In this classic thriller, two American tourists find more adventure than they bargained for when they get involved with Chinese gun smugglers and Muslim revolutionaries, learning first-hand about the intrigue of the post-colonial world.
Greg and Dorothy Nilsen had wanted to go on an adventurous trip to see some of the more out-of-the-way places. But the cruise they were on was turning out to be a bore. So when the gracious Mr. Tan requests that Greg take a side trip to Singapore to resolve a bureaucratic detail involving a consignment of small arms, Greg is surprisingly receptive. All he has to do is sign some papers, he’s told, and he’ll be paid a handsome fee. And everything does go smoothly, until it comes to getting a check co-signed by the rebel leader....
©2011 Eric Ambler (P)2012 Audible Ltd
This story, as several of Eric Ambler's, features a protagonist who is an unsuspecting innocent, stumbling into intrigue. The plot is clearly laid out, with ample details for the reader to understand the motivations and constraints on the characters.
The plot kept my full attention, sometimes to the detriment of driving, The beauty of this plot is that it is straightforward, with enough illumination of the situation and characters for the listener to understand why things happen.
My favorite character was the originator of the action, Girja Krishnan
The tag line of a film should be "Tourist Beware"
Written in 1959, this novel reflects the mores of its times. While on holiday in Indonesia, Greg Nilsen practically jumps at the opportunity to put one over on the communists. Foolishly, he does not count on the greed and corruption of the other parties to the transaction he agrees to facilitate. There are secondary story lines centering on the three other players in this arms game, but it is easy to follow what is happening to which character. It is an engaging story and made me think of how many shadow-world trades happen today, delivering arms to rebels, terrorists and revolutionaries.
The story is well paced and held my interest. I thought the narrator did a fine job - meaning he did not distract me from the story.
Ambler is a great talent in my book. Every book is excellent. Now it falls upon the narrator and the audiobook publisher to make it happen. This one fell short, not due to the story which was first rate but due to a lackluster performance. My whole family listened to this book on a long trip and it was universal, good book with a narrator that never found his stride. This is a great example how the narrator is the difference between a good audiobook and a great one. I will always recommend an Ambler book just not this narrator. I will still march on and go through all the Ambler books. Hard to match in quality of writing with any other writer.
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