB's renegade mission and the investigation of the protagonist's suspicions as well as the dirty pool that make the book so much fun to read. Agent John Preston is a great and sympathetic character who I can't help but root for. I wish he could have been used again in Forsyth's books as he was such a likable and heroic character. Nobody writes spy novels as well as the British and for my money no other author writes them as well as Forsyth. This is my favorite Spy novel of all time. If you love the nitty gritty of The Cold War as much as I do you'll understand. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.

This is one of the best spy/thriller books I've ever read. I tend to love most Forsyth books, although they can get bogged down in detail at times, and this one didn't disappoint. It's about British spy John Preston and his search for a Russian spy intent upon bringing down the British Empire circa early 80s. This operation is so secretive, even the KGB doesn't know about it. It's spy vs spy at its best and while there's practically no gun play in the book, it's a real page turner. It's fascinating to read about how the Russians smuggle their cargo into England. It's fascinating to read how Preston uncovers a Russian spy while in South Africa. It's just a great story. And to think I got it for a nickel at a used book store....

What do You think about The Fourth Protocol (1996)?

This is Forsythe's most successful book about the Cold War. His research into the inner workings of the Soviet goverment was so astonishingly detailed and accurate that he came under the attention of the CIA! This book included several of the most intriguing and fully developed characters that Forsythe ever created. A terrific read which was regrettably made into a movie that managed to leave out all of the romance and subtlety of the book and dull the edges of the story. Forget about the film, read the book!
—Jim Puskas

Since I had seen the film countless times, I read the book with eager anticipation. The book is a FAR more finely-woven plot than could ever be accommodated within the space of a 90-minute film, and therefore FAR more satisfying. The wealth of detail offered by Mr. Forsyth is an educational experience, whether the sections and sub-sections of the secret services, or the S.A.S. Regiment, but best of all the pin-prick analysis of the 1980s' Labour Party is wonderful to behold. The involvement of the traitor Kim Philby in a double-plot is masterly, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then in smuggling in and trying to detonate a nuclear bomb in the U.K., the ultimate episode of television's "Spooks" must have been paying more than lipservice to The Fourth Protocol! Overall, a thoroughly good read, but only one sequence from the film which did not originate in the book, the female "assembler" who slept with the deep-cover agent (Pierce Brosnan in the film) just before he murdered her was a nice touch, but obviously not penned by Forsyth.
—Marc Maitland

This is my first British-style spy thriller, and I have to say it stacks up pretty darned good next to the American equivalent. There are no Mary Sue characters, no great intuitive leaps of logic, no silly foolishness from the Bad Guys, and only a smidgeon of authorial politics coming into it. However, it does make me sad to see that every author of this sort of stuff that I've come across is Right Wing to some extent or another. I wonder what a Left Wing spy thriller would look like, and I wonder if there is some form of the genre kicking about in Russia in which KGB agents are the heroes against CIA machinations. 3.5/5

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