Journey into Fear (Pan Classic Crime) Paperback – 9 Apr 1999
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'This stylish novel of intrigue is also a revealing portrait of fear changing into a desperate kind of courage.' -- The Times
From the Inside Flap
Returning to his hotel room after a late-night flirtation with a cabaret dancer at an Istanbul b(TM)ite, Graham is surprised by an intruder with a gun. What follows is a nightmare of intrigue for the English armaments engineer as he makes his way home aboard an Italian freighter. Among the passengers are a couple of Nazi assassins intent on preventing his returning to England with plans for a Turkish defense system, the seductive cabaret dancer and her manager husband, and a number of surprising allies. Thrilling, intense, and masterfully plotted, Journey Into Fear is a classic suspense tale from one of the founders of the genre. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The second is that the novel is set in 1940 and gives the reader a flavour of how life was at that time.
Having recently re-read The Mask of Dimitrios, I thought I'd take a little saunter through some of his other books, recently republished by Penguin Modern Classics, delightfully available again.
Ambler, a writer of Left sensibilities, is wonderfully free of the bedrock of Anti-Semitism which rumbled under some other writing of the time. There was a general Zeitgeist of unconscious, received, racism, until the horrific events of Holocaust began to make some question their inherent attitudes. This is not to say that those on the left were of necessity free from this, just that Ambler is clearer about ascribing venality, brutality and shadiness to individuals, rather than to races.
He's not a writer who hangs around on description, but one who is economical and taut, whilst, it seems, fairly effortlessly describing what the reader needs to believe place, time, idea, narrative, character and relationship.
This particular book once again pits someone who is innocent of perfidy and derring-do, into the heart of a world where murder is not just local, individual, but is swept up in the fates of nations.
Graham is an engineer. His speciality in high powered long range guns, and he is in Turkey helping development of missiles in the early stages of the Second World War. Turkey at this point had neutrality, though there were certainly factions wishing for closer association with the Allied Powers.
On the eve of his departure back to Britain, someone tries to kill the rather conventional, peaceable Graham.Read more ›
Mr. Ambler has always had this problem. As Alfred Hitchcock noted in his introduction to Intrigue (an omnibus volume containing Journey into Fear, A Coffin for Dimitrios, Cause for Alarm and Background to Danger), "Perhaps this was the volume that brought Mr. Ambler to the attention of the public that make best-sellers. They had been singularly inattentive until its appearance -- I suppose only God knows why." He goes on to say, "They had not even heeded the critics, who had said, from the very first, that Mr. Ambler had given new life and fresh viewpoint to the art of the spy novel -- an art supposedly threadbare and certainly cliché-infested."
So what's new and different about Eric Ambler writing? His heroes are ordinary people with whom almost any reader can identify, which puts you in the middle of a turmoil of emotions. His bad guys are characteristic of those who did the type of dirty deeds described in the book. His angels on the sidelines are equally realistic to the historical context. The backgrounds, histories and plot lines are finely nuanced into the actual evolution of the areas and events described during that time. In a way, these books are like historical fiction, except they describe deceit and betrayal rather than love and affection. From a distance of over 60 years, we read these books today as a way to step back into the darkest days of the past and relive them vividly. You can almost see and feel a dark hand raised to strike you in the back as you read one of his book's later pages.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up Ambler's Mask of Dimitiros after seeing a blurb in which John LeCarre praised the author. Read morePublished 13 days ago by glider
Slightly entertaining but insufferably slow. Clumsy stereotyping of nationalities. A literary cluedo but with fewer scenes and less action. Nice writing style but uninspiring plot.Published 3 months ago by MRM London
Journey Into Fear is a classic spy novel taking place during the early stages of the Second World War. Read morePublished 3 months ago by CFB London
Fabulous, gripping read. I wish I'd heard of this author before. A bit like Graham Greene at his entertainment best, but without all the mushy Catholicism. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nom de plume
A reasonable enough story and it captures the era well. There is the occasional jarring sentence, normally referencing a nationality, that would struggle through the censor these... Read morePublished 5 months ago by tpryan
Excellent spy novel. I was fearful for the main character throughout. Lots of unexpected twists and turns I didn't want to finish reading such an entertaining novel. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Roz
A very good read.One of my favourite authors.Maybe I'm biased ! !Published 13 months ago by John Fagan