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Strike Back por Chris Ryan
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Strike Back (original 2008; edição 2008)

por Chris Ryan

Séries: Strike Back (1)

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1636128,159 (3.78)3
Two soldiers: Britain's most celebrated military hero and a broken veteran living in the gutters of London. Their paths last crossed nearly twenty years ago. Now, amidst a hostage crisis in the Middle East, their lives are about to collide again. And the Strike Back is about to begin.
Membro:landyt
Título:Strike Back
Autores:Chris Ryan
Informação:Arrow Books Ltd (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
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Strike Back por Chris Ryan (2008)

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A few years ago I saw the 'Strike Back' series. When I brought this book home from the meeting, I had made no connection between that series and this book. Now I do, remembering this is the book with which the series starts.

It was a nice read, but I found it somewhat superficial here and there. Everything John undertakes runs pretty smoothly, even the set backs are overcome with relative ease. I miss some details in descriptions and the story felt a bit far fetched at times. Nevertheless it was nice to be back in that world again. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Feb 1, 2020 |
John Potter was a good solider, and also a kind protective man. He didn't seems like to be like that. But a character is judged by his action and not his dialogue.

He was disgraced because he didn't kill a child solider. And it is rumored that this child soldier killed 3 of his mates.

He become a washout alcoholic.

Then many years later, he has a chance to rescue a journalist from her capture.

He went in, knowing that there is very big chance he would be killed. He would go anyway, as he has already decided he would rescue her or die trying.

Pretty good and action pack. The story did tie neatly together with Potter at the very center of it. ( )
  XOX | Apr 24, 2019 |
Two soldiers: one a celebrated military hero and the other a broken veteran living in the gutters of London. Their paths last crossed nearly twenty years ago. Now, amidst a hostage crisis in the Middle East, their lives are about to collide again. And the Strike Back is about to begin. John Porter was involved in a hostage raid in Lebanon in 1989. The raid went disastrously wrong; several Regiment men died. John spared the life of a Lebanese fighter and blames himself for the deaths. Struggling to come to terms with the past, John has hit the bottle and is sleeping rough. Colonel Peregrine Collinson was involved in the same raid. Unbeknownst to his colleagues, it was Peregrine's fault that the mission went wrong. He was awarded a Military Cross and is heralded as a military hero for something he didn't do. After the disastrous raid, the lives of the two men couldn't have been further apart. Until now. A hostage crisis in the Middle East draws the enemies back together again. Who will be the hero this time?
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
"As Winston Churchill said, 'If you are going through hell, keep going.'"

I posted about the first 200 pages of this, and finished the book quite soon after, but was absorbed in my move to Wordpress. To recap: we open with a covert rescue operation which has disastrous consequences. Two men survive - John Porter, who is scarred (literally and mentally) by the fiasco, takes to the bottle and the London streets; and Peregrine Collinson (apparently people do have names like that), who rises through the ranks and is knighted. When a television darling is kidnapped in Beirut 20 years later, Porter finds an opportunity to get back into SAS life, but is thrown straight back into conflict with Collinson.

Ryan has a real knack for memorable protagonists. Porter is by no means perfect - an alcoholic ex-homeless man with an antagonistic and impetuous rescue style - but his heart is true and he loves his daughter dearly. All through the suicide mission he thinks of her and how he won't see her again.

Hassad is an excellent foil for Porter - a bad guy with morals. He adapts to tricky situations in surprising ways and honours his word above all. Katie (the TV darling) is a bit of a non-character, but then there is no need for her to be very interesting - she is simply the prize to be reclaimed. There's a spot of token combativeness but mostly she wafts about wanly in the background. Collinson is surprisingly absent from most of the story but as we are firmly on Porter's side throughout, that doesn't really matter either.

The plot is fantastic (in the fantasy sense, rather than the amazing sense), as usual, and there are a few too many close escapes from certain doom, but the military/survival stuff is interleaved with interpersonal conflict and uncertainty and deception. The opposition is multi-layered, providing interesting twists along the way and a bit of variation (it gets boring if the hero is constantly escaping from the same enemy). At the end, I thought "oh of course, so obvious..." but I hadn't figured it out until then. Which I think is always a good sign for a book.

I can't say it better than I already did: what I particularly enjoyed about Ryan's writing when I churned through The Kremlin Device and The Watchman back in November is the no-nonsense style, mixed with a dark British sense of humour. There is plenty of weapons and fighting chat, but not so much that it becomes tedious. Daring rescues go wrong. Ryan isn't afraid to let Porter use some un-PC language to carve out his character, and conveys the hopelessness of the homeless very effectively; ditto the shame of a failed soldier.

One touch that I particularly appreciated is the recurrence of a reworked version of Elton John's Someone Saved My Life Tonight - as he did for Princess Diana's funeral, Elton rewrites a much-loved song for a tragic situation in this novel. Porter hears it before he even knows what is going on, and he hears it again in Lebanon - much to the bemusement of the Hezbollah soldiers:

'I don't understand why they play this song all the time,' said Nasri. 'This Elton man, with the funny glasses, is he some sort of religious figure?'

A fun, light read with a heart. ( )
1 vote readingwithtea | Apr 12, 2011 |
I shouldn't allow myself near the table with the english books at my local book shop...- there's always something interesting there! This time I picked up "Strike Back", read the first 3 pages and then went looking for a free sofa/chair around the shop. I read the first 60 pages right then and there and then decided to buy the book, before getting into trouble with the bookstore people!

What's it about: John Porter, a fourty-something ex-SAS operative who now lives on the streets and under the bridges of London. An encounter with his grown-up daughter and a news item on TV propel him into doing something he hadn't thought himself capable of for years. Using his old connections, he is sent to Lebanon to negotiate the release of a TV presenter held by a Shi'ite faction. When the negotiations fail, he has to rely on an enemy, who owes him, to get himself and his charge out of the country.

Pro: The intro. Captivating characterisation of John, and makes you want to find more about him. Actually has you caring what will happen to him next (that's why I had to buy the book! :-) ).

Contra: Sir Peregrine's characterisation. I had figured him out by page 40. And the resolution of this particular thread of the story was disappointing.

In plaintext: Intense and readable. Not as may bullets flying as I expected from other books of the genre. Even though Action is not my preferred genre, I stayed with the story to the last page (which delivers a final unexpected blow, that actually left me angry!) ( )
1 vote GirlFromIpanema | Oct 3, 2008 |
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The Mediterranean: Tuesday, 12 September 1989. John Porter foldet the telegram into the inside breast pocket of his olive-green combat uniform. He permitted himself a brief smile, then walked swiftly up the grey gundmetal stairs that led up to the deck of HMS Dorset. A stiff breeze was blowing up from the Lebanese coastline,...
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Two soldiers: Britain's most celebrated military hero and a broken veteran living in the gutters of London. Their paths last crossed nearly twenty years ago. Now, amidst a hostage crisis in the Middle East, their lives are about to collide again. And the Strike Back is about to begin.

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