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The Golden Rendezvous

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,588 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A timeless classic of modern-day piracy from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.

Aboard the SS Campari, all is not well.

For Johnny Carter, the Chief Officer, the voyage has already begun badly; but it’s only when the Campari sails that evening, after a succession of delays that he realises something is seriously wrong.

A member of the crew is suddenly missing and th
Published May 6th 2008 by HarperFiction (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,183)
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Lahar Appaiah
Sep 19, 2015 Lahar Appaiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing books is a bit like a Rorschach Test- you tease out things that you want to see, and ignore others that don't seem terribly important to you. No two people ever approach a book in quite the same way- those familiar twins, Context and Subjectivity, shape every review you make.

Being fully aware of this, it is with little hesitation that I say the following sentences: The Golden Rendezvous is Alistair MacLean's best book, which is a staggering achievement in itself. It is also, narrowly b
May 03, 2010 Surreysmum rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1984, thrillers
[These notes were made in 1984:]. A MacLean I thought I'd read, but I had no recollection of it. I must admit that I found the non-stop slaughter a little more difficult to take than I remember from my teen-age perusals of this author. In this one, our strong, silent first-person narrator is first officer of a cargo boat-cum-luxury liner which is hijacked by representatives of a small third-world government for the purpose of stealing $150 million in gold. A small nuclear weapon and a kidnapped ...more
Robert Brokenmouth
This, I think, is where the rot sets in for real. The character knows too much and doesn't share it. Instead, we get lots of pontification. It's a great plot, but I don't give a bugger about the characters, partly cos they talk too much bollocks. Compare this with his first three books and you can see he needs an editor - but he obviously wouldn't listen. Pity, it's one draft away from being 4 out of 5.
John Pringle
Apr 06, 2016 John Pringle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Alistair MacLean novel with a boatload of admirable heroes and dastardly villains. None are more heroic than the ship’s chief officer, John Carter, who doggedly refuses to let fear get in his way, even when faced with seemingly impossible odds. I’m going to be deliberately vague here to avoid spoilers, but without doubt the best moment in the book is when a scientist explains to John the terrible danger facing them and the likely consequences should John attempt to tamper with a ce ...more
Scott Holstad
This was an odd book to read and is an odd book to review. On one hand, so much of it is unbelievable and downright stupid, I want to give it two stars. On the other hand, it's pretty action packed and is somewhat of a page turner. I couldn't put it down. So I'm not sure what to say.

An atom bomb is stolen from an American base. A British ship, however, is where the plot takes place. It's truly bizarre. It's a cargo ship, okay, but has also been converted into a luxury liner -- without the tradit
Jonathan Kirby
Dec 02, 2015 Jonathan Kirby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was 16 years old when I discovered Alistair Maclean. Actually this book was first read in Reader's Digest Condensed Books, and I didn't really appreciate it. But then when I really 'tasted' Maclean - you have to be the right age, and have the right education, to appreciate classical writers like Alistair Maclean - I never knew a writer who could be so GOOD. Yes, he writes suspense and adventure; but he is always clean, always humorous (in a self-deprecating way) and always marvellous in his gr ...more
Olga V
Одна из самых любимых книжек, ладно уж, детства: открытое море, пираты, заложники, ядерная бомба, главный герой - умница и талантище, явно из тех, кто "в штабе писарем отсиделся", уж настолько эффективно действует. Раз в год или около того, когда настроение совсем ни к черту, перечитываю с огромнейшим удовольствием.
Aug 14, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my first alisair maclean at sixteen...started me on a roll that saw me read all of his books over the next couple of years...biggles for teens
David Miller
Picked this at random from the MacLean titles at my local library. Was a great read - very entertaining. All you have to do is accept the nature of reality in an Alastair MacLean book. This reality allows the hero to be sandbagged on the head, shot in the leg, lose a lot of blood, and still save the day and get the girl via heroic feats of derring-do. Which is what makes it so fun - *if only I could be that guy that can do that*. Secretly we all want to be James Bond. Any book that keeps me up p ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Feliks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
Alistair MaClean is one of the more difficult thrillers to endorse. He was the junk-food of the classic-era thriller-writers. You know its bad but you still keep stuffing it into your craw. He's the writer that you're embarrassed to be caught reading.

People talk about where the 'rot' in his technique began to 'set in'. Here? I agree it has some pretty alarming flaws. But really, this is only his eighth book! I've read his earliest works and unfortunately I found them no better than anything else
Soumik Ghosh
Jan 28, 2016 Soumik Ghosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another naval thriller from Maclean. Possibly one of his best plots - the suspense really builds up in the first half of the novel. The second half is not half-bad, but I had to exercise my suspension of disbelief too often. The plot isn't as layered as some of his books, and I got the feeling that with a protagonist like Chief Officer Carter, the antagonists never had a chance.

