Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Avenger by Frederick Forsyth

A young American idealist relief worker is killed in Bosnia by a psychopathic gangster. To exact vendetta, his grandfather takes the help of Avenger, an anonymous person who is actually a Vietnam veteran who used to hunt Vietcongs in underground tunnel networks during war, an expert in rendition- picking criminals hiding in other countries and delivering them to justice. But what if this criminal is hiding in an impenetrable fortress made as a joint venture by Man and Nature, guarded 24 hours by armed soldiers inside a true Banana Republic and has the backing of... CIA!

All writers have their own style. Frederick Forsyth's style resembles the pose of a tiger about to pounce on its prey. The prey, when it sees the tiger, feels that the moment is infinite. Time flows too slow and you notice every tiny detail from your surrounding, all the while waiting for the inevitable action to happen. He sustains this tension throughout the narrative, building the ambience and gradually preparing readers for the inevitable final showdown.

Avenger is no different. Told in a non linear style, it's timeline span more than half A century. We get snippets of World War 2, Vietnam war, Serbian crisis and even the rise of Taliban. Like most of the Forsyth novels, in Avenger also, every action, every spoken word, every situation pays off by the climax. There is a lot of name dropping- of actual personalities and incidents, which again involves us more with the plot. Every character has a back-story, embedded with so much details that we identify with their actions, reactions and decisions. Each back-story has the potential to start a novel of its own.

The final resolution happens in just the last few pages, but the build up of the background- the quirks and motives of characters, the planning of the operations and even the establishment of the geography make the novel work big time.

1 comment:

  1. Though the review is good, I think if you give the pros and cos in bullet points that would make more impact?