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Caravan to Vaccares

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  1,890 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The classic tale of suspense set in Provence, where an English tourist investigates a series of mysterious deaths, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.From all over Europe, even from behind the Iron Curtain, gypsies make an annual pilgrimage to the holy shrine of their patron saint in the Provence region of southern France. But something is different about thi ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 5th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1970)
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Thomas Strömquist
I've always had a soft spot for MacLean's Caravan to Vaccares for some reason. Admittedly, a lot of my regard (and high ratings) of some of his books are due to nostalgia (not to mention his great responsibility in getting me reading in the first place!), but I can surely agree that much of his work leaves much to be wanted. If you, however, would like to check out his vast body of work, this is one of the 'certainly recommended' ones from me.
Donna LaValley
This is the author of Where Eagles Dare, The Guns of Navarone, The Satan Bug, Ice Station Zebra, and many others. I can still recall, in colorful detail after 40 years, movies made of those first 2 titles. I was spellbound by the plot twists and heavy suspense, but then again, those were movies on a big screen.

Caravans to Vaccares reads now as sadly dated. The women are treated like dolls, liberties are taken with logic, and there are a few holes in the plot too large to accept. I found the boo
Jeff Crosby
Dec 21, 2009 Jeff Crosby rated it really liked it
Had too much science fiction on my iPad, so I bought this from the iBook store. It has been forty years since I read Caravan to Vaccares, and at least twenty years since I read anything by MacLean. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this kind of story. Thin on character, but strong on plot and pacing, the rating remains unchanged. The scenario is simple enough: A nefarious group of gypsies are evildoers and murderers. Our hero figures out what they are up to and puts an end to it.
Karen Turner
Jan 25, 2017 Karen Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had found this book at my mom's when I went to visit. This is one book I never realized that MacLean wrote. I did enjoy the story. Different from the others he has written.
Dark Star
Jan 16, 2017 Dark Star rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gypsy caravans, a murder, secrets spies, and an ancient cave...all made for an excellent, page turning story.
Anirudh Parthasarathy
Unlike most Alistair MacLean novels, Caravan to Vaccares is not a novel based on the World War II. The book first came to print in 1970 and presumably, this story is also set around that time, during the Cold War era.

The story is set at the south eastern province of Provence, in France. It begins with the murder of a gypsy and it was committed by his fellow gypsies. Why? Nobody knows, but it was clear that the gypsies had something to secret which they didn't want to be divulged and presumably,
Mar 12, 2016 Sunil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This supple, muscular, hilarious and heart-stopping thriller is my favorite Alistair Maclean.  Considering  that Maclean's oeuvre consists of the likes of Where Eagles Dare,  Guns of Navarone,  HMS Ulysses et al,  it's saying a lot. And what a riot I had re-reading it after, I think, twenty years. And I was again in thrall of the writer's  consummate mastery over language and plot.

I grew up with Alistair Maclean's books and those of Desmond Bagley, Arthur Hailey, Irving Wallace, Harold Robbins -
Dec 20, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although typically action-packed as most MacLean novels are, I did not care for this one so much. I am starting to think that MacLean relies too heavily on concealing information from the reader in order to maintain suspense. I don't remember that from my initial reads of his work as a teenager, but it really annoys me now. Just ok.
Sep 18, 2016 Ronald rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
read some time in summer 1974
Patrick SG
I remember reading a bunch of MacLean's books while I was a teen and enjoying them immensely. This was during his most popular period when some of his books were made into big budget films - "Where Eagles Dare," "Ice Station Zebra," etc. So when I came across some sale paperbacks of his books I thought it would be fun to revisit my youth and rediscover him.

When I first began this book I wondered what it was I could have found appealing about him. The first thing that bothered me is how he could
Gareth Evans
When I was growing up there were a number of books by Desmond Bagley and Alistair McLean on my parent's bookshelf and these formed some of the earliest adult fiction that I read. I thought it would be interesting to revisit these authors, who I haven't read for more than 30 years, to see how the books held up. Caravan to Vacarres is not one I have read before and is certainly not one of McLean's better-known novels. I selected it (in a second hand shop) for the wonderful 1970s style cover. The b ...more
Tony Nielsen
I read a lot of McLean's classic novels many years ago but have decided to catch up on those I haven't read yet. This 1970 title is OK and as you would expect its well writen, has a solid plot and builds the tension nicely. That said in 2013 it does feel a little dated in style, compared to say someone like Alan Furst, who writes period, as in pre second world war two that have a timeless feel about them, even though they're written by a contemporary writer. It feels a little out of line to be " ...more
Feb 02, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a continuing experiment to reread books that I enjoyed back in the day. This one didn't work out so well and highlights a major shift in writing styles over the past 40 years. So a book that I was enthralled with 35 years ago is now mostly boring even though the story is told at pace. What it failed to do was grip the reader through lack of empathy and it felt like the obligation was for the reader to fall under the spell of the author without sufficient investment in ...more
May 21, 2008 Durdles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
This was the second Alistair McLean book I read(after The Guns of Navarone) and thought it brilliant. I'd read a lot of James Bond and was delighted to find a lead character who has difficulties with the mundane ie trying to distinguish a particular car in a car park at night with no torch; reasurringly human, and very exciting right up to the unknotting.
May 03, 2008 Ruthie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i don't normally go for european spy novels, but this was great! i was totally drawn into the story and was totally shocked by some of the plot twists. the man who wrote this book really got me into the characters. i could really identify with the feelings of the girls, especially. i don't know how he tapped into the female mind, but he did so very well. i good read for anybody!
Feb 12, 2011 Stefan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“Caravan to Vaccares” is one of the worst Alistair MacLean novels I have ever read. It has a few humorous moments, but otherwise wasn’t really worth reading. The narrative is bloated, the dialogue is full of pointless, meaningless conversation, the characters are static and completely superficial and the plot is dull and disappointingly implausible.
Prateek Gupta
Alistair MacLean is indeed an excellent writer but this book no doubt was a very difficult read for me. Too much of description about everything. The story itself was not so interesting and was guessable.
Mar 27, 2013 Ms_prue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Stop cringing," I had to tell myself. "This story was written back in the paleolithic era and just reflects the stonge-age values systems of the time. Relax and enjoy the chase scenes and the ebb and flow of the life-and-death scenarios."
Mar 20, 2012 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I liked it" is high praise from me. I nearly 'really' liked it, because I took it on holiday, on a trip to the Camargue, and read some of it parked by the lake in Vaccares. Sense of Place is a marvelous thing.
Graham Foster
This was a different book to read as it related the story from multiple points of view. There were many characters so the reader needs to keep track of people. Unsurprising development of the plot and an end that was predictable. Reasonable read that is typical of Alastair Maclean.
Lynn Smith
REmains one of my absolute favourite reads of Alistair MacLean along with Circus, The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare. A taut thriller, some romance, some brutal killings and well written action. Cracking read.
Jul 29, 2015 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a weird, disorienting story and definitely not one of Maclean's best.
The story revolves around a lot of the Gypsy environs of Spain, which was interesting, but the plot moved rapidly and ignored a lot of setup.
Alistaire King
Not really sure why but this MacLean just doesn't really do it for me. The plus points are that it is fast moving with plenty of action but something appears to be missing and that something is that the plot is rather thin and has too many holes in it.
John Williams
Ok if you are stranded on an island and need something to read on the trip home. Seems a bit dated.
I had read it before along with the rest of Alistair MacLean some time ago. I liked Breakheart Pass
and The Guns of Navarrone better.
Mar 02, 2013 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alistair-maclean
Reread. I still remember when I was station in Taiwan when I bought this book and have been with me all these years. Most of his work is worth rereading. More to come.
Dec 27, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Alistair Maclean book I read and it made a lasting impression. It also gave me a hankering to visit the Camargue which I was able to do in the nineties.
May 15, 2012 Timothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Maclean adventures. A typical cold war spy thriller, the book is fast-paced with devious characters and gypsy intrigue. Mystery is masterfully maintained to the last page.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 30, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
During the annual gyspy pilgrimage acrooss Europes, gyspys are being murdered. Cecile Dubois and Niel Bowman invesstigate which puts their lives in danger.
Schwap Niel
May 27, 2013 Schwap Niel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: niel-s
the pace is relentless!! the characters are very charming and the gypsies are all very deadly!! what more can you ask??
May 04, 2015 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proof of how MacLean wrote so many different and great books. It's a little different with gypsies and their caravans but a great story. Takes you out of the normal.
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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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“Bowman turned his back on her and began to search the place methodically and exhaustively. When one searches any place, be it a gypsy caravan or a baronial mansion, methodically and exhaustively, one has to wreck it completely in the process.So, in a orderly and systematic fashion, Bowman set about reducing Czerda's caravan to a total ruin.” 10 likes
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