Nonetheless, it serves it's purpose as quick, enjoyable filler between more serious reads admirably. Maybe I'm putting
Dec 19, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was better than some of the other MacLean novels that I read recently, if only because the protagonist wasn't a master spy who was inexplicably inept. In this case, the hero is a man who is thrust into strange and difficult circumstances and he manages to outwit the cleverest of villians. The criminal plot at the center of the novel seems a bit over-complicated and therefore difficult to believe, but it was fun nonetheless.
Nicole Luiken
Jun 27, 2014 Nicole Luiken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
My umpteenth rereading of this taut though-somewhat-dated thriller set aboard a hijacked cruise ship and featuring the indomitable First Officer Carter. Alistair MacLean does not hesitate to have his characters get beat up.
Dhiraj Sharma
Feb 12, 2013 Dhiraj Sharma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The best MacLean ever and my personal favourite. As with all MacLean Novels the plot is thrilling to the very end.
The hero is typical MacLean: tough, resourceful and gifted with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Modern pirates day pirates running after gold bullion and a nuclear bomb take over a luxury liner and its upto the first mate (the protogonist) to outwit them in the dangerous game of cat and mouse.
The story grips you from the very first page and will keep you hooked till the the last
Renaissance Marine
this is one of my favorite books!!! i love anything alistair maclean writes, but i think the golden rendezvous is the perfect paperback page turner!!!! i have read it probably 5 times
Shalini M
Apr 27, 2015 Shalini M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Maclean was the one who made suspense thrillers the first of my favorite genres (and it is only in last few years that I started enjoying other genres more). However, in this one, he wasn't at his best. His protagonists are typically highly intelligent and resourceful, and the story line usually borders on believable. But the protagonist in this one is too super-human, and quite a few turns are either predictable or completely defy logic, to make the story quite unbelievable. But it is still edg ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Coby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alastair MacLean is an author of the 20th century well known for action and suspense. Two of his best known classics, The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare, are edge of your seat reads and both were made into edge of your seat movies. The Golden Rendezvous is not as good as Navarone of Eagles, but the story is still quite thrilling. Chief Officer John Carter of the SS Campari is not having a good day. Last minute passengers with coffins delay the departure of the Campari from Nassau. The ab ...more
Sadeep Darshana
Dec 23, 2015 Sadeep Darshana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's one of the best books I have read (probably the best one). I dont understand why this book is so underrated
Soumyadeep Dasgupta
the adrenaline pumping action forces the reader to turn the pages leaving everything else unattended . a masterpiece
Sep 23, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE this book -- hadn't read it in years. Supposedly it was coming out in a Nook format, so I eagerly plunked down my money and then ... it wasn't available. So I found it on, a great source of old books. It's a great thriller with a commonplace, so to speak, hero. Bruce Willis could have done a great job with this, in movie form, about 20 years ago.
Nov 04, 2014 Gateacre rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
MacLean is always at his best when at sea and this novel is no exception. His ex-naval background gives him real authority and authenticity, and it has to be said that First Officer Carter is definitely one of his more memorable characters. As usual it is tightly plotted and has the usual mix of eccentric good guys and bad guys. A fast paced, gripping read!
May 08, 2011 Roshni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This book was classic MacLean: espionage, adventure, and mystery. The added romance took away a bit from the plot, so this was not as enjoyable as some of MacLean`s other books. But, still a fantastic read with suspense that keeps you on the edge of your chair, unable to put the book down. ...more
A typical MacLean thriller which brings nothing new to the table. But I have read it couple of times nevertheless and I like the character of the wisecracking captain. That's why this book has a special place in my heart. Good memories of adolescent years.
Ricky Orr
I always enjoy books by Alistair MacLean, even though he tends to follow the same formula as he develops his stories - tough, resourceful protagonist takes on bad guys, and against overwhelming odds, prevails and wins the day.
Jan 23, 2009 Matt added it
I hadn't read any Alistair MacLean since I was kid, and although part of the plot and some of the writing appear a bit rusty by modern standards, he is still a terrific thriller writer.
Sep 22, 2012 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining read. People disappearing on a ship and some classic hijacking on the high seas coupled with detective work, and I must say - a very humorous style of writing.
Mar 13, 2010 Ricky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This and Night Without End are my two favourite Alistair MacLean books. This is set on an ocean liner and has romance weaved with a great plot and wonderful characters
Jun 12, 2011 Lila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to like McLean's books quite a lot in high school but this one was only so-so. Or maybe they are just dated or my tastes have matured.
Apr 14, 2011 Suby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those sailors in the good old days really had a tough job. The job of the espionage people was tougher!
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Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain), the son of a Scots Minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the background for HMS Ulysses, his first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the war at sea. After the war he gained an English Honour ...more
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