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The Care of Time
Eric Ambler
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The Care of Time

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The warning message arrived on Monday, the bomb itself on Wednesday. It became a very busy week...
Published January 1st 1986 by Berkley (first published June 1st 1981)
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The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Noir
265th out of 464 books — 516 voters

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Ambler's late in the day thriller pitches an American ghostwriter into regime change and middle-east intrigue through the rather novel device of a simple television interview. Of course, the interview is heavily rigged as it is conducted deep within an Austrian mine-shaft, which an Arab prince proposes to turn into a nuclear shelter. The latter part of the book consists of the Prince's desperate attempts to retrieve the tapes. Ghostwriter Halliday understands his NATO brief from the start, even ...more
Actually, I didn't read very far into this book. The nearly exclusive use of dialogue, boring dialogue at that, became annoying enough that I finally decided to give it up and move on to another book. I read "The Mask of Demetrios" (originally "The Coffin of Demetrios") about a year ago, and loved, loved it. Written in 1939, it relates to events dating from the early 1920s (Greco-Turkish War and the horrible events in Smyrna--now Izmir) through the narrator's/protagonist's present time of 1938, ...more
Margaret1358 Joyce
Without question, the smartest and smoothest of the several Ambler spy stories I've read, this book lifts the spy genre neatly into the realm of good literature. Its theme is the plight of the aging criminal, and Ambler easily evokes our empathy for his characters. The story,dripping with historical relevance - high level negotiations between NATO and international terrorists - is a tough, concentrated masterpiece.
ambler wrote thrillers for nearly five decades, and in doing so transformed the genre completely. his early thrillers were written in the backdrop of world war 2, while this one - his last - at tail end of the cold war. his mastery of geopolitics is very sound, as always. the beauty of the book is how much he accomplishes merely through clever dialogue and intricate plotting. he doesn't need explosions, cool gadgets or contrived action to keep the book interesting.

robert halliday, a professiona
Later Ambler, picked up at a book sale just to see what it was like. Didn't expect much, and wasn't disappointed. His protagonist is still a little clueless, but in this case winds up acting a bit too clever. I liked the old protagonists better. This book also suffers from the literate dialogue disease. Real people don't talk like this. Plus, there's too much talk and not enough action for my taste, and I completely lost track of whether all the plot turns really would have worked or not. Oh we ...more
Ajitabh Pandey
Another of those 80s book without the modern gadgets. I found it quite interesting when everything happens on the field and your life depends on your smart thinking. The author has provided a very detailed description of everything in this book and then there are lengthy pieces of dialogue between the characters. Because of that the book has grown to close to 278 pages. The actual plot and the story line is quite simple. If you do not like reading details and you do not have patience then this b ...more
Peggy Walker
This book was kind of a slow read for me. The plot is very dense and convoluted with a larger cast of characters than was really necessary. It is a very dated cold war/spy story involving the first hints of issues arising from the gulf. It also involves a journey to asylum for a retiring foreign "spook" for hire. in the end, it was a lot of work for not much payoff. And WAY too dated. They used Telex to communicate, for heaven sake. Pass it up.
The standard set-up for an Ambler thriller is the innocent abroad, a man who stumbles--through naivete or arrogance or overconfidence or happenstance--into international intrigue and danger with which he is utterly incapable of coping. The hero of this one is considerably less naive and more aware of what's happening, and he isn't as far out of his depth as the usual narrators, though his greater awareness doesn't completely protect him.
Two stars feels a bit harsh: this has its moments. But I was hoping for a sharp, stylish thriller. Instead, most of the book consists of long passages of mediocre dialogue conducted against the thinnest of atmosphere; it's much duller than it should be. The plot's fun though, and, at only 278 pages, it's a fast read. With more attention to style and more thought about things other than the plot, it could have been so much better.
This is totally standard Eric Ambler--too much political jargon, etc.--but it's better than most. The protagonist is actually a little interesting.

I've been kind of down on Eric Ambler recently but this one was okay.
seems like a propaganda
I didn't finish this.
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Eric Ambler began his writing career in the early 1930s, and quickly established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality. He is often credited as the inventor of the modern political thriller and John Le Carre once described him as 'the source on which we all draw.'

Ambler began his working life at an engineering firm, then as a copywriter at an advertising agency,
More about Eric Ambler...
A Coffin for Dimitrios Epitaph for a Spy Journey Into Fear Cause for Alarm The Light of Day

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