: Breakheart Pass (): Alistair Maclean: Books. Breakheart Pass by Alistair MacLean (). In a new departure for MacLean, this is a historical novel, set in the Rocky Mountains in Alistair MacLean (novel), Alistair MacLean (screenplay) Jill Ireland in Breakheart Pass () “Breakheart Pass” Charles Bronson UA/MGM Charles.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Breakheart Pass by Alistair MacLean. A magnificent tale of heart-stopping suspense from the highly acclaimed master of the genre. Travelling along it is a crowded maclaen train, bound for the cholera-stricken garrison at Fort Humboldt.

Between them and safety are the hostile Paiute Indians — and a man who will stop at nothing, not even murder… Paperbackpages. Published June 6th by HarperCollins first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Breakheart Passplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Had this on my “to be read” shelf for ages. Most of the story unfolds on a relief train travelling to the isolated, cholera stricken Fort Humboldt, but all breakkheart not as it seems. Had an inkling very early on as to the motives of the assembled characters.

Breakheart Pass by Alistair MacLean (1974)

It was clear cut as to who the “bad guys” were going to be. However from a purely entertainment point of review well, The story does move along at breakneck speed. Cer Had this on my “to be read” shelf for ages. Certainly a very different setting to the Alistair MacLean novels I’ve read in the past. Nov 30, Ross rated it it was ok.

It’s a good story, but the quality breakheatt the writing is abominable. It reads like a first draft. Aug 10, Vicky Hunt rated it it was amazing Shelves: Train ride through a snow-filled wilderness of Nevada. A not-quite-classic Western train mystery that barrels its way down the track from start to finish.

First published inalisttair may not be old enough to be a classic yet, but it is certainly a genre from another era. I won’t be giving any spoilers, but it is definitely worth a read. The expression, ‘The Long Arm of Coincidence” appears more than once. That’s a new one o “The Long Arm of Coincidence That’s a new one on me, though I have heard of the ‘Long Arm of the Law.

Short on characterization, but long on mystery the story starts with the feeling that you don’t really know the characters very well. The author gives a printed list of the characters and a map of the train layout at the beginning, and I found myself referring back to that list until almost a third of the way through the book.

There seemed to be no main character for quite a while. But, this was the nature of the mystery. As things start peeling down to the wire, you breaoheart counting off suspects, and everything falls into place before the train ever slows down. So, you couldn’t bail if you wanted. I suggest starting this one early enough in the morning that you don’t end up reading all night, because you won’t be able to put it down.

I read this from a used hardback from maaclean kind of thoughtless Amazon 3rd party sellers who like alitair thieves advertise ragged public library discards as very good condition. Where’s the Calvary and the Feds when you need them? Please read my complete review at Casual Debris. When I was a kid in the mid-to-late s my parents were among the last in the neighbourhood, perhaps even the western hemisphere, to purchase that bulky hunk of metal known as a video cassette recorder.


Popularly known at the time as a VCR, it was a piece of medieval technology that could both record and play back movies using a cheap, slim strip of plastic encased in a large rectangular hard plastic casing known as a cassette.

Oddly, at times Please read my complete review at Casual Debris. Oddly, at times appropriately, the hard casing was worth more than the flimsy strip that contained the data.

This massive cassette slipped inside that box of beakheart, often getting stuck, which in turn was hooked to your television set–not that sleek and slim apparatus in your living room, bedroom, washroom, etc. Most of you are probably laughing at my wild alstair, but this was reality back in those macleaan ages.

One evening before supper my mom ushered me out of the house to pick up a movie. My brother didn’t want to come and the pressure to find a good film gripped me during that ten-minute walk to our video rental store.

Yes, macleam was a dark era when to breakheqrt a movie at home you had to first leave the house. I dreaded the chore, knowing that if I picked a bad film my mom, being maclaen film lover, and my brother, being an older brother, would never let me hear the end of it.

Days it seemed Bbreakheart searched those shelves of videocassette boxes for something we all akistair enjoy, until my eye was caught by a photo of Charles Bronson covered in western garb hanging from a train overlooking a ravine. Fans of MacLean consider Breakheart Pass to be among the oddest of his novels, and it flopped on its initial release. A later MacLean work, it focuses as usual primarily on action and plot, but is his first novel set in the American Alkstair.

