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Where Eagles Dare
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Where Eagles Dare

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  24,988 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Forbidding peaks, resourceful commandos, beautiful spies, nonstop action, and neck-snapping plot twists make this the classic adventure thriller—the kind of page-turner that readers actually will find impossible to put down. A team of British Special Forces commandos parachutes into the high peaks of the Austrian Alps with the mission of stealing into an invulnerable alpin ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2002 by Thunder's Mouth Press (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

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Scribble Orca
I'm about to review a modern techno-thriller and while researching the author something jogged my 14 year old self's memory of Alistair McLean.

I gobbled his books in high school - I remember when The Eagle Has Landed was all the big rage and I read it, sure, like everyone else, but Alistair had me hooked and I ploughed through his entire oeuvre (or at least as much as our high school library budget allowed) during one year.

Then I forgot all about him until two days ago. I suppose that will be an
This is based on MacLean's own script for the movie, which he wrote for his friend, Richard Burton. It is full-throated, roaring adventure, complete with a parachute drop behind enemy lines to attack a Nazi stronghold in the mountains of Germany, twists and turns double-crosses and triple-crosses, everything that made MacLean's novels so much fun. Guns, planes, explosions, what more can you ask for?
John Rollo
John Rollo
Period 3
Where Eagles Dare by: Alistair MacLean

The story Where Eagles Dare started off a bit slow for me, but as the story went on, the action really kicked in. The story begins with a problem, an important American general is being held hostage in a secret Gestapo facility by the SS. Britain is America’s closest ally to the situation and is called in to help. They assemble a team of men to infiltrate the facility and the book is than filled with mysteries and unfortunate scenarios for
Craig Andrews
Unusually this book is not a novelization, it was written at the same time as the script and as such it's practically identical to the film. However because of that quite a few sections read a little sluggishly as it's not as fast paced as the film. Where Eagles Dare is quite possibly my favourite 'Christmas Movie' from when I was a kid and the book was a slight disappointment (the films still rocks).
James Phillips
A masterful spy thriller set in WWII. A rag-tag group of MI-6 operatives along with one American OSS agent are sent to Bavaria, deep behind enemy lines to rescue a captured US Army general who has information on the Second Front (the invasion of Europe) before he spills all their secrets. This is not an action war book one would expect. Maclean's story is a page-turning thriller that includes misdirection, red herrings and double-crosses. The dialog is smart between characters and the Germans ar ...more
Though I have read several of MacLean's books, this remains my favorite. A small group against Nazi Germany...seemingly insurmountable odds...good stuff. It is the only MacLean I keep in my own library and I reread it every now and again. The interplay between Smith and Schaffer is amusing and the romance angle is not sappy.
I have to say that I was deeply disappointed in the Clint Eastwood movie of this book. As is usually the case, the book is so much better.
Michael Angliss
This is the book I always think of whenever I need to remember what the perfect espionage thriller is. It is the ideal amulet to some of todays less-than-ideal contributions to the reading market. Most of the faster paced writing of today is good but dogged by flimsiness, which is what you never read in any of MacLean's earlier works, especially not in 'Where Eagles Dare'. They say that short stories force writers to hone every word to a resolved conquest over the bluntness of mediocrity: this b ...more
Shriram Jayachandran
WHERE EAGLES DARE is an action-adventure novel, set in the period of WWII. Though the plot consists of suspense,action and heroism, I find Alistair's writing, too elaborate. I don't know whether I am the only one who feels this way, but he sure did describe the situation and the scene a lot more than the action. On some pages, I really forgot which characters were involved in the scene. Such was the description of the scene. Sometimes, the description is so deep that, when I could not get some l ...more
Amazing book.

I think a good book must make you tremble, laugh, leave you speechless, hold your breath, make you eager to read it, make you sorry you finished it so fast.

A good book should leave you with a big smile of satisfaction because you've read it. And it must leave you thinking about it long after you finished it.

This book as all of the above.

