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3.6  ·  Rating details ·  1,862 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
In wartime, people are either friends of enemies.
In wartime, friends are friends and enemies die.

When Tito's rebel forces resist occupation, the Germans infiltrate and plan their destruction.

Three Yugoslavs set out from Rome to relay the German battle plan - but their loyalties lie elsewhere.

A dangerous journey with dangerous companions
-where no
Paperback, 291 pages
Published 2009 by Harper (first published 1982)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lenny Husen
Manly Men drinking Manly Beverages and wielding Manly Weapons and Manly Mercy in WWII.
Pathetic Bitchy Women whose Beauty is only exceeded by their ability to Criticize the Men.
Two saving graces to this boring book:
1. It forced me to Wikipedia The Yugoslav Partisans and I learned something.
2. One of the woman's names was Sarina.
Nik Morton
Alistair MacLean’s 1982 ‘adventure’ Partisans is one of the least enjoyable books I’ve read. I feared it wouldn’t be great having been disappointed with a number of his later outings, the last two that I read being The Way to Dusty Death (1973) and Circus (1975). He published three more thrillers after this book, but, sadly, I’m not inclined to read them. Like millions of readers, I enjoyed immensely his ‘classic’ thrillers, Guns of Navarone, HMS Ulysses, South by Java Head, Night Without End, F ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thrillers, war, a-kindle, atw80
I vaguely remember having read somewhere that MacLean's later works were a pale shadow of his earlier stuff. This one definitely fell within that description. Set in Bosnia in Second World War Yugoslavia, the author had returned to the landscape of the rather good Force 10 from Navarone, but not that quality of writing. From the naming of characters - a supposedly Yugoslav group of commandos led by Major Peter Petersen with his henchmen George and Alex who sound much more like a bunch of norther ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up in a free book shelf in a diner in Roslyn, WA - because I've always wanted to read de Bernieres' book "Daughter of the Partisan" or something like that - and wanted a book for reading on the bus. As it turned out, traffic was stopped for an hour so I read a lot of this that day. It's a good beach read, but the hero is just a bit too omniscient for my liking - too good. Didn't seem very realistic - more of a comic book. But entertaining, for all that. And the good guys win...
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite MacLean. Lots more talk than action and no real surprises.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was awful, a big disappointment. Judging from the title I was expecting to follow the exploits of rag-tag, but devoted partisan bands hiding out in the woods in between daring guerilla raids on Nazi militaty formations. Instead, 3/4 of the story was the description of a journey - which can be interesting, but macLean does not pull it off. There was a lot of riding around in trucks, drinking wine and eating venison in stop-over restaurants while confused loyalties amongst the travelling ...more
David Ferguson
Not my favorite MacLean book. It is a WW2 story written in early 20th century style. It was bit too full of 'prattling' dialogue and sarcasm. (I have to watch my own writing for sarcasm at times too, but that's what editors are for).
The physical aspects of the story were well described ... horrendous conditions aboard a small motor torpedo boat at sea and miserable cold and steep climbs in the mountains of Yugoslavia.
All in all, it was a worthwhile read, but I've read much better from this autho
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe I am giving AM a 1-star, but this book didn't feel like his style at all. Not only was there very little action, but also very little story. The tag lines on here told me more than the book itself.
Steve Howarth
Silly but enjoyable.
Laura Verret
Major Peter Peterson is no second-rate spy. He’s top of the line – the fact that he’s still alive is his proof. So, when Colonel Lunz asks him to deliver a coded message and twins, Sarina and Michael, to Yugoslavia, Peterson knows that no petty operation is underfoot. He and his partners, Alex and George, must be wary. Very wary…

When they arrive at the Columbus, their transportation from Italy to Yugoslavia, Peterson finds it already loaded with several other passengers. Two at least are spies,
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, military
Partisans was disappointing. It had a lot of potential (even a cursory scan on Wikipedia reveals a crazy mess of political and military situations in Yugoslavia during World War II) but this book fails to capitalize on it.

I haven't read the books that MacLean's most famous for (Force 10 From Navarone, The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare) so I can't compare quality, but it seems likely that as most critics have said, MacLean's later works (such as Partisans) are inferior.

The hero is your typ
Kym Robinson
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2-fiction
This is one of the less than stellar Maclean novels that I have read. I found that it seemed to lack the elements which made his earlier works so gripping, tense and action filled. Instead this book felt some what generic and unfulfilled.

The book had no real characters of depth, those who were interesting seemed to have no place in the story. The conclusion felt some what forced and the intrigue less than organic.

What could have been another great Maclean book just fell short. I hate to say th
Jeff Crosby
This is one of the few MacLean novels that I remembered poorly. I have always had a high opinion of it, but I couldn't tell you why. The characters are typical, especially Peterson and George (think Keith Mallory and Andrea Stavrou). However, the plot is one of MacLean's more clever efforts during his later career. This book reminds me that he was stronger when writing about World War II than his cold war and terrorist plots. At the same time, this novel has a double-blind and a McGuffin (unusua ...more
This book may come as a disappointment to those readers yearning for a blood-soaked action read--is a single person killed in the entire book? (references to the past not included)--and didn't quite have the knuckle-whitening effect I'd expected from AMcL's other books. Despite this "fault", and the extreme confusion the reader may experience as she attempts to parse out the plot (what plot?) the banter between the characters--especially when George is involved--made the book both readable and e ...more
Alton Motobu
Nov 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another awful MacLean WW II novel - this time set in Italy, the Adriatic, and the Balkans. Anti-Nazi underground apparently needs to deliver radios to partisans in the Balkans. First part of story is boat trip from Italy to Croatia; second part is mountain trek to hideout; but there is hardly any action throughout. Story told mostly through dialogue, so it is difficult to follow the plot. In the end no one was who he seemed and motives were not as they seemed. Mixed-up mess.
Alistaire King
A WW2 book that has no deaths and very little action. Mostly it's people talking and trying to work out who is really working for what side. There were opportunities for the story to take a more action oriented slant but these were passed up and just continued to be mainly dialogue driven. Not as good as I remembered.
Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not the book I expected and I was disappointed. It is listed as a thriller and just didn't fulfill that for me. I know McLean is considered a leader in this field but this book seemed dated. I did appreciate the strong vocabulary that McLean uses, writing down several words to check.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adventure
Not one of MacLean's best, it felt like most of this book was just people talking - or telling lies - to each other. Pretty much the only puzzle was trying to keep track of who knew who was a double agent. Not terrible but he's written much better.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I read every MacLean book I could find as a teenager and loved almost all of them. Ice Station Zebra and Partisans were probably the two I liked least. However, I still liked it. I'm not sure what I would think about it as an adult reader.
Wilde Sky
During WWII a team set out to deliver some battle plans but are hampered by a series of double-crosses.

I thought this was a reasonable WWII spy thriller but there are better espionage books around.

Real rating 2.5

Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alistair MacLean on autopilot. Characterizations are thin, and it's hard to remember - or care - who's on what side.
A.L. Sowards
loved this book, but after reading The Forgotten 500 I have a different perspective than Maclean's very British view on WWII Yugoslavia.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dads_loans
I got about half-way and couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Oh well.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the worst A. MacLean book I've ever read a huge disappointment. Nothing special no real story like all other books from him.....
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So you spend the book wondering who the bad guy is. Then you find out. Life in Yugodslavia doesn't sound like it was fun.
William McLoughlin
Two out of five stars.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, war, z-1980-s
Donated to the Smith Family Charity March 2015
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Though had lots of the characterestic dry Macleanian humour, this is certainly not one of his best works.
Javier Morales
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hooking, quick read.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the main characters is a philologist!
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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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