Where Eagles Dare, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


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

Now reissued in a new cover style. 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780006158042

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

A group of allied soldiers are dropped by parachute into Germany in order to find a way inside Schloss Adler (the castle of the eagle), the combined headquarters of the German Secret Service and the Gestapo. They have to rescue Lieutenant General Carnaby, an American general who is the overall co-ordinator for Operation Overlord, the Second Front, before he talks.Someone though is sabotaging their efforts; can a member of the six British and one American Special Forces team be a traitor? The commanding officer, Smith, has brought a woman with him too, a fact unknown to the other team members. Added to that are the problems of the elite Alpenkorps being stationed at the foot of the mountain and the Castle, built on the side of the mountain, being only accessible by cable car.This book was an extremely enjoyable read, with the twists and turns and plot loops, focussing on one then another as the guilty party. With the finale as exciting and explosive as one could wish for.Although I already knew the story from watching the movie countless times (staring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood), it was definitely well worth reading the original, especially for the ironic wit of Schaffer and Smith’s exchanges.All in all, a World War II thriller, action packed and full of suspense, which I have come to expect from MacLean’s writing. I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Review by

an enthralling, exciting, believable, intelligent story that sweeps the reader along as a group of British (and an American) agents are sent into wartime Germany to a mountaintop schloss to rescue an Allies general. Twists and turns abound and it really is an action book that conveys the sense of action and urgency. Don't expect too much by way of character development - it's not that kind of book. Before the current crop of modern action writers came Alistair Maclean and going back to read this again lately, he was the top of his class. No wonder he was the great action writer of his time - and his stories have not diminished their power over time. Well worth reading - and I'm not even much of a fan of action books, but I'd never pass on a Maclean book.

Review by

Where Eagles Dare is the most fast-paced, action-oriented, craziest thriller I have ever read. Which is good, because it's largely unbelievable. The plot is too crazy, the characters too unreal, etc., et al for this to be read as a believable book. And that is a shame.In the book, a team of six British commandos and one American OSS agent parachute into the Alps to gain entrance to a German fortress that can only be accessed by aerial gondola. It's also the headquarters for the Gestapo and Nazi intelligence. It's surrounded by a barracks of German alpine troops, who are supposed to be elite.The reason for this mission is, theoretically, to rescue a downed American general who is in charge of coordinating D-Day. They need to get him before the Germans get info out of him, so time is of the essence. We soon see, however, other reasons for the mission.The protagonist, Smith, though is problematic. See, he possesses super human strength and endurance and is generally omniscient. In other words, not remotely believable. He rides atop the gondola twice without being blown off, in one case with Germans grabbing his legs and trying to throw him off. With the altitude, the high winds, and the cold, it just doesn't seem likely. Additionally, this book is full of double and even triple agents and Smith knows all. We're never told how he comes by half of his information; we're just to accept it. I have problems with that.Nonetheless, as I said, it's an action packed book, a real page turner. It's rather stunning how they pull this off, all the while with people dying off all around them, and the twist at the end is a real shocker. Of course Smith knew of the twist. Yeah. I'd give this book three stars for believability, but it's so good, I'm giving it four. Recommended.

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