Customer Reviews for

The Great Train Robbery

Average Rating 4.5
( 57 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Edward Pierce is a man perfectly right for Victorian E

    Edward Pierce is a man perfectly right for Victorian England. He's really clever but he puts his wits to work at committing crimes. In this time period, railways are relatively new so he targets a London bank's regular shipments of gold bullion to Paris. He plans and arranges a heist that will give him lots wealth for the rest of his days.
    Pierce is the surprisingly engaging villain and in this book, the cast of characters surrounding him really come alive. The dialogue in the novel is written in the Victorian dialect. The content of historical and cultural detail add emphasis to the novel, but it's the characters that really make this story such a joy to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    The Great Train Robbery By: Michael Chrichton Michael Chrichto

    The Great Train Robbery
    By: Michael Chrichton


    Michael Chrichton's book The Great Train Robbery left an astounding effect on me in London, England in 1855. Chrichton goes in depth on what it was like and describes the different locations mentioned in the book. He does a great job in explaining and mentioning historical contexts of factual events and adding in his own characters thoughts and feelings to the mix. His style of writing is very unique and not many authors would be able to accomplish a great story like he has. He also adds in the backdrop or setting which is the Crimean war. The Crimean plays a strong and very interesting role as to of why the London train is shipping its bullion out to Britain. I would recommend the Great Train Robbery to all who like to read heist books with historical backgrounds in the mix. Chrichton does a great job and would have you until the very end. He does just a fantastic job and must be a must read to all that have not read the book.

    Chrichton writes his story around his main character, Edward Pierce, who is a wealthy bureaucrat with wealthy taste that decides he wants to rob a bullion of gold locked away on a moving train. He cannot do the job alone without a couple accomplices to aid him in his scheme and finds himself in the right position to carry out the plan. Though, Pierce runs into some complications when he has to find four keys the safe (the bullion is in) needs to be opened with. He eventually finds them and imprints the keys with wax. Now all he would have to do is carry out his plan, but there are more complications to arise. An example would be missing an extra pair of clothing that could expose oneself to suspicious glances from people who know them. Another, how to get back and forth from a train station without getting caught breaking and entering. Even though Edward and his crew face some very tough complications and flaws in their plan, they carry on. Will they succeed in their "Great Train Robbery"? Or will they fail? The answers are in Michael Chrichton's, Great Train Robbery, that will blow your eardrums off at the end of its whistle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    This is a great read and I would recommend it to everybody. Mich

    This is a great read and I would recommend it to everybody. Michael Crichton writes very good pieces of literature and this is a great one. This novel is not only extremely engaging by describing the daring ploy of a criminal's attempt to steal $12,000 in gold, but it also provides deeper insight into life and society in Victorian times. Crichton's use of the Victorian dialect in the dialogue adds to the  novel and makes the story more engaging. He uses current events of that time period to add to the book, as well. The gold shipments to Crimea and the effect of the French Revolution give more detail on this time period and give better understanding to the reader.




    This book, although written in a Victorian dialect, I would recommend to everyone. The dialogue may be difficult to understand at times, but can be deciphered by the context of what is being said. This is a very good book, because it teaches about the Victorian era by using a significant and page turning story about a crime. This allows for a great read and a very informative and enlightening in knowledge about the history of Europe by adding in details about current events during the Victorian era mentioned in the last paragraph.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Loved it :)

    Crichton is my favorite author and you wouldn't expect that from a sixteen year old girl like me! I've read a few other Crichton books but this one is probably the most unique!
    I've read:
    Micro
    Jurassic Park
    Sphere
    Pirate Latitudes
    The Great Train Robbery

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Awesome!

    On the edge if my set the whole time! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Half documentary and half historical fiction

    Michael Crichton's version of the sensational Great Train Robbery of 1855 was not straight-up historical fiction like I expected, but I still enjoyed it. The style swings back and forth between something like a documentary (featuring a lot of background on Victorian England and content from some of the original court documents) and fictionalized accounts of the conversations and actions surrounding the robbery (including a completely fabricated ending). I have seen this attempted in another book with a very uneven effect, but Crichton somehow pulled it off admirably...probably because conversations and action were consistently fictionalized and background info was consistently documentary in style.

