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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. From the acclaimed master of action and suspense. The all time classic. Millions of pounds in gold bullion are being pirated in the Irish Sea. Investigations by the British Secret Service, and a sixth sense, have bought Philip Calvert to a bleak, lonely bay in the Western Highlands.

But the sleepy atmosphere of Torbay is deceptive. The place is the focal point of many myste From the acclaimed master of action and suspense. The place is the focal point of many mysterious disappearances. Even the unimaginative Highland Police Sergeant seems to be acting a part. But why? This story is Alistair MacLean at his enthralling best. It has all the edge-of-the-seat suspense, and dry humour that millions of readers have devoured for years.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by HarperCollins first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about When Eight Bells Toll , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about When Eight Bells Toll.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of When Eight Bells Toll. My first book of the year and my second book by Alistair MacLean. I loved this just as much as his other book that I read. Shelves: mystery , adventure , espionage , thriller , action , beach-read. Couldn't get enough of the British suspense novelists. Then I got older.

My perspective and tastes changed and I stopped reading them. Eventually I got rid of the books and ,in many respects, forgot about them. The asking price was a staggering 25 cents. I opened the book and read that terrific first page - which I hadn't fogotten. I plunked down the quarter and read the book in a matter of a few hours. It's a fast read, but it's an engrossing read.

Much to my surprise the novel is as good as I remember it. That doesn't happen very often. I like this book. Yes it is dated. Technology, the roles of men and women, ect.

You have to read it as a period piece and move on. Just sit back and enjoy the roller-coaster ride that is When Eight Bells Toll. To use a rather dated expression this is a real crackerjack adventure novel.

Great fun. I'm going to have to look for a few more of MacLean's novels. View all 4 comments. May 06, Dennis Wales rated it really liked it.

What a good story! From the first page there is action that only stops long enough to make one hold his breath. And besides, how refreshing to read a rugged spy novel without any profanity! I had forgotten that they exist. I'll have to read a few more from MacLean. View 1 comment. Jun 26, Larry Loftis rated it it was amazing. And that's a shame because it is on the level of "Where Eagles Dare. Aside from that, this work is flawless. MacLean Outstanding! MacLean is the master of pace, reversals, and mystery, and "When Eight Bells Toll" doesn't disappoint.

Just when you think you have it figured out, you don't. His prose is splendid as well, and he occasionally spices a sentence or two with beautiful alliteration.

On top of that, he accomplishes what most writers struggle with: a killer opening and ending. Nov 18, Soumik Ghosh rated it really liked it. My friends sometimes wonder how I know about hollow point and narrow bullets, and the first page of this book is the cause.

It starts with an vivid, but accurate description of the Peacemaker Colt and what effects it should have when it's trained on a man. The pace picks up from there and doesn't stop till the end. I was expecting what I call the "MacLean effect" to be diminished since I was re-reading this book, and I am not a teenager any more. Turns out that the old man's still got it. This ti My friends sometimes wonder how I know about hollow point and narrow bullets, and the first page of this book is the cause.

This timeless, fast-paced, modern-day pirates on the sea action-thriller is filled with memorable characters. Still not as good as Night Without End or Guns of Navarone, but good enough to satisfy your action-thriller craving. This is an engaging and solid espionage novel. It is a little dated now but still remains an action packed read.

I really enjoyed Calvert's sense of humour and there were some very amusing quips. A well presented cast of characters, good dialogue and some wonderful and fast paced action scenes. A rollicking good yarn. Jun 12, G. Burrow rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction.

I remember liking the first scene. It had a Colt. And the dry, understated prose was funny--for a while. Then I wanted to shrug my shoulders and be free of it. MacLean should have tried short stories. He's easier to stomach in small doses.


When Eight Bells Toll

Watch the video. Title: When Eight Bells Toll Following a triple professional hit a U. He finds a city rife with drugs and a police force unable or unwilling to do


When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean (1966)

Yesterday I learned something: there is a certain kind of movie that is best seen from the middle, which is the way that fate and the opening of several other films on the same day dictated that I see "When Eight Bells Toll," the newest and possibly the silliest action melodrama yet written by Alistair MacLean, the author of "The Guns of Navarone" and "Where Eagles Dare. By entering such a film in the middle, one is immediately relieved of a number of burdens. The plot makes no sense whatsoever, and thus it is impossible to identify with anyone in particular. Like the frontier wife who, according to Abraham Lincoln, came out of her cabin one day to find her husband in mortal combat with a bear, we carry impartiality to its outer limits. We urge: "Go it, man. Go it, bear. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of staying over to see the film from the beginning.


' When Eight Bells, Toll,' Melodrama by MacLean:Anthony Hopkins Stars in Adventure Tale

It marked MacLean's return after a three-year gap, following the publication of Ice Station Zebra , during which time he had run several restaurants. When Eight Bells Toll combines the genres of spy novel and detective novel. MacLean calls on his own Scottish background to authentically portray the rugged weather, people and terrain of western Scotland. Five cargo ships have been hijacked in the Irish Sea ; ships carrying vast quantities of precious stones and gold bullion.


Only with The Last Frontier did he branch out into the thriller genre which was to be a central strand of all his later work. The first-person narrator is Philip Calvert, allegedly the best man in the British Secret Service, and he is on the track of a ruthless gang who are hijacking ships laden with gold or jewels off the British coast. Their trail has led him to the wild seas off the western isles of Scotland and it is here that the nailbiting sequence of events unfolds. Since each chapter is headed with precise times we know the action starts at dusk on Monday and ends at dawn on Friday. The opening paragraph seizes you and — whoosh! Sense of humour Slightly surprising — the hero keeps up a steady patter of jokes, one-liners and self-deprecating asides which give a semblance of plausibility to his character.

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