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The Way to Dusty Death

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,904 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Reissue of the classic tale of high-octane adventure set in the world of 1970s Formula One, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.

Johnny Harlow seems to have it all: he's good looking, desired by women, and envied by men; he's also the reigning Formula One world champion, the poster-boy for the world's most thrilling and richly financed sport. But a recent devas
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published 1994 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 1972)
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Community Reviews

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GS Nathan
An old favourite...Read it for old times sake...pretty nice old fashioned story, men with strong jaws and strong minds, beautiful women, dark villians, and misguided youth. A formula but an enjoyable formula, none the less...
Feb 05, 2017 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lively tale but stretches the imagination in some unlikely ways

This one was a quick read. MacLean still relies on his old habit of concealing information from the reader to maintain suspense, but it seems less annoying in this book than in some of his earlier works. Also, I found it difficult to believe that someone at the pinnacle of Grand Prix racing would *also* possess such unrivaled investigatory and clandestine skills. Still, if you can get past that objection, it's an entertaining read.
Nov 06, 2016 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-challenge
If you're in the mood for action, conspiracy, and intrigue, Alistair MacLean's books are always good for a quick, fun read. While the plot of this one isn't as complex as some of his other books, the action moves along at a nice clip and the characters are interesting enough that the story never drags. Plus, who doesn't love a conspiracy set in the world of Formula One racing? (A confession: this book may have adversely affected the safety of my driving back in high school...)
Oct 17, 2011 rabbitprincess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: F1 fans who also like MacLean
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: impulse library borrow
Shelves: bibliotheque, 2011
A fairly diverting thriller for fans of auto racing. The story begins with world-famous Formula 1 driver Johnny Harlow being involved in a fiery, horrific crash that claims the life of a fellow driver and cripples the daughter of his team's owner when she is hit by flying debris. Rumours then start flying that Harlow has lost his nerve -- he's seen drinking to excess when before he would never touch alcohol, he spends more time alone and is just generally unpleasant. He is also convinced that th ...more
Sasha Chikhoer
Dec 05, 2016 Sasha Chikhoer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. MacLean exploits humor I can appreciate. Although it's uncertain what the actual credentials are of the main character, and the minimal background information provided about most characters, it's definitely worth reading. The plot's always simple: Skilled man / secret agent racing against time under humanly impossible surviving conditions to save the world. And yet the predictability doesn't hamper the reading nor imagination. Compared to other MacLean books I've read, the complete s ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Jon rated it liked it
Shelves: alistair-maclean
A pleasant enough read but, as only the third Alistair Maclean novel I've read, my least favourite of the three.

There is plenty of mystery in the story since the characters' thoughts, even that of the protagonist, Harlow, are never written - only their actions - so we are left to guess at their intentions. But therein lies the problem. Empathy comes before sympathy. How can we care what happens if we are not sympathetic towards the characters, and how can we be sympathetic if we do not know what
Antoni Savander
Jul 03, 2016 Antoni Savander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Olihan vauhdikas kirja! Tosiaan heti alusta lähtien nappasi otteeseensa eikä meinannut irti päästää. Hauska sinänsä, kun ajattelee miten erilainen maailma formuloissa oli tuohon aikaan verrattuna nykyiseen, jossa Kimi ja kumppanit työtään tekevät. Ei olisi nykypäivänä varmaankaan mahdollista miltään osin nämä tapahtumat.

Vaikka kirja onkin likimain mahdoton juoneltaan, on sitä hauska lukea. MacLeanilla on kirjoissaan useimmiten (ainakin niissä jotka olen nyt lukenut) päähenkilö, joka on kivikasvo
Oct 01, 2011 Suby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Formula 1 racing is something we look forward to watching. In this book, Mr. MacLean gives us an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in this emperor of sports. How a Champion driver is driven to enacting the role of an alcoholic to find out who is the betrayer in his team.
Wherever there is a lot of money involved in sports these irregularities are bound to happen. But how can a race driver function when he has no trust on the supporting team. Really a ver pertinent question.
The Ace Form
Sthitadhi Roy
Jan 20, 2012 Sthitadhi Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a must read for all the motorsport fans out there….

brilliant breath-taking….the story races ahead like those sleek formula 1 cars racing around on track…the best part is..the climax is not on the tracks but off it..the story doesnt end with the hero winning the last race of the season by a tenth of a second to win the championship…but there is more to formula 1 than simply hurtling these beasts around the race tracks….foul play in motor racing can be even more sinister….can be even dirti
Geoff Nolan
Jan 16, 2013 Geoff Nolan rated it really liked it
Nowhere near MacLean's best, but it's another childhood favourite of mine. In this book, AM takes his formula to the world of motorsport. Anyone with a passing knowledge of motorsport will probably spot a few errors here and there, but it's part of the charm. And one could argue that Grand Prix cars should have brake lights!

