“I am not a novelist, I'm a storyteller. There is no art in what I do. No mystique.”
Alistair MacLean is a Scottish novelist famous for his adventure novels. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941 and served in World War II as an Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman and Leading Torpedo Operator. His experience in the Royal Navy heavily influenced his writing, with a majority of his work being war stories, spy stories and other adventures. As a university student, MacLean begun writing short stories for extra income and in 1954 using his maritime story “Dileas”, he won a competition. Soon after, Collins, a publishing company, asked him for a novel. He gave them HMS Ulysses which was a massive success prompting him to devote himself entirely to writing.
The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense. Now reissued in a new cover style.
Twelve hundred British soldiers isolated on the small island of Kheros off the Turkish coast, waiting to die. Twelve hundred lives in jeopardy, lives that could be saved if only the guns could be silenced. The guns of Navarone, vigilant, savage and catastrophically accurate. Navarone itself, grim bastion of narrow straits manned by a mixed garrison of Germans and Italians, an apparently impregnable iron fortress. To Captain Keith Mallory, skllled saboteur, trained mountaineer, fell the task of leading the small party detailed to scale the vast, impossible precipice of Navarone and to blow up the guns. The Guns of Navarone is the story of that mission, the tale of a calculated risk taken in the time of war…
MacLean believes that sex and romance in thriller and adventure novels serve as diversions slow the pace of the novel and defer readers from the plot. Whilst a different approach to the thriller and adventure novels of his time, if you prefer a quick pace and fast reading then MacLean’s books are for you. His heroes tend to fight against unbeatable odds and are pushed to the physical and mental limits. MacLean’s protagonists are often calm and cynical men who are devoted to their work. For popular titles have a look at The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare.
MacLean’s talent isn’t limited to the written word. During the years of 1963-1933, he took a brief break from writing to run a hotel business in England. He didn’t experience popularity all throughout his career as his later written books declined in popularity due to improbable plots that were difficult to believe. A few years before his death in 1983, MacLean was awarded a Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow. MacLean died in 1987 due to his constant struggle with alcoholism.
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