It is 1940, and Mr Graham, a quietly-spoken engineer and arms expert, has just finished high-level talks with the Turkish government. And now somebody wants him dead.
The previous night, three shots were fired at him as he stepped into his hotel room, so, terrified, he escapes in secret on a passenger steamer from Istanbul. As he journeys home - alongside, among others, an entrancing French dancer, an unkempt trader, a mysterious German doctor, and a small, brutal man in a crumpled suit - he enters a nightmarish world where friend and foe are indistinguishable. Graham can try to run, but he may not be able to hide for much longer....
©1944 Eric Ambler; (P)2009 Audible Ltd
Eric Ambler is a name I know but haven't read. Authors go in and out of fashion and I reckon he's due for a. revival to judge from this well-crafted thriller, that reminds me of Graham Greene, but without all the religious agonizing.
This recording has an interesting and informative introduction that puts the author in context and gives the listener a bit of biograpahical background.
It's a pacy thriller with plenty of twists and turns as the lead character, Graham, an armaments engineer gets embroiled in Second World War political intrigues when on a visit to Turkey. The narrator is excellent and does some impressive switches among accents and languages.
A most enjoyable romp with humorous touches.
Eric Ambler was a renowned thriller writer in the 1930s and 1940s, but in my view his books have not aged well. There is simply too much meandering dialogue and not nearly enough thrills for the modern reader; at times, one longs for a man to jump through the door with a gun, or for a car chase. The plot is paper thin and relies too much on implausibly stupid villains; why they simply dont bump off our hero pronto is beyond me. Still, on the plus side, Ambler writes well, and he draws characters in a good and interesting way.
The narrator doesn't help either - what little tension there is in the narrative is dissipated by a too laid-back and relaxed style, though to be fair he does paint the characters quite well.
Unless you like this sort of old fashioned thriller, I would steer clear. There are plenty better, John Le Carre for instance read by the incomparable Michael Jayston.
This is a solid classic of war time British suspense writing. The characters are aluring the settings exotic, and the pace moves the story forward at a pace that keeps one interested. The narration is very good as well. I would recommend giving Journey Into Fear a chance. This was my first experience with Eric Ambler and I will look into another of his stories as a result of my experience with this one.
"A classic that continues to please."
Absolutely. On the basis of the audio alone, the narrator was excellent, one of the best I've heard. His characterizations were so solid and distinct that sometimes I imagined I was listening to an ensemble instead of one very talented actor.
Beginning in Turkey amid the turmoil of early WWII, the book wonderfully evokes regional tensions in exotic locales filled with mysterious characters. Think "Casablanca" on a boat.
"Casablanca on a boat."
A 1940 spy thriller from one of the inventors of the genre, Eric Ambler’s “Journey Into Fear” evokes regional tensions in the early days of WWII and focuses them on one person, a British engineer working in Turkey whom Germany wants dead. Mysterious characters, constant suspense, and an exhilarating ending make this classic well worth revisiting.
"Another solid book from Ambler"
Ambler writes solid books. Quick and fun to listen to. Highly recommend any of Ambler books.
"First - but won't be my last"
Not sure why it took so long, but this was my first Eric Ambler book. Great story with a perfect performance. The idea of an amateur getting the best of professionals was appealing and ambler does a great job developing characters and not tipping off the twists and turns.
Excellent thriller with great dialogue.
Takes you back to an intrigue filled World War II setting.
"An exciting period piece"
A friend read several Eric Ambler books and raved about them, with this being his favorite. The situation seems strange from the perspective of 2011, but my knowledge of wartime Europe is only from history class. The plot is unusual, but it all seemed plausible for the times. I did think it could have used a bit less dialogue, but it was far from boring for me. And the introduction helped my understanding. Not for someone who likes fast-paced detective stories.
"boring -- couldn't finish it"
I listened for two hours, but this was just plain boring and I couldn't finish it.
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