The Guns Of Navarone
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The Guns Of Navarone (Guns of Navarone #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  6,916 ratings  ·  160 reviews
An entire navy had tried to silence the guns of Navarone and failed. Full-scale attacks had been driven back. Now they were sending in just five men, each one a specialist in dealing death.
Paperback, 255 pages
Published September 1977 by Fontana (first published 1957)
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Nov 01, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military fiction fans
Recommended to Ed by: saw the movie years ago
I saw the movie on TV back in the 1960s. Quinn, Peck, and Niven made for an all-star cast. Finally, I read the novel. Well, sir, I'm happy to report that Alistair MacLean could tell the corker of a tale. The Allied saboteurs come through lots of close shaves still intact. At times their heroics leave you rolling your eyes a little, but the fun is watching them strive to carry out their desperate mission. There are betrayals. The pace is snappy, the suspense builds well, and the characters feel f...more
Bob Mayer
A classic thriller. MacLean always delivered the goods. I remember devouring all of his titles out of the library. I wouldn't suggest doing them in a row, because things can get a little repetitive. But that's to be expected of almost any author.

The concept, of having a team as the only way to take out the guns guarding a narrow straight through which the ships needed to rescue troops, have to traverse is a bit forced. But it does lend to a tight thriller with a clock ticking.

What's best about t...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
4.5 Stars

Quite by accident I picked this up and started reading. From the first page, the esteemed war thriller author, Alistair MacLean, engages his reader. Off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea the Germans and Italians control a cluster of islands and the area shipping lanes. On one island 1200 British soldiers are trapped and will soon be attacked by the Axis Alliance. The destruction of the mighty Guns of Navarone is the only hope these Brits have. It is a suicide mission. The guns are p...more
Tense WWII thriller about a small group of commandos that has to sabotage the naval guns on an island fortress that is otherwise nigh-impregnable.

I think what I liked the most about this is it's not got that modern action movie quality of triumphing in a series of outnumbered gun battles, which gets kind of silly after a while. It's much more about stealth and subterfuge. The other surprising quality, for me, is the prose. MacLean really gets you feeling like the wind and rain are lashing you as...more
By Alistair Maclean. #1 of the Navarone series. Grade: A
Alistair Maclean is probably one of the most famous fiction authors of all time. He is possibly the world’s best war fiction novelist with novels like Where Eagles Dare under his belt. The Guns of Navarone has been made into a very successful, classic feature film of the same name.
Twelve hundred British soldiers are isolated and waiting on the small island of Kheros, off the Turkish coast. All these lives could be saved if only the vigilant...more
When I was 12 or so, one of my friends at school (Michael Edworthy) used to bring this book along every day as a sort of badge along with his Who and Yes albums. He couldn't have been reading it otherwise he'd have finished it rapidly. We were all careful never to mention the book in case he went on about it like he did about the bands. Intrigued, I bought a copy and read the first of the many Alistair MacLean books I was to devour. Set in WW2 this is story-telling for boys of the highest calibr...more
Ahh good ol' Alistair. Guy's a mensch. What a book.

He tends to dwell a little to much on a sense of duty and altruism. There's a even a little Batman element where the characters "Don't kill when they don't have to" and often resort to tying Germans up instead of ganking them. I get it. Probably I do anyways. Guy was actually in wars and murdered in the name of King and country so I can see why he doesn't want to perpetuate that. Also he's probably a decent man and seeing how literature makes it...more
Chris The Story Reading Ape
For those of us of a certain age, any stories of daring British Commandos in action during WWII are almost like comfort food in their appeal.

War should NEVER be glorified or sought after in any way, however, a story about the exploits of a few courageous souls trying to shorten a conflict and prevent the deaths of thousands of others, is worth being told, as a reminder of what it really means to be human....
Reliable old MacLean. Not as good as ages ago when I read it the first time, or the second.

Now the novel was understandably a bit old fashioned and a bit for a younger audience. A new translation could also make the story slightly more modern.

And of course a severe mistake from the translator: Talisker is definitely not a wine, it is single malt whisky. He should have known that naval officers at Her Majesty's service don't drink any sissy wine! That should have been evident even 55 years ago wh...more
It's been a while since I've read a book like this one: a classic action-adventure story.