It's an easy-reading adventure story with the usual AM twists and characters (heavy-drinkers, baddies, ever-present 'Mary'), and it's not too long. If there are any teenaged
Christopher Taylor
A solid, shorter thriller by the master. In this one, the story is set around Formula 1 Grand Prix racing, and it is not until about half way through the novel that the true plot is unfolded. At first it seems to be the story of a young but wildly successful driver, winning race after race with increasingly wreckless driving and behavior, until finally a horrible crash kills another driver.

Gradually, we find out there is far more to the story and it winds up another fine outing by MacClean, with
May 20, 2015 Janine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A top racing driver causes a deadly crash changing the lives of many... But did he really cause it? While entertaining, this story relied on people constantly making assumptions, some of which were just a jump too far. Many revelations came out at the end, some would have been better to have been exposed sooner to give the book more depth. The main character was too emotionless until near the end and by then a bit hard to warm to. The main female character was two dimensional, very pure and good ...more
Jeff Crosby
I began re-reading Alistair MacLean after thirty years in the fall of 2009. My first two titles were Caravan to Vaccares and this novel. I remember vividly reading it when it was first published. I found I still remembered almost all the names, the setting, and the plot conventions. It is pure MacLean, but a break from the more typical espionage stories. And so it goes.
Jeff Anderson
Pretty par for the course with MacLean, hard to figure out what is really going on through most of the book, but then in the end everything comes clear. This one is about a race car driver who may or may not be losing his edge, but is experiencing all kinds of disaster on the track. Pretty good read, but kind of contrived.
Alistaire King
Sep 11, 2015 Alistaire King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the first chapter the book grips and it doesn't let go until the final page. By today's standards it probably is old fashioned but who cares as long as the book is an entertaining and enjoyable read and this book is certainly both.
Dec 17, 2009 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick, fun, novel. The vivid racing scenes, the surprises, and plot twists kept me flipping pages. Alistair MacLean’s is a solid thriller writer, his books are exciting and delightfully readable.
Jul 17, 2012 Kartik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up for one of my long train journeys and I am glad that I read it when I actually had time to while away. The technical aspects were nicely done but overall it was cheesy and cliched! I could never get myself to care for anyone or anything in the plot.
Not much to say here. perfectly fine adventure/sort-of-mystery book. i've got a couple others by him (also rescued from the 'rents basement), and i can't say i'm now burning to read them, but i won't avoid them either.
David Darson
Feb 15, 2016 David Darson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Romance, Adventure, Mystery. What else could you ask for, in this silly yet engrossing tale about the world of Formula 1 car racing. MacLean used the concept of the anti-hero in novels the best, and this is evidently clear in this novel.
Lenny Husen
So far, this was the least fun MacLean I've read. Dull protagonist, typical plot set-up (hero pretends to be a weakling but secretly is plotting), no clear reason why bad guys couldn't have been thwarted sooner, snoozefest.
Only thing good is the title.
Penis-Extender = Race-Car in this one.
Bob Jr.
An enjoyable thriller and something a little off the beaten path for Alistair MacLean. Lean and fast, like the cars the main character drives. Not a book I'll need to read again, but a pleasant diversion.
I am a huge fan of auto racing, primarily NASCAR Sprint Cup but any racing will do as long as it involves 2 cars or trucks competing against each other. So I was delighted to see this book was about racing. The only quibble I have is that this book didn't include more about the racing.
Joanna Rodrigues
Speed and suspense perfect combination.
The characters and the plot, did not over power each other.
The character Johnny..loved him.
This is the novel that I could recommend.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 30, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Formula one champion Johnny Harlow notices that too many bad things are happening in too many places. When he starts to investigate, he is blamed for the latest accident.
It's the kind of book that I would have read in ninth standard when I was in my Sidney Sheldon devouring phase. Even then, Sheldon was miles ahead in this genre.
Ruth Long
May 09, 2007 Ruth Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, favorites
Continue to read repeatedly since first read in 1984 - one of five books I MUST have on my deserted island
Jan 10, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite of MacLean's books - unlikely spy-hero sets out to save the day in the world of European racing.
Mar 27, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apr 23, 2013 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy-reading adventure story, a diverting thriller for fans of racing. Alistair MacLean a thriller writer whose books always prove exciting and delightful.
Arun Jawarlal
Nov 29, 2014 Arun Jawarlal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a Maclean fan, you will love the chases, the fast paced story and the predictable plot!
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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
More about Alistair MacLean...

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