Listen free for 30 days

Where Eagles Dare

Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.

One winter night, seven men and a woman are parachuted onto a mountainside in wartime Germany. Their objective: an apparently inaccessible castle, headquarters of the Gestapo. Their mission: to rescue a crashed American general before the Nazi interrogators can force him to reveal secret D-day plans.

©2017 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2017 Alistair MacLean

Critic reviews

"A real humdinger. The best MacLean." ( Daily Mirror)
"There is a splendid audacity about Where Eagles Dare, in which a handful of British agents invade an 'impenetrable' Gestapo command post...MacLean offers a real dazzler of a thriller, with vivid action, fine set pieces of suspense and a virtuoso display of startling plot twists." ( The New York Times)
What members say
Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story, not dealt justice

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Possibly not. I love the story, it is a classic, and possibly Maclean's best work... but.. it is only a good listen if the narrator can recreate this. The producer/editors should also take some of the blame to. This recording is not upto the standard of the 40 year old cassette version!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Oliver?

Anyone! (David Rintoul, Toby Longworth, Matt Addis, but as they are soooo good and therefore possibly to expensive to employ).. how about Colin Mace who read 'Nomad' so well ? ...actually that is a bit unfair, but Oliver struggles much like with 'The Guns of Navarone' with accents. The German ones all sound the same and like a cliched parody more akin to the BBC's 'Allo, Allo!', and the female voice of Mary, nearly made my ears bleed. The american accent for Schaffer is identical to Dusty Miller in Guns of Navarone, the germans the same, and I can only thank god that there were no greeks in this story. He seems to only be able to recreate one version of an accent. His fluency is in question as well, as he struggles to turning that into a coherent and not disjointed experience (lots of unnecessary pauses, or bad edits?). The problem here is that this is repeated from previous books, and although I believe he delivers this one slightly better, it is still a long way off from good, let alone perfect.I originally listened to this on cassette read by Martin Jarvis...the cassette, even in it's 40 year, mangled state is better!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I nearly cried in places when the accents assaulted my ears!

Any additional comments?

Oliver's performance in Fear is the Key, was a lot better (less accents), so I will be looking at 'When Eight Bells Toll' in the future, but will be weary of acquiring other Maclean works, that he reads. It is a real shame as I like Maclean's work, but it is only good if delivered to the same standard.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D
  • 01-08-17

Not quite right

Story is great but not sure the narrator got the tone right for me. Too much tongue in cheek humour which didn't jump out to me when I read the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Twists and Turns and Turns and Twists - A Classic

You have seen the film (more than once?) and probably read the book, now listen to it!

I thought it would feel like I had been listening for years, but no, the hours slipped by and when the end came; I thought “yep, still a very good story, no matter how many times I have seen/read it”.

It is a rightly described as a classic, with all the twists and turns you could want, almost to the last page.

The characters might be a bit light in the ‘backstory’ area, but that does not matter. Most of the story takes place over one day anyway and moves at a good pace.

The performance is good, not brilliant. There seemed to be little vocal difference across the characters, but for me that was fine, as it allowed me to ‘overlay’ the tones of Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood et al.

But I do have a dilemma – Ice Station Zebra or Puppet On A Chain :)

So if you like a good paced, action story – give this a try, I bet you will not be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

It’s almost always true that the book is better than the movie. Here it is not (and the only other example I can think of is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).

The two main characters seem to be a comedy double act and, despite being elite spies, don’t actually want to kill anyone. What could be a superb (and clever) war story seems so flat and silly.

Apparently Alastair McLean also wrote the screenplay. So glad he improved upon the story for that version.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent writing. Reasonable reading.

I’ve loved this book since I was 11 years old, and this unabridged and almost entirely original text is outstanding. MacLean always had a genius skill with pacing, and this book was pretty much his peak.

I didn’t really get on with the narrator though. I’m no way is he a bad actor, but for me was a little miscast. His style of reading, kind of a bit stop start with a very (perhaps too) subtle vocal range about the punchy parts seemed oddly out of place. For me, it felt ever so slightly that he was reading a book - but I *want* it to feel as though he’s telling a *story*. I personally would have enjoyed it more with stinger inflections and a little more variety.
All in all, I liked it, but felt I could have loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance of one of my favourite stories.