On the one hand, I liked the straightforward approach to storytelling. The action only follows our small group of heroes, with no scenes in which at least one of them is present. I certainly can't accuse this book of being bogged down by unnecessary sub-plots.

However, that same approach makes for a fairly simple story. Yes, there are a few twists and turns that kept me guessing, but nothing that would elev...more
Julie Davis
Another foray into the past with one of the masters of thriller/adventure novels.
Indah Threez Lestari
555 - 2013

#Program BUBU

Kalau diminta menyebutkan novel perang favorit, pasti jawabanku sama saja dengan kalau ditanya siapa penulis favorit. Banyak, euy. Kalau novel tema perang, dari rak bukuku di Goodreads sudah bisa kelihatan penulis-penulis mana saja yang jadi favoritku. Nah, untuk posting bareng BBI bulan Agustus 2013, aku memilih novel Alistair MacLean yang ini, buku pertama yang membuatku menjamah genre perang.

Tidak jelas alasannya kenapa aku memilih untuk membaca buku yang versi terjemah...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 08, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Military Fiction
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
The novels involves an Allied commando raid against a fortress off Turkey. A team of five men led by Captain Keith Mallory of New Zealand and including the Greek resistance fighter Andreas and an American demolitions expert Corporal Dusty Miller must climb a sheer cliff of 400 feet considered unclimbable, infiltrate a Nazi fortress and sabotage her guns to allow through a British fleet. At stake are the lives of 1,200 British soldiers stranded on an island. The novel takes place in the course of...more
John Frazier
Don't know why, but for the longest time I thought this book was the basis of some spaghetti western that may have featured The Duke or Clint. My pleasant surprise when I read the tale of a group of allied fighters who prove that less is more as they seek to disarm a Nazi island fortress manned by two huge guns that make it impossible for any passing ships to safely rescue the 1200 allied forces trapped on another nearby island--allied forces soon to be wiped out. As I read it, I envisioned a "G...more
Alex Gherzo
In another cautionary tale about reading something when you're just not in the mood for it, I initially had a bad experience with The Guns Of Navarone. I was in the mood to read it a month ago but decided to wait until I was on vacation to start it. I should've just read it when I felt like it, because when I cracked it open on the plane, I got bored fast and stopped after seventy or so pages (and with a few hours of the flight still to go). I read about a chapter while at the hotel and didn't f...more
I don't read too much in the thriller area so I haven't even had the category up till now. I read this soon after it came out, I think, in the early sixties and enjoyed it mostly because it was an adventure with a goal to be reached within a time frame. It is almost like one of the modern computer games where you have to find your way through a maze, defending yourself against bad guys and checking on your companions as well. It's interesting that the copy I have includes a woman on the cover bu...more
Jul 13, 2013 Skjam! rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: action fans, WWII buffs, fans of manly men
There are more than a thousand British soldiers trapped on a small island off the Turkish coast, and the Germans are sending a huge force to smash them. The British Navy wants to pull them off, but the only route that can be taken goes right past–the guns of Navarone. Unfortunately neither sea nor air attacks will work on the Navarone fortress due to its unique position, and a mass amphibious assault would take too long. But a small team of specialists might be able to scale the unclimbable clif...more
The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean tells the story of a specialized team sent to sabotage the German stronghold on the island of Navarone in the Aegean Sea. The story takes place during the Dodecanese Campaign in WWII, which was the Allie's attempt to reclaim the German-controlled islands in the Aegean Sea. The team is made up of Lt. Andy Stevens, Casey Brown, Colonel Andrea Stavros, Dusty Miller, and Captain Mallory, the leader of the group. MacLean used a lot of imagery so that I could s...more
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 a...more
Oct 19, 2011 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WW2/military buffs
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Top 100 list
It's World War II and we're on an island called Navarone off the coast of Greece. The Germans have set up shop there and have set up two truly fearsome guns that destroy everything the Allies have thrown at them. The RAF is shot down, the Special Boat Service is sunk, and even the Airborne/commando elements are no match for these monsters. Enter our protagonists: noted mountaineer Keith Mallory, his stealthy partner Andrea (who is a guy), engineer Casey Brown, laconic explosives expert Dusty Mil...more
Md Muddassir
Easily one of the best books by Alistair Maclean and by far, one of the best World War II novels.
I will try to summarize the plot without giving out much. During world war II, the axis powers have control over the small Island Navarone. This Island hosts the most powerful guns, guns to which many ships of the Royal navy have fallen prey. On the Island Crete, there are about 2000 British soldiers who need to be evacuated and to accomplish this task the allied forces have to pass through Navarone....more
An ensemble piece. The leader of the group of Allied soldiers is Captain Keith Mallory, ‘skilled saboteur, first-class organiser and eighteen unscathed months in the White Mountains of Crete’, and more importantly for the mission, ‘the greatest rock climber New Zealand has ever produced.’ Mallory is assisted by:

* Dusty Miller, a laid-back American saboteur.
* Andrea, a seemingly indestructible Greek giant, veteran of the Balkans and more recently Mallory’s lieutenant in Greece. (Andrea is unfortu...more
Some British sailors are shipwrecked on a Greek island called Kheros. Preventing their rescue are a pair of powerful German guns located on the neighboring island of Navarone. Any attempt to rescue the stranded men results in the rescue ship being sunk, and efforts to destroy the guns by air have failed because they can be retracted inside of a protective cave.

With time running out for the men on Kheros, Captain James Jensen of the Royal Navy brings in Captain Keith Mallory, an undercover agent...more
Khairul H.
I remember only bits of the movie adaptation I saw years ago but enough to say that I enjoyed the movie more. Not that the source material was bad but as another reviewer here wrote, the movie streamlined the plot (read: omitting some things from the novel and adding new things points...wasn't there a woman in the movie? There are no women in the novel).

What I found exasperating was the reluctance of the commandos especially Captain Mallory, Miller and young Stevens in killing their German enemi...more
As manly a World War II novel as there is out there, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE is an entertaining and action-packed thrill-ride. One thing that would've gone a long way to helping visualize some of the detailed geographical descriptions is a map. Maybe I'm just spoiled by THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (ultimately a better novel, with a not-nearly-as-famous, and in fact difficult-to-find cinematic interpretation), but a map of Navarone Island (fictional though it is) might have been a nice addition, is all.

Roderick Baxter
At age 11 and after reading the cover off all Kid/Teen fiction notably Secret Seven. I decided to go through my parents book shelves. Alistair MacLean's Guns of Navarone became my first venture into Adult fiction. I do have a confession to make, before reading I thought that it was a "Western." To my pleasant surprise I discovered that far from it, Guns of Navarone. was a genuine page turning thriller that I still rate as one of the best novels that I have ever read. There were many times during...more
Andrew Macrae
A very satisfying WW2 action/thriller. The mission is impossible, time is short, the stakes are high, the characters are defined by their courage and moral codes, and things keep getting worse them at the worst possible times. Easy to see why it's such a classic. Of course, it's very much of its time. There's not a single woman character, and it's all about tough men testing themselves physically against the enemy.
I had forgotten just how good Alistair MacLean is. So well written, and he is at his best with descriptive passages, particularly in marine sequences. The film remained quite true to the book, but as ever I much prefer the written word, and use of my own imagination. Absolutely superb.
Still have the next 3 Navarone books to read, and hopefully enjoy as much.
Kym Andrew Robinson
This is in my opinion one of MaClean's best. He was on form when he wrote this book and no wonder it inspired a some what decent film and follow up book.

The characters are varied and the action is tense, the story feels fantastic while all the time seeming credible. I ate this book up when i first read it and I actually look forward to a re read at a later date.

81 %

Although not as well known today, Alistair MacLean was the Tom Clancy of the 50s and 60s. Run his name through IMDB and you'll see what I mean. The Guns of Navarone is about a pair of German guns on a Greek island which are giving the allies a tough time. And they can't be taken out by bombers because they're tucked inside of a rocky cliff. The solution? Send in a British/American/Greek commando team of soldiers and mountain climbers to scale the deadly rock, and take out the guns and escape.

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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 Hono...more
More about Alistair MacLean...
Where Eagles Dare Ice Station Zebra When Eight Bells Toll Force 10 From Navarone HMS Ulysses

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“There are no brave men and cowardly men in the world, my son. There are only brave men. To be born, to live, to die—that takes courage enough in itself, and more than enough.

We are all brave men and we are all afraid, and what the world calls a brave man, he too is brave and afraid like the all rest of us. Only he is brave for five minutes longer.”
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