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Great storytelling; this is classic Maclean
on 25 March 2017
I've seen the film a few times over the years, but hadn't read the book until now. Alistair Maclean was a great storyteller and although it's some 60 years since this book was first published, it's a war story with a timeless quality and still feels fresh. Although Navarone is fictional, the story is based on actual events in the Aegean Sea area. A multinational group of saboteurs is tasked with capturing a German fortress.
The story has all the elements; tough gritty men on a mission, spies, betrayal, sea action. The characters feel like real WW2 men; a couple are totally ruthless, another is a little cowardly and another complains that the mission is doomed to fail. Many will be familiar with the story, but it's so well told it's worth reading even if you have seen the film. I had a real sense of tension throughout and was willing certain things to happen.