Great action story, very well read. Clear, good character voices, good pace. Would recommend highly

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent wartime espionage thriller

Major Smith and his team go into Germany to find out who are the top German spies working in Britain.
Excellent wartime thriller, well narrated by Jonathan Oliver



  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A spiffing ww2 adventure

Originally watched the film, (many times)! Thought I’d better read, (hear), the original. Written in Maclean’s usual style with excitement, unbelievable twists and dry humour, in just about the right amounts.
(There is less personal violence in the written version, which works well).
Jonathon Oliver’s delivery is believable, riveting and characterful. Can’t recommend it enough.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A classic... but long

As with other works by this author the full book is long and the plot at times difficult to follow. The last few chapters are exciting. Parts of the book however took some effort to keep going. The performance by the reader was exceptional.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Movie & Book

At 50 yrs old, Im late listening to this book, having watched the movie countless times. But I was rather pleased to discover the movie followed the book so very closely.
In fact I think the changes the movie made helped make the movie a little better; a rare thing indeed!
Overall an enjoyable book and a great story. I’d recommend trying it.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jack M.
  • Jack M.
  • 29-10-18

Don't Bother

American accents are terrible. Makes you cringe. Reading is slow. Very campy, like 1960s TV.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for OldFed
  • OldFed
  • 04-12-17

Great Book, Terrible Performance

This is one of my all-time favorite thrillers. But, in this case, a great book is all but ruined by a truly terrible narrator. His accent is atrocious. He makes Smith and Wyatt-Turner, characters of brilliance and sophistication, sound like uneducated cockneys, who scream constantly.

Please! Do it over, and get Simon Vance, Frank Muller or Micheal Pritchard to do the reading.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for kevo
  • kevo
  • 12-05-18

if u liked the movie, this is even better!

this book is great!, at this time iv listened to it at least 5 times, the writing style is good with a lot of humor hidden here and there, it keeps you on the edge of your seat (even tho your listing to a book) the voice acting is awesome as well, i had seen the movie and herd about the book so i thought id give it a chance, i haven't regretted that decision one bit.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for William S.
  • William S.
  • 09-04-18

Excellent!

I loved the movie and now the I have had opportunity to read the book!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-03-20

Awesome!

Fantastic story. I questioned the performance in the beginning but then I realized his voice was perfect for this story. It gave a realistic feel to the whole setting.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Luis
  • Luis
  • 11-01-20

One where the movie was much better

I did not like the story it was actually less believable to me than the movie.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-19

Tough to enjoy the awkward narration

The narration was too bombastic, dramatic & with constant substantial changes in volume during
conversation.
Whispered, secretive conversations become loud affairs. There are so many crescendos. The women at first are soft spoken & terrified and then conversing with gusto.
I tried adjusting the volume and the tone. I held the device's speaker towards different directions & tried covering the speaker to moderate output.
Too bad because this is a decent book. Not as good as Guns of Navarone which somehow is not similarly vexed even though it has the same competent narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-19

Brutally Awesome!

MacLean's Where Eagles Dare will not disappoint anyone interested in an immersive war espionage thriller. The reader Oliver performs with the character depth & grit equal to the film.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Capt.Bo
  • Capt.Bo
  • 12-02-19

Typical A.M.: Riveting w/ plenty of plot twists!

Excellent story, well told. In typical Alistair Maclean style, just when you think you know what's going to happen, he throws in a twist you never saw coming. The movie stays pretty close to the book, or in this case the reverse is true. The screenplay was written first, then the book, and neither one suffers for it.
Naturally, the narrator is British. It wouldn't have the same quality, otherwise.
The only negative is the range of volume. At a good volume for most of the book, you cannot hear a few of the subtle conversations, so you must rewind and turn up the volume. Then the loud sections, yelling and such, are too loud and can be startling. Fine for a movie in the theater, but potentially problematic and uncomfortable when driving or listening with headphones. A little less dynamic range on the volume and this would be perfect.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bronwen
  • Bronwen
  • 27-10-17

One of MacLean’s best!

I have been waiting years for Audible to get Alistair MacLean’s books. This has always been one of my favorite of his books, a very entertaining and enjoyable wartime thriller. The narrator is wonderful.