    The protagonist is a charming, well-educated gentleman who deftly navigates both high society and the criminal underworld. His daring and ingenuity are impressive as he overcomes every obstacle between himself and the shipment of gold on its way from France to England. His reason for the heist: "I wanted the money."

    Overall: this was a great caper story, and as always Michael Crichton throws in lots of historical goodies...I just wish he hadn't felt the need to completely change how the story ended (and a number of other facts).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    FIGHTING ARENA

    With weapons. Open 6:00 am-11:00 pm.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Kitten

    What is the rp about

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    Very good.

    I liked the bit about premature burial and how they took steps to combat it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Great Train Robbery is a disappointment compared to other Mi

    The Great Train Robbery is a disappointment compared to other Michael Crichton works. It boasts CONSTANT exposition while trying to tell it's own short-lived story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Amazing.

    When I first picked this book up, I didn't know what to expect. Before this, I had never read a historic novel. Personally, I hate history. And then I heard that the language in the novel was more Old Style. But once I started reading it, I literally could not put it down. Absolutely loved it!!

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    The Great Train Robbery

    The Great Train Robbery written by Michael Crichton - review written by Brandon McKay<BR/><BR/> Extreme wealth and appalling poverty live side by side in Victorian London and Edward Pierce easily floats in and out of both worlds. Rich, smart, and handsome, he charms some of the noblest citizens, such as Edgar Trent one of the owners of a railroad. He charms them even as he plots the biggest, daring, and ingenious crime of his time, his century, some says ever, the theft of a fortune in gold.<BR/> But even Pierce could not predict the consequences of an extraordinary robbery that targets the pride of all of England's industrial era: The Steam Engine. Based on remarkable fact, and brought alive with gripping suspense, and surprise, Michael Crichton weaves this story with a set of ingenious characters. Such as clean Willie Williams, a cleansweep that has become England's finest snakesman or a person used to get into small spaces. Without Willie, Edward Pierce would have had no chance at the robbery. Or Barlow, the shady cabby who helps Pierce at whatever job is at hand. But even the noblest characters Pierce uses to his advantage, such as Henry Fowler, The train line owner, of the same train that Pierce robbed, or Edgar Trent who he uses through dog fighting, so even the noblest have their criminal hobbies. And finally Agar the sidekick who is not to be totally trusted as it seems.<BR/> Michael Crichton once again brings us a story full of suspense and surprise, in one of his best works of art. A New York Times Bestseller and "A GORGEOUS Read" as said by the Boston Globe. This book should be in everyone¿s library. If you read and like this book, you should also try Next, Prey, and State of Fear, all written by the same author (Michael Crichton).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2007

    A pleasure to read

    Edward Pierce is a gentleman rogue, a man perfectly suited to Queen Victoria's England. He's as clever as Sherlock Holmes, but he puts his wits to work at committing crimes instead of solving them. In this time and place where railway travel is relatively new, he targets a London bank's regular shipments of gold bullion - by rail, and by sea - to Paris, and sets about planning and arranging a heist that will give him fabulous wealth for the rest of his days. Michael Crichton's technothrillers, as much as I enjoy them, often suffer from wooden characters. This book most definitely does not. Pierce, the surprisingly (sometimes infuriatingly) engaging hero/villian, is beautifully written and the cast of characters surrounding him comes colorfully alive, even for those who play relatively minor roles. The dialog written in dialect and the wealth of historical and cultural detail add texture, and the plot works well but it's the characters that make this story such a pleasure to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    The Great Train Robbery

    Michael Crichton¿s The Great Train Robbery will take you to the underground world of betrayal and surviving as you witness, first-hand, the most intriguing money hoist in history. You will travel with Edward Pierce, the mastermind, and discover how he puts together specialists to complete the hoist. In the shaggy town of London, a train always leaves at the same time carrying two safes loaded with about two million dollars worth of gold. Legend has it that these safes are inpenetrateble, but of course, it never ends to compel criminals all over the city. One of those criminals is Edward Pierce. A criminal legend, he comes out of jail and plans this crime from the ground up. He goes around the city, offering his old partners in crime a portion of the money if they accept. The crew he chooses includes Robert Agar, the locksmith; Clean Willy Williams, the snakesman (a little kid who can squeeze into really tight spaces); Barlow, a big man who can carry a lot of weight; and Miss Miriam, who helps in setting up distractions. It takes him six years to plan the whole crime, from the train schedules to the drop-off points to the breaking of the safes. He has one problem though: there are two locks on each safe, and there are two safes, which means four keys to find. When he indirectly asks Fowler, the Bank¿s general manager, about them, he learns that they were split up into three locations: two in the train office, one with Mr. Trent, the bank¿s president, and one with Fowler. You will witness his creative ways he uses to obtain the keys, and his plot to rob the train. The main character in this novel, Edward Pierce, is very well rounded, with plenty of sides to him. He can instantly change from friend to foe. One day he might have a drink with you, and another day he might send his mafia at you to kill you. The other characters are flat. Their personalities remain hidden throughout the story, barely any feelings depicted. The overall setting of the novel contributes to the behavior of the characters. For example, if the police are chasing you all the time, and everybody you know might be an accomplice for them, you are most likely going to watch your back all the time, trusting no one. And that is what Edward Pierce did. When Clean Willy turns bad on him, he immediately sends over Barlow to end his small misery. Even though he had experience in crime, his plot ran into its share of problems, ranging from the local authority to treachery from his accomplices. Michael Crichton does it again, leaving you literally not being able to put the book down. Even though an excessive amount of information on Victorian society was written, it heightened the story by recreating that society in your head, so that every move and thought that the characters commit to has a meaning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    the great train robbery

    ¿A work of intelligence and craftsmanship¿ Written with grace and wit.¿ This quote comes from the Los Angeles Times. I wouldn¿t go that far but the book had its ups and downs. Like most books it doesn¿t start out slow it gets right into the mix of things. After it starts the pace doesn¿t change much it stays at about the same throughout the whole book. It starts out explaining the preparations for the heist telling who is going to do what and when/how they are going to do it. They run it to some conflicts with these preparations. They need four keys to get into the safe they are going to rob. They fix this by finding out who has the keys and where they keep their key. After they find this out they need a good snake man (a guy that can fit into small places and maneuver very quickly without being noticed) the only good one they know of is in jail so they have to get him out. After successfully doing this they snag 2 of the keys from the train station that was very well protected. Then they got another key from the bank owner that kept his key in his wine cellar in his basement. Getting this key took a lot of planning and sneaking but they some how pull it off. The fourth key is probably the easiest because the guy in charge of things had a key himself this made it a little easier. After they had all of the keys they had to plan a time and date for the grand faunally. They ran into some problems after the keys and all of the plans were finished. The day before they had planned to have the heist there was a good amount of rare wine on the train and it was stolen so this made the security on the train more tight. So they had to change their plans the day before they were gonna do the pull. These plans consisted of a coffin a man in the coffin and a crying lady. As the book winded down it left you waiting for more. I liked how Crichton told about the next chapter in the previous one. It made the book better but it got kind of boring and almost made me tired of it. But it was worth it in the end and it actually helped a lot with understanding what was going on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2002

    Classic example of a great caper novel

    This book suprised me by the way it's just like the recent movie, 'Ocean's Eleven.' Anyway, it's a great book about a clever criminal Edward Pierce who hires a few rag-tag accomplices to aid him his amazing robbery on a London train. He keeps you intrested in the book by making the chapters short and easy to read as well. Overall, this book was pretty good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2002

    Pure genius

    Thrilling, puzzling, shocking. . . this book has got it all. While not Crichton's best work, it hits near the mark.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2000

    Crichton out did himself!!

    At first appearances The Great Train Robbery looks like any other crime novel. Yet, once you have read the first couple of chapters you understand this book is like none other. There is mystery and intrigue from page one. This book takes you on a world wind train robbery, and unlike other crime novels this books has you pulling for the bad guy. The book holds your attention from the first couple of pages and never lets it go. This book also takes you on every part if the train robbing planning. No little step of the planning is left out and every little detail is included. This book is a must buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    THE BEST!

    A perfect narration of a crime. However, Crichton lays stress on the criminal's perspective of the crime rather than making a mere detective story out of it. And taking us back by a century and a half into the lives of the masterminds behind the robbery... A real thriller!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    must read

    this story was put together so well that i had to come on the web to see if it were true or not.page turner.

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