Tag Archives: Alistair Maclean

“Eye Of The Needle”, By Ken Follett

It does not happen very often but I seem to be going back to Ken Follett again and again. I am probably finding it difficult to start a new author and Follett is still keeping me interested. “Eye of the Needle” is very typical world war II fiction story that seems very plausible and has all the elements of fast paced thriller. A German spy in England with whole might of MI5 behind him, Hitler waiting for most important information from the spy and Churchill waiting to make sure that information is not delivered. He almost succeeds in his mission but for the courage of lonely woman on storm island.

It is a story of ruthless German spy Henry Faber who has managed to evade MI5 for a long time and this time manages to get the most crucial information that could jeopardize final attack from allied forces. He is on the run with MI5 behind him and manages to reach “Storm Island” where Lucy lives with her crippled husband and son. Lucy is attracted to him but eventually realizes the truth and acts as hero in saving the war for England. In any such spy thriller chase, it is always lots of hard work for police forces but there is also a lot of coincidence and good luck that ends up working in their favor. Of course everybody likes a good ending.

I have not read this kind of thriller for some time and it reminds me of authors like Alistair Maclean, Frederick Forsyth and Tom Clancy. This is the first book of Follett I have read that is not steeped in history but is pure fictional thriller. It is quite enjoyable for a change but I think I like him more when I read historical fiction from Follett. Looks like a movie was also made based on this book and I should see that one. The book reminds me of Indian movie “Fanaa” as well.

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Filed under Books, Fiction, Spy, Thriller, War

“Where Eagles Dare”, By Alistair Maclean

I have always believed that you get to read the book that you need at that point in life. How it happens, I do not know but it does happen and it has happened to me many times. “Where Eagles Dare” is one such book that I started reading when I actually needed to read something like this. Sometimes, we get bogged down by our own problems in life and many small things start looking as real big issues. At such times, reading any book by Alistair Maclean brings you back to reality. His books are war thrillers and have stories about soldiers who are just on the edge of death and torture all the time and still ready to face any eventuality. Once you start such a story, your own problems begin to look like very simple and not worth worrying at all.

In this book a commando unit of British soldiers gets to the headquarters of German secret service in world war II to rescue a captured General of Allied forces. The mission itself is extremely daring and difficult. On top of it the story has multiple layers with double and triple agents getting exposed on the way. The actual mission is very different and involves exposing German spy agents in British forces. The book is extremely fast paced and keeps you hooked till the end. The humor in the face of death is amazing and zest of life of these soldiers really motivates you.

This book has also been made into a movie and in this case movie was also very successful with some of the top actors of hollywood working in it. I have not yet seen the movie but I will try to see it soon. It will be good to see how they have shown the castle and the sequences involving action on top of cable car.

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Filed under Fiction, Fictional-History, Thriller

Alistair Maclean’s “Force 10 From Navarone”

I finally managed to read “Force 10 from Navarone” by Alistair Maclean even though I had bought it long time back. This is a sequel to his other famous book “The Guns of Navarone”. The same characters Mallory, Miller and Andrea from earlier book are chosen to go on another mission just after they destroy Guns of Navarone. This time they are asked to get deep into Yugoslavia in a secret mission to help Yugoslav Partisans against Germans and Chetniks.

This mission is described in multiple layers and the true nature of the mission is not clear till the end of the book. This book is about double, triple and multiple crosses. Enemy playing friend and enemy at the same time and Friends playing enemy with each other. It gets confusing at times but true to his style, author has handled the story very well and I remained glued to the book till the end.

As is true with most of the books, the timelines of the mission are within one or two days and time moves really slow and characters in the story move really fast. They are shown almost as superhumans who are able to achieve something great even with lack of sleep and rest.

I had a very different effect on me with this book. We get so much worried by the stress that we feel in our lives and specifically during at our workplace but truly speaking what we have to go through is really nothing. At worst, we may get angry remarks from our bosses or customer, we may get less salary or in a really worst case get expelled from our jobs. But when people like Mallory go on their work, the best thing that can happen to them is probably death and worst would be falling into hands of enemy and getting tortured. No doubt that our life is difficult but when compared to our war heroes, we actually live on bed of roses.

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Alistair Maclean’s “The Guns Of Navarone”

I got introduced to Alistair Maclean through some references from friends and I was very curious. I have now read a few books from him and I have enjoyed reading these books. Sometimes, I have felt that his stories do tend to use a similar formula but still he is able to keep the interest alive. “The Guns of Navarone” is one of his most popular and excellent book. It is a real thriller that involves battle hardened men fighting for a mission with great zeal. This author does not deviate into romantic escapades while writing thrillers.

This is a story of an Allied Commando Team which takes up the task of breaking into the island of Navarone during World War II and destroy the impregnable fortress that houses German guns that threatens Allied Naval Ships in the Aegean Sea. The team’s task is extremely dangerous with very little time since the life of 1200 British troops depend on this mission. How they manage to get into Navarone and how they finally destroy these guns is the overall story.

The book is a work of fiction but is inspired from true incidents that happened during that period. His own experience of working in Royal Navy and also serving in World War II is visible in his writing. His details on the aspects of sea journey are amazing.

I have seen the movie adaptation of this book as well and in this case I really liked movie as well. There were some aspects about sea journey and the fight on Navarone that I could not complety understand while reading the book but movie made them clear for me. I am yet to read the sequel of this book called “Force 10 from Navarone” though I bought it sometime ago.

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