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The Devil's Alternative

Narrated by: David Rintoul
Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (285 ratings)
Regular price: £23.99
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Summary

Whichever option I choose, men are going to die.

When the entire Soviet Union wheat crop is destroyed by a devastating string of failures, the population faces starvation. The USA is quick to offer assistance. They devise a plan to trade vital food resources with the Russians in exchange for sensitive political information. But the Politburo has other ideas: the invasion of Western Europe to commandeer the food for them...

As the paths of communication breakdown the president of the United States and leaders from around the world face an appalling choice: Should they allow the loss of thousands to save the lives of many more? This is the Devil's Alternative and in this incomparable and gripping thriller the Cold War giants must fight a battle to the death.

©1979 Frederick Forsyth (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping thriller with renewed topicality

Published in 1979 this book is redolent with the suspicion and hostility between the Soviet Union and the West that prevailed at the time. I listened in the early 1990s (when audiobooks came on numerous tape cassettes) and recall thinking that although the book was exciting it was less convincing owing to the new rapprochement between the old adversaries. As many years had passed and I’d forgotten most of the story I thought I’d download the book and see how it played in the current climate of renewed tensions. It couldn’t be more topical as the story involves Ukrainian freedom fighters, the importance in saving face for Soviet leaders and tussles between hawks and doves on either side of the Atlantic.

Apart from its renewed relevance to today’s world it remains a first class thriller. As with other books by the author, there is quite a bit of technical detail about, for example, guns, tankers, aircraft, the SAS that I would normally find boring but somehow in these books adds authenticity. Though largely a book about men wielding power and manipulating events the book, unlike, say, those by Wilbur Smith, avoids misogny and the few women characters are not clichés.

David Rintoul narrates with perfect manly authority making the characters seem believable as they save the world from disaster.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit dated but still classic Forsyth

Would you consider the audio edition of The Devil's Alternative to be better than the print version?

It's probably on a par. It was easy to follow as an audio book - the characters were distinct from one another and there weren't so many that it confused.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Devil's Alternative?

To be honest it was a bit formulaic and while I can remember key points, they would seem trivial, for instance the captain of the tanker receiving a visit from his wife was quite poignant but hardly a pivotal moment.

What does David Rintoul bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

David Rintoul brought the characters to life by 'doing' their accents. I also thought he pronounced the various place names correctly and I liked that he had taken the effort to do that. The performance was the best part.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not at all. It was a good listen but not outstanding. Steady, innocuous stuff.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

First FF read for me but will certainly not be my

Excellent read. Great plot and descriptively captavating. This is my first FF but I will be picking up a second one day for sure

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant... Once it gets going.

The first chapters of this story impart a lot of information, most of it seemingly unrelated. Likewise, there are lots of characters. But stick with it, the streams and characters all come together, in a story crammed with adventure, double dealing and intrigue. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Great story, usual twists and turns

Classic Forsyth, there is certainly an element of dating now, but to me that’s not an issue the story is great, the characters well developed and overall a great listen. If you’re a fan - there is plenty here to please.

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Ingenious. Very Forsyth. Superbly delivered.

A proper beginning, middle and end. Ingenious and will kept you guessing until the last page. Brilliant story. Expertly read, as always, by David Rintoul.

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  • Nick
  • Kent UK
  • 22-09-18

Outstanding plot

Quite a long book with many parallel stories that are all interlinked that the author moves between to keep the pace just right. Interesting ending that I couldn't work out. I think the book could have been shorter but all together a great book by a great author of cold war intrigue and plotting

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The Devi`ls Alternative

This is a very good read. the story is well written and well researched with many twists and turns. Hard to put down

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Exceptional

I loved this book the intense thrill of the plot keeps you guessing right to the last page.

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The Devil’s Alternative

This was another great story written by a master. I eagerly look forward to listening to another Frederick Forsyth Audible book.

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  • Mike
  • 25-10-16

Unsurpassable performance of a brilliant novel

I just couldn't imagine a better narration. Such a pleasure just listening to Rintoul's genius. Forsyth's real world understanding of spycraft and politics makes for a wonderfully believable adventure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracey
  • 14-06-15

ALTERNATIVE

What did you like best about The Devil's Alternative? What did you like least?

the closer to the end the story got better it is a litttle longwinded at the start slow going nearly stopped listening

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

yes a lot more action at start

What three words best describe David Rintoul’s performance?

slow to go

Could you see The Devil's Alternative being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

matt damon and donald sutherland and anthony laparlia

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sunny
  • 30-06-13

very good

very good clarity , narrator is 1st class would not mind another book by him