Aadiyat Ahmad
It doesn't take long to see why this book has a reputation for being one of the greatest war stories ever written.
The narrative is vivid, the suspense is heavy, the action is thrilling.
This is not a story about cliffhangers or the like, this is about momentum. And it gathers the momentum quickly and never seems to take the foot off the accelerator. Fast paced sequences take you from set piece to set piece to a wonderful climax. And there are enough plot twists to make even M. Night Shyamalan go
Sonia Gomes
I loved Alistair MacLean, his books talked about WWII, which fascinates me. My father fought in that War, oh the tales we heard! Being young girls however, those tales bored us to tears.

Alistair MacLean captures the spirit of those days beautifully
An incredibly fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled read! Though many parts seem to be straight out of a Bollywood action flick, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And just to think that such secret operations must actually happen during wars gives me goosebumps! :)
This was my first Alastair Maclean book and probably not my last. I picked it up as I have been a fan of the 1968 movie starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood since I was a kid and wanted to read the novel it was based on.
Simply put, the book was easy to read, entertaining and generally good fun. The story was proposterously over the top and very corny with every second world war cliche featured.
The violence was very toned down and Alastair’s special forces soldiers seem remarkably unwilling
Christine Blachford
There's nothing better than a good spy thriller and this was a great one. I was vaguely aware it was a film but hadn't realised the book and the screenplay were written at the same time. You can visualise almost every scene, with great descriptions throughout - particularly of how cold it all is!

I thought it was a bit hard to get a grip on the number of characters at the beginning, but one way or another they are soon whittled down to a manageable couple of groups. As always with this type of st
Olivier Van Cantfort
Good suspense, but the story is so unrealistc...
Nolan Ahlgrim
This book is pretty decent. It has the military special ops theme that appeals to most every guy and a lot of girls also. Being in the snowy Alps during WWII seems dangerous but that's why this British squad of soldiers were chosen for the job. What isn't explained though, is how the squad manages to drag around a little girl with them when the mission was to kill a National Socialist leader. It's actually a major plot hole that I never saw be resolved. The Captain of the squad also breaks his n ...more
David King
As part of the 2014 Eclectic Reader Challenge I was required to read a novel which fell under the category of War. I decided to go for a classic war thriller and picked up “Where Eagles Dare” by Alistair Maclean which is a story I knew about due to the late 1960’s movie of the same name. However, beyond a vague memory of a cable car featuring quite prominently I couldn’t really remember that much about the plot.

In regards to the plot of the story, it is set over the winter of 1943/1944 and start
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Alistair MacLean wrote the screen play for his close friend, Richard Burton. Burton's star power was sliding at the time of the film and he wanted an action film along the lines of Maclean's bestseller and hit movie, The Guns of Navarone. And he got it! The novel is in fact based upon the screenplay, rather than the other way around - slightly odd.

I watched the film last night and I had to read the novel. And it is the screenplay. The first 30 pages are a bit slow, since one really can't get the
Alex Gherzo
The first two Alistair Maclean novels I read (HMS Ulysses and The Guns Of Navarone)were somewhat disappointing, so I was a little trepidatious when I began Where Eagles Dare. I'm not sure if lowered expectations played a role in my enjoyment, but I really liked this one. It was fast-paced and thrilling, but the character work also seemed stronger. As with The Guns Of Navarone, I liked the movie better, but the difference in quality isn't as huge this time.

When an American general is taken capti
This book is like reading a movie. I've never read anything by MacLean before this, although I did watch The Guns of Navarone as a kid and loved it. This story is infinitely readable - I started yesterday afternoon and finished at 3 this morning. It is also pretty forgettable. All of the action takes place in about 36 hours. The characters aren't very complex. Everything is spelled out in dialogue, there are no inner monologues here. There are even long speeches wherein the hero, or villain lays ...more
Gordon Wulff
A classic if ever there was . MacLean never disappoints, delivering bravado and machismo in pressure situations . A new Author that is doing some similar things .

