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Passage of Arms Paperback – 31 May 1992

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc; Reprint edition (31 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881848379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881848373
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,762,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric Ambler is often said to have invented the modern suspense novel. Beginning in 1936, he wrote a series of novels that introduced ordinary protagonists thrust into political intrigues they were ill prepared to deal with. These novels were touted for their realism, and Ambler established himself as a thriller writer of depth and originality. In the process he paved the way for such writers as John Le Carre, Len Deighton, and Robert Ludlum. He was awarded four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger from The Crime Writers Association, named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers Association, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. In addition to his novels, Ambler wrote a number of screenplays, including A Night to Remember and The Cruel Sea, which won him an Academy Award nomination.

Product Description

Review

'A taut and extraordinary piece of writing' - Sunday Times; 'Ambler may well be the best writer of suspense stories... He is the master craftsman' - Life --Life --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

ERIC AMBLER (1909-1998) is widely regarded as the greatest writer of suspense stories in the English language, and as the inventor of the modern political thriller. His first novel was published in 1936 and he rapidly established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality. Ambler was described by John Le Carre as 'the source on which we all draw'. He was also an Oscar-nominated Hollywood scriptwriter. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Eric Ambler's name is so often invoked that I had to find out what the fuss was about. The titles currently available offer a guarantee of a good read and it is now possible for me to pronounce on them on the basis of some familiarity. Ambler's plots generally follow the fortunes of a lone male, drawn into criminal enterprise or espionage and struggling to survive. Passage of Arms (the arms in question being those uncovered in a Communist guerilla cache in Malaya) is more complexly plotted than other works but there is no loss of tension. The Far Eastern setting also differentiates it from other works and adds to the atmosphere of strangeness. The strands of the plot are skilfully interwoven and the result is the most satisfying that I have read. Ambler creates credible characters and plausible scenarios in a real page-turner of a book.
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By Lonya TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
And by opposing end them.

In many respects, Eric Ambler was to the modern British suspense novel what Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett were to the American detective novel. Ambler transformed the suspense novel from a simplistic black and white world of perfect good guys versus nefarious bad guys into a far more realistic world where sometimes the difference between good and evil is not all that great. In a series of books written before World War II Ambler would typically take an unassuming, unsuspecting civilian and immerse him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre-war Europe. In those books the `hero' would find himself facing danger at the hands of the German or Italian villains.

Once the war ended Ambler's plots reflected a change in the world's political situation. The typical Ambler protagonist now found themselves at odd with other totalitarian forces such as the Soviet bloc such as in his "Judgment at Deltchev". In addition, Ambler broadened his geographic horizons and set some of his books in post-war Asia. In these instances the plot usually found itself centered on the intrigue that settled around the newly emerging nations of Asia as the old Europe ended its lingering colonial presence. "Passage at Arms" takes the reader on a "mystery tour" of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Written in 1959, "Passage at Arms" is a fine example of Ambler's work.

The unassuming naif in this case is Greg Nilsen. Greg is a quintessential American tourist circa 1960. He is a solidly middle class businessman, the owner of a small manufacturing concern, who has managed to save up enough time and money to go on a lengthy cruise (on a cargo ship) with his wife Dorothy.
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Format: Paperback
I must have first read Passage of Arms when published, having
always stated that "thrillers" did not interest me. I didn't
care who did it or why it was done. I ate my hat!
I felt the story was compelling and it was so well written that
it was worth reading sentences again.
Since passing it to a friend. Where is it now? I have often thought about the
book over the years.
One is transported to a different Continent and into the
feelings of an interesting person.
Eric Ambler is tops, Have others read this unforgetable book?
Five star.
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By Henk Beentje TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The plot (without spoilers): in Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia) in the 1950s an arms dump of communist guerillas is discovered by a plantation worker; he decides to make some money on it by offering it to a businessman. This person has an idea who he might make a profit from, but needs a 'patsy' to try and make the arms semi-legit; this is where an American tourist comes in the picture. In the picture, and of course, in trouble as well...

The author: Eric Ambler (1909-1998) was n English writer of books and screenplays (he got an Academy Award nomination for 'the Cruel Sea'). He wrote eighteen thrillers and 'spy novels' between 1936 (the Dark Frontier) and 1981 (the Care of Time).

My opinion: I like all of Ambler's books (well, except those "co-written with Charles Rodda") as they are intelligent, realistic, with a streak of irony and a knowledge of the underbelly of the World; plus a healthy respect for people from all walks of life (and races, for that matter). This one is particularly close to my heart because of the (almost sub-)story of the Indian clerk, a man with a dream; coupled to a very atmospheric and all too possible story, set in a great location of Malaysia and Indonesia in the mid-50s. Also, maybe, because the 'Captain Lukey' character is later reprised in Ambler's next book, The Light of Day, as that rogue Arthur Abdel Simpson - a kind of Flashman of the real world!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am told this is a very good book by the person it was bought for as it also was a very fair price and free P&P I will award 5 stars
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