The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.
Twelve hundred British soldiers isolated on the small island of Kheros off the Turkish coast, waiting to die. Twelve hundred lives in jeopardy, lives that could be saved if only the guns could be silenced. The guns of Navarone, vigilant, savage and catastrophically accurate. Navarone itself, grim bastion of narrow straits manned by a mixed garrison of Germans and Italians, an apparently impregnable iron fortress. To Captain Keith Mallory, skilled saboteur, trained mountaineer, fell the task of leading the small party detailed to scale the vast, impossible precipice of Navarone and to blow up the guns. The Guns of Navarone is the story of that mission, the tale of a calculated risk taken in the time of war....
"Could hardly be bettered." (
"Its strength comes from the speed of its narrative, its vivid creation of tensions and its power in handling descriptions of action." ( Evening Standard)
"Action sustained at a high pitch. From the outset there is a feeling of suspense: a problem that can only be solved by action involving danger and demanding courage...an insistently gripping tale." ( Scotsman)
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Nice to see, painful to listen ?
Having seen the movie and listened to the abridged cassette (?), read by Patrick Allen, in my teens it was a pleasant surprise to find a full unabridged version available on Audible. The story, although written in 1957 is still a great roller coaster ride and thoroughly enjoyable. A great piece of WWII fiction.
Oliver is good at the straight forward narrative parts. He struggles with accents and it really shows here. For example, Andrea, pronounced as An-drey-ah to me and most greeks is pronounced as And-rea, much like your great aunt, and I found myselt constantly correcting him!
Some of the german and greek accents are cringeworthy and the New Zealander, Mallory, comes across as rather.... wet. Miller was equally painful and Brown tolerable.
Oliver also struggles with moving between the accents and there are a number of overly long pauses in the diagloue. and also one horrendous edit (or my download glitched) within the first couple of hours. I think the director/producers have something to answer to here, and they let MacLean down here.
I nearly put it down (and that would have been the first time for any audible book) because of the accents in the narration, but persevered to the end. It would appear that Oliver is going to be the voice for this round of releases on MacLean's stories and therefore works like, When Eight Bells Toll, could play more to his strengths, rather than accentuate (bad pun) his weaknesses.
An all time classic.