Without by E.E. Borton Without
Suffer by E.E. Borton Suffer
Abomination by E.E. Borton Abomination
E.E. Borton
A group of allied soldiers are dropped by parachute into Germany in order to find a way inside Schloss Adler (the castle of the eagle), the combined headquarters of the German Secret Service and the Gestapo. They have to rescue Lieutenant General Carnaby, an American general who is the overall co-ordinator for Operation Overlord, the Second Front, before he talks.

Someone though is sabotaging their efforts; can a member of the six British and one American Special Forces team be a traitor? The com
By Alistair Maclean. Grade: A
Alistair Maclean, one of the greats of all time, was considered the master of thrillers and espionage novels, especially during the 50s and the 60s. His novel, Where Eagles Dare, has been made into a successful feature film. Despite all its flaws and strengths, the novel still makes the brain work at an overactive pace to keep up with the story.

A team of British Special Forces whose objective is to breach into an apparently inaccessible Alpine castle named Castle of
May 13, 2013 Dawn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dawn by: Movie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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 bac
Ruthie Jones
What a jolly good book! I can't wait to watch the 1968 movie, which I have checked out from the library.

Spies, agents, double agents, triple agents! Who can you trust?

Non-stop action and biting humor make Where Eagles Dare unbelievably fantastic, and the chase scenes and the never-ending supply of plastic explosives are just too exciting!


"My God, what a bunch of no-hopers! All we need is a team composed of specialist Alpinists, commandos, mountaineers, and safe-breakers and what do we have?"
Jan 11, 2013 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who have seen the movie
During World War Two, a top-level US general has been captured by the German forces after his plane crashed and taken to a remote castle (and intelligence HQ) known as Schloss Adler. There's suspicion of a leak in the British Intelligence Service. A group of British troops (and one American) are parachuted into the area with the mission of rescuing the general and identifying the source of the leak. Impossible, you say? Well, just about...

This is perhaps a case where the movie is better than the
Another superb outing courtesy of Alistair MacLean. Britain's top wartime agent, Major John Smith, and a crack team of commandos (are there any other kind?) are paired with American O.S.S. officer Lieutenant Morris Schaffer for a desperate, surefire suicide mission. A plane carrying General George Carnaby crashlanded in Germany, and Carnaby has been captured and taken to the Schloss Adler, the so-called Castle of the Eagles.

The Schloss Adler is considered impenetrable, sitting high on a cliff, a
The book and film are very close to each other, but enough differences to make the book just as interesting. At times, the book seemed like the film script with much of the dialogue appearing word for word in the film. I wish I had read the book first, but as I saw the film in 1970 and have seen it tens of times since, that was never going to happen.

The film shades it though mainly due to the inclusion of Messrs Burton and Eastwood as the two main characters. The big difference, mentioned by sev
The only thing going for the book is that it doesn't really try to be more than what it is: an attempt at writing a novel full of action and chase sequences. But the plot is feeble, its twists highly implausible and predictable, the characters too generic even by the thriller-genre standards, the bad guys clownishly gullible. I think the movie must be far better. I should go look for it; Eastwood must have been great in the famous movie.
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WW2 Spy Novels group now available 8 36 Sep 11, 2014 07:46PM  
  • The Eagle Has Landed (Liam Devlin, #1)
  • The Fourth Protocol
  • Firefox (Mitchell Gant, #1)
  • The Salzburg Connection
  • The Ipcress File (Secret File, #1)
  • Six Days of the Condor
  • The Matlock Paper
  • Battle Cry
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • A Matter of Honor
  • Run Silent, Run Deep (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
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 Hono ...more
More about Alistair MacLean...
The Guns of Navarone Ice Station Zebra When Eight Bells Toll Force 10 from Navarone HMS Ulysses

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“This won't look so good in my obituary," Schaffer said dolefully. There was a perceptible edge of strain under the lightly-spoken words."Gave his life for his country in a ladies' lavatory in Upper Bavaria.” 27 likes
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