11 May 2012

The sequel to the ... movie??

Alistair Maclean

What, you think I only read two books in ten days in April? Naah, I'm faster than that.

Alistair Maclean's 1970 book Force 10 from Navarone is the original of which his Partisans in 1982 was the poor copy. Strangely, while a sequel to his earlier bestseller The Guns of Navarone, it is based not on the book, but the movie. That was disturbing to me, a reader more than a movie buff, when I first read it in the 80s. Now, I don't quite have the same feeling of being let down; time does heal many wounds.

Like Partisans, it has an enigmatic hero, a huge sidekick who mysteriously defers to the hero despite being way above him in rank/ability, another sidekick who gets things done, a beautiful enemy agent with her sidekick, evil German and Yugoslav villains, and a complex plot on the part of the Allied command in the second World War to bring the Germans in Yugoslavia to their knees. Plus other supporting characters.

If you have to choose between these two books, drop Partisans and pick this one. It's one of Maclean's better books, but not a patch on The Guns of Navarone. Still, five stars, with a couple of the points on the last star knocked off.

I'll come back later in the day with comments on two books by Mark Gimenez (what, you think I read only three books in ten days? Muwahahaha!).

Next up to read are: I'm Feeling Lucky by Douglas Edwards, which I have to read for work related reasons (ha! everyone should get so lucky), The Maruti Story by RC Bhargava and Seetha (he's more honest about acknowledging the help he got on an auto-biography than most), and The Associate by John Grisham.

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