Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Report #87 - Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean

Book 11 of 52
Page count - 254

After the revalations from Command and Control, I thought I'd give Alistair MacLean one more try. 

I didn't doubt the plot; the operations of the fictional US Navy nuclear submarine Dolphin, the plausibility of Dirft Ice Station Zebra and the downing of a satellite payload.  According to Wikipedia many very similar events actually took place, so the book was definitely a pretty accurate description of the times. (Go HERE to read about the actual events.)

I just found the writing to be stiff and tiring to read.  I found myself putting the book down for days at a time and dreading picking it up again. The narrarator, Dr. Carpenter came off as incredibly arrogant and I simply did not like him.  The Commander of the Sub, Swanson, however was great; I kept seeing Scott Glenn, the sub commander in the movie, The Hunt for Red October, and that pleased me very much.
Scott Glenn - The Hunt for Red October

Overall, I found the book tedious.  Probably, to a person living in 2014, nothing here is new.  When this was published, 1963, it would have been as earth shattering as some of Tom Clancy's novels were in the 80's.

However, I believe, that if a book is well written it will stand the test of time.  Unfortunately, for me, MacLean's writing does nothing for me.

I have some other of his titles on my bookshelf, I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon.


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