It deals with a motley crew of white gun-runners, US Army soldiers and Paiute Indians, rather than his normal array of spies, soldiers and other evildoers. I have little opinion on all this since I haven’t read any of MacLean’s work prior to this one.

Wanting to have a go at popular authors I’ve been ignoring, MacLean came to mind, and it’s my memory of the film that peaked my interest in the novel. Though it’s been twenty-plus years, I recall quite a bit about the movie, and I greakheart it at the time, which is a lot more than I can say about the novel.

Yes, even the train. The problems are many, but really what killed it for me was MacLean’s unfair treatment of information and the all-too uninteresting tough-guy hero John Deakin. Information appears to be revealed at the most convenient of times. Hey reader, he seems to be saying, this is gonna be cool. Perhaps this mess is the result of an attempt to make us feel as though we too are on that chaotic train, but it’s most likely the consequence of rushed writing and laziness.

The novel is written so haphazardly and with such unbelievable lines as “She gave him a look as cold as ice,” that I doubt MacLean spent too much time in the composition, or perhaps this quick straightforward and unimaginative style was breakhfart bid for the contract to write the screenplay, which was eventually offered to him. As for Deakin he is vreakheart man of breakhesrt words, but his few words are so vacuous and expected that it would have been mackean had he been mute.

He comes across as abrasive and unpleasant, and the film producers lucked out in nabbing the abrasive yet far alisttair charming tough guy Bronson to take on the role. On paper Deakin is too clever both for the plot and the reader, concocting not too exciting methods of escaping the train and dealing with the breakheartt, methods he keeps to himself and, well, keeps to everyone but the reader, saying things like “I’ve got a plan” fittingly at the end of the chapter, allowing the author to jump to another scene at the opening of the next chapter and leaving us in the dark.


And what Deakin comes up with usually consists of blowing something up. The opening was a little slow but half-way through I was quite into it, soon losing interest and speeding through the rest so quickly that I had to pause and wait for the train to catch up with me before I could go on. Finally I was done, and had to face that final pitiful exchange between Deakin and Marica.

: Breakheart Pass (): Alistair Maclean: Books

Sadly I’m left to wonder if re-watching the movie would kill that twenty-something year memory of a “good” film. I’ve been a big fan of Alistair MacLean’s breakhrart since I read all of his earlier, i. Well, the short answer is really frickin’ horrible ; although if that’s not enough, t I’ve been a big fan of Alistair MacLean’s ever since I read all of his earlier, i. Well, the short answer is really beakheart horrible ; although if that’s not enough, the somewhat longer answer follows: For the first half of the book I honestly couldn’t recall if I’d read it before – despite the Western setting, the characters and predictable plot twists were so familiar from MacLean’s earlier stories that it almost read as a parody of his own work.

MacLean was always at his best writing in the first person, but this third-person narrative is particularly grating. Much of that is probably due to his patented British suave-cum-flippant tone sounding wildly off key in this setting and historical period; but I suspect a lot was also due to what is generally seen as his overall mid-career slump into sloppiness. Consider the pss random samples: Pearce wasn’t demonstrably happy, but he certainly couldn’t have been described as ebullient.

For every man aboard those coaches, death must have supervened instantaneously. Claremont manfully quelled what was clearly an incipient attack of apoplexy. Deakin staggered and sat down heavily then, after a few seconds during which the other men averted their faces in shame for lost manhood, dabbed some blood from a split lip.

Breakheart Pass by Alistair MacLean

Fairchild spoke weightily in his impressively gubernatorial manner. He ignited the tube of blasting powder, judged his moment to what he regarded as a nicety, then tossed it out the opening. Good guys, bad guys, Indians – all sound similar and generally British, “We don’t want any of those nasty ricochets flying about inside the cab,” or in the case of the really bad Indian, positively Confucian “in weather such as this, the wise man does not linger”.

We also get exchanges like this: But chances we cannot take. Luckily, I don’t think I’ve reread The Guns of Navarone since the 60’s – and so will add that to my to-read list, just so that I can end my half century relationship on an up note. Because quite frankly, other than that, further chances I cannot take. Feb 28, George K. Apr 08, Laura Verret rated it really liked it Shelves: But when Pearce arrests a man — John Deakin — who is guilty of crimes against the people and the army, Claremont grudgingly allows them onto his train.

But who macleah the tiny group of passengers would have such nefarious plans? And what exactly is awaiting the train in Fort Humