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The Golden Gate

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  3,136 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
A tense and nerve-shattering classic from the highly acclaimed masster of action and suspense.


is how the journalists describe the Presidential motorcade as it enters San Francisco across the Golden Gate. Even the ever-watchful FBI believe it is impregnable – as it has to be with the President and two Arab potentates aboard.

But halfway across the bridge th
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 6th 2005 by Harper (first published December 1st 1975)
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(showing 1-30)
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Thomas Strömquist
One of the better later MacLeans, I've always loved the thrilling opening with the taking of the Golden Gate and the intended kidnap victims in a tense, well synchronized operation. Loses some pace later on, but is is worth reading.
Red Heaven
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
A disappointing later effort. It appears that MacLean's skills diminished over time. This book has a good premise, but is lacking the tautness of his earlier work. There's too much jocularity to it, as though the whole thing is a great lark. Not just in the prose, but in the dialogue, which takes the reader out of the story. It really needed an editor to step up and strip some of the unnecessary verbiage, awkward and out-of-place colloquialisms. It's also distracting to have cusswords replaced b ...more
Loretta Gibson
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: maclean
This was not my favorite MacLean book. I love the way it started out, the fast paced, thrilling sequence of the kidnapping and the shutting down and take over of the Golden Gate Bridge, I literally could not put the book down.
The strategy that went into Branson plan, spoke volumes about his intelligence and ability to function with a cool head under pressure. I found him fascinating. Revson was a formidable opponent, no slouch in the smarts department, but I found my self drawn to Branson and w
Jeff Crosby
Even in the 1960s, Alistair MacLean was writing terrorist types of stories. Dark Crusader, Golden Rendezvous and Satan Bug are good examples. In his later career, he shifted more consistently to this type of story, and The Golden Gate is a good example.

I originally read this novel when it was first published in 1976, so I dusted off my hardcover. The key elements are here: calculating hero, maniacal villain, and willing assistant (often female). There are two distinctions here. First, our hero i
David Lucero
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was going through my collection of favorites and glad I kept this hardback copy I found in a thrift store about fifteen years ago. I had yet to be published and admired MacLean's ability to write novels and screenplays. Some of his books have been made into memorable movies (The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, Ice Station Zebra, to name a few).

This book could be a good movie even by today's standards, so long as the producer and director follow the script. We've had enough nonsense with D
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this back in the 80's and found myself disappointed in that I could not like the hero and did like the baddy. I have read most of McLean's books and this is the only one that I have never gone back to re-read. I picked it up last week, took a deep breath and re-read it... only to find myself again liking Branson and NOT liking Revson.
It is a good story and quite exciting in the vein of all the McLean books - I just do not like the hero.
Frankly, I do not know why he did not simply kick h
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
not one of his best efforts. It had some fine action moments and an interesting plot, but the writing was uninspiring. Made me think of a Steven segal action movie, and I'm not a big fan of those, either.
Ghost Archer
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of the 'adventure' genre since I was a kid with not a little influence from my father's love of C.S. Forrester, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Alister MacLean. It has only been in the last few year that I have have actually started reading MacLean and I finally dug up the Golden Gate. Being a native of the San Francisco Bay area does give me a better picture of the setting than most and as I grew up during the early 1970's, the time frame of the story is spot on for me.
One of the thing
Scott Holstad
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. I normally like MacLean novels, and to a certain degree, I enjoyed this, but I think it had some flaws too.

The book is about the hijacking of the US president and an Arab king and prince on their coach in the middle of the Golden Gate bridge during a visit to San Francisco. Everything has been meticulously planned out. The bridge is wired with explosives. Three coaches are hijacked; the other two contain journalists and FBI agents. (MacLean somehow
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Η απαγωγή", εκδόσεις ΒΙΠΕΡ.

Μια ομάδα εγκληματιών με αρχηγό τον ιδιοφυή Πίτερ Μπράνσον πραγματοποιεί μια απαγωγή που θα μείνει στην ιστορία. Οι εγκληματίες αυτοί, καταφέρνουν να κάνουν το απίθανο, να απαγάγουν τον πρόεδρο των ΗΠΑ καθώς και δυο Άραβες αρχηγούς κρατών, και όλα αυτά στην γνωστή γέφυρα Γκόλντεν Γκέιτ του Σαν Φρανσίσκο. Ο Μπράνσον και οι άντρες του απέκλεισαν και τις δυο εξόδους της γέφυρας με εκρηκτικά και άλλα μέσα, και είχαν σαν απαίτηση την άμεση καταβολή 500.000.000 δολαρίων, ει
Aug 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm normally a huge fan of MacLean's thrillers. Most of them have aged remarkably well and still have the ability to portray gripping action.
The Golden Gate, sadly, didn't fit into that category. It was a badly developed plot that had me rooting for the bad guys the whole way through.
The basic premise is that a group of hijackers kidnap the President of the United States in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge and hold him for ransom.
The main character wasn't fleshed out at all and appeared to
Pranay Venkatesh
This book has one of the BEST opening scenes of all time...followed by not much

In fact, I can't really remember anything but the opening. The prose and the slow, tense pace of those first few pages are great. But then, nothing happens! This sort of matches my review on the Satan Bug, so here's the Golden Gate in brief:

MA GOD, MOTORCADE POTUS, ETC. COOL!! then something something abduction then something's going on here. money and getaway something and then the end. Boom!

I much prefer going bac
Venkat Ramanan
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alistair McLean's The Golden Gate has the normal ingredients of Mclean,

a daring plot and systematic execution.

Add his brand of dry Humour.

The Golden Gun has one novelty-the hero handles the situation literally with his hands hands and brains-no weapons!
An intersting Read.

Alistair McLeanAlistair McLean
Ratnakar Sadasyula
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Has to be one of McLean's top 5 novels, if not for anything just for the villain. In Peter Branson, McLean creates one of the most memorable bad guys, whom you would actually end up rooting for. Egoistic to the core, Branson's wry asides on the US President, their dependence on oil, make this novel worth a read. It also has an equally smart hero in Revson, who uses his brains to outwit Branson. Racy, enjoyable, this is one helluva book.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although an avid reader, this was my first Alistair MacLean book. I found the main plot was original but slighly unbelievable at times. The characters were numerous and at times I had to go back to see who was a 'goodie' and who was a 'baddie'. The main good guy, Revson, was most likeable and easy to warm to.

It was thoroughly enjoyable and the star of the book survived at the end, the bridge! I look forward to reading more of his books.
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Reread this recently and still loved it. The crime is audacious and daring and the odds for foiling it seem unsurmountable...

There are no huge or epic events, but it is strife with tension and keeps you glued to the story. I hate putting down this book, even when it is over. What else would expect from the writer of Guns from Naverone and Where Eagles Dare?
Elijah Shoemaker
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel started out causing me, the reader, to want for the antagonists to win, but shortly turned it around so that I wanted them to fail. There were multiple subplots transpiring simultaneously; Alistair managed to pull this off beautifully! I thought this was a great book for anyone young adult and up. My definite recommendations!
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. I thought that the beginning was amazing, the heist perfectly planned out. Then, the book started to get confusing. I knew what was happening but not sure why it was happening. I didn't understand the end either. The language is effective, and I really like Peter Branson's dialogue, but I thought that some of the adjectives were too complex.
Lea Carter
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Peter Branson has the brains and the means of carrying out this latest "job." Escaping at the end will be easy compared to holding the President hostage and bringing down the Golden Gate Bridge.
But he (literally) misses a single detail - and his plan is now in danger of being what comes crashing down.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the first Alistair MacLean book I read, and it helped establish him as my favourite author in the action/adventure genre.

I've re-read it once and enjoyed it a second time around, but can't imagine it would hold up again. A MacLean book is one I will pick up when I feel like a lazy, easy, but fun read.
Rishi Kinger
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book for people getting into MacLean books. Truly is a page turner right from the start.
The dialogue between the antagonist and the protagonist steals all the limelight away from the foundation/crux of the story.
Just brilliantly amazing , this one is a must read !
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My second Maclean book.

The entire book, I kept imagining about the bridge. I had no encyclopedias at home to check out photos, and it was only much later in the 80's that I saw the images in a NatGeo magazine.
Seema Dubey
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think I read all of MacLean in my halcyon days! Each one was like a magnet. I don't think the book jacket alone brings back the story, but I remember the book and that I enjoyed it so! perfect for the idyllic, warm summer months!
Shamila Abeysinghe
The author has a remarkable style of writing, in fact, it was the main reason that kept me going till the end. Apart from a few holes in the plot, a highly entertaining piece of literature that is even worth a movie adaptation.
Morgan McGuire
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the third MacLean book I've read in which a supporting character is named "van Effen". They aren't in a series, aren't the same his best friend named "van Effen" or something? Is he testing whether his "F-ing" editor will notice?
Lenny Husen
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 3.5 star book, rounded up because it's MacLean.

Liked the villain better than the hero, which was the author's intent, I think.
It is clear that MacLean loves San Franscisco and spent a lot of time there.
Mar 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
The president gets caught by terrorists on the Golden Gate bridge.

Great read.
Ronald Manley
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very Good.
Randy Grossman
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Reasonably good story...a world of difference in the of how "modern technology" of the 1960s was used to fool the bad guys.
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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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