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Journey into Fear (Pan Classic Crime) Paperback – 9 Apr 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, 9 Apr 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (9 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330372459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330372459
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,071,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I recently asked a colleague if he could recommend any lunchtime reading - something not too heavy, exciting, and with a dash of intelligence thrown in to stimulate my ageing brain cells. "Ambler's your man," he replied and lent me a battered old seventies paperback copy of 'Journey into Fear'. Wow! What a choice. This is top edge-of-the-seat stuff, Graham Greene (who admired Ambler) pared down to a pacy plot and without all the Catholic angst gubbins that spoils GG for me. To the critic here who says it is "old-fashioned" because it's pre-mobile phone, email, internet and so on I say 'Yah boo sucks', you won't find any of those things in Shakespeare either and what we get with him is none the worse for it. Ambler deserves his elevation into Penguin Modern Classics because, first and foremost, he's a great writer who knows how to entertain. Go on - become an Ambler gambler and see if you can spot the villains in this great title. You'll be reading the rest of his books soon after, believe me.
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By A Customer on 4 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book offers two aspects for the reader. The first is a taut thriller which keeps the reader glued to the page and also has the reader speculating the real identity of the characters. The story is set on an Italian steamship were the hero is fleeing Istanbul knowing his life is in danger. What makes this all so realistic is that the hero, Graham, is an innocent engineer caught up in espionage and after a failed attempt on his life he finds himself alone on the steamship with the assassin. Graham, an ordinary man trying to survive in a world he does not understand, and Ambler being a first class writer of thrillers, makes this novel so compelling.
The second is that the novel is set in 1940 and gives the reader a flavour of how life was at that time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Eric Ambler represents the art of writing a good, taut, spy thriller, which also instructs beautifully about time, place, politics and character, extremely well.

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.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 July 2004
Format: Paperback
To read or not to read the great spy novels of Eric Ambler? That is the question most people ignore because they are not familiar with Mr. Ambler and his particularly talent.
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.
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