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From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted December 9, 2012
I've been reading a lot of Alan Furst lately, and the blurbs kept comparing him to some Eric Ambler guy, so I thought I'd give the Ambler guy a try--especially as I was becoming a bit weary of Furst. This novel demonstrates by contrast just why Furst is so wearying--his protagonists are swept from danger to danger, plot to plot, and supporting character to supporting character, but the psychological effects of all this adventure is left mostly to our imaginations, which we hardly have time to engage before we're swept away on another episode. What Ambler does in this novel, by contrast, is just put a handful of characters on a boat and lets them slowly interact through a single international "event." He leads us through the painfully evolution of the protagonist from naïveté to hardened resolve. The novel actually resolves--something which Furst's novels often don't do. Maybe Furst's novels are more "realistic" for their lack of resolution, but it's rather satisfying to read a novel that has a well defined arc.
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Posted July 1, 2002
This novel had many great parts. The story focued around an engineer who is in danger of being killed. His adventures take him from a train to a boat where all is supposed to be safe. However there is a twist. The story finishes with a bang and should be read. The movie is good as well.
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