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Alistair MacLean
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Maut Mengintai di Selat Sunda

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,953 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
February, 1942: Singapore lies burning and shattered, defenceless before the conquering hordes of the Japanese Army, as the last boat slips out of the harbour into the South China Sea. On board are a desperate group of people, each with a secret to guard, each willing to kill to keep that secret safe. Who or what is the dissolute Englishman, Farnholme? The elegant Dutch pl ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 1979 by Apollo (first published 1958)
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Cphe
Quite enjoyed this part sea faring adventure set during the second world war. A hand full of "survivors" battle insurmountable odds against the might of the Japanese when fleeing the fall of Singapore.

I enjoyed trying to second guess the motives of many of the characters and was never quite sure who might very well turn out to be the "bad guy". The author did a excellent job of keeping the tension ratcheted throughout.

My only negatives that I felt detracted from a rollicking good yarn were the
...more
Feliks
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
Its interesting to investigate MacLean's early novels to see the original formulation of all the hackneyed narrative conventions and action-cliches that he came to rely on later in his career. That's the main thing I got out of this novel.

MacLean is definitely one of the oddest of the successful thriller writers to come out of WWII. Some of his works ('Guns of Navarone') have themes latent within them which can be raised to greatness. Most of his novels are simply workmanlike, filled technically
...more
Bill
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, adventure
An Alistair MacLean story I'd not read previously. Excellent, MacLean at his very best. From the first moment, it was a tense, thrilling adventure; a group of British men and women escaping from Singapore during WWII in the face of the Japanese invasion. Going from threat to threat, displaying understated heroism and growth, the characters are interesting and well-presented. I liked the surprises and twists and ultimately the whole story. Excellent.
Philip
Interesting author, MacLean. He began his career with three WWII novels, the classics HMS Ulysses and Guns of Navarrone, along with the lesser known South By Java Head. He then switched gears and produced a series of six contemporary (at their time) novels using the sardonic, first person tough-guy style for which he is perhaps best remembered (for better or worse). From there, it was back to the third person for his next four books, all relative classics including the excellent Ice Station Zebr ...more
Madhulika Liddle
On the night of February 14, 1942, Singapore has been bombed so thoroughly by the Japanese that little survives. More importantly, little in the way of transport out of Singapore—and transport is what Brigadier Farnholme urgently needs, because after many months of trying, Farnholme has finally managed to obtain the detailed plans for the Japanese invasion of Northern Australia. The plans are all encoded, of course, and the only man who can break the code lives across the world, in London. Farnh ...more
Quoopisk
Feb 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because a MacLean fan of my acquaintance insisted that the literary hell I was put through by "Where Eagles Dare" was a fluke, and that his other books were better. Big mistake. This one is worse.

MacLean has an infuriating habit of writing military commanders who perpetually endanger their soldiers, their missions, and other innocents through an inexplicable refusal to kill enemy combatants. In "Where Eagles Dare," the supposedly heroic mission leader makes a ridiculous and irr
...more
Aravind
This story of action, suspense and survival by the master of the genre didn't disappoint me, for most part, incomprehensible nautical terms and a seemingly hurried ending apart...
John Marsh
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony
Although I've seen the films made from several of Maclean's books, I don't think I'd ever read anything by him until this one. Published in 1958, it very much feels like an adventure thriller of its era. The book opens in Singapore as Japanese troops are about to overrun it in 1942. We quickly meet a variety of people who've made their way to the docks, seeking to escape -- alas, every ship has sailed.

Among the group are an elderly Brigadier who is quickly revealed to be carrying secret plans vi
...more
Imran  Ahmed
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A standard MacLean novel with the usual twists and turns in the plot. Not one of MacLean's best readable enough.

The book tempted me because it was set in Singapore during the period of the Japanese invasion in World War Two. I believed it might give some flavor of Singapore and Southeast Asia during the period. Well, it didn't because the plot was very much a MacLean plot with action, intrigue and a little bit of history thrown in for good measure.

Recommended for MacLean fans or if you've noth
...more
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26970
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...
“Foster always said that education was very important, but that it didn't really matter, because intelligence was more important than that, and that even intelligence didn't count for so much, that wisdom was far more important still. He said he had no idea in the world whether you had education or intelligence or wisdom and that it couldn't matter less, a blind man could see that you had a good heart, and the good heart was all that mattered in this world.” 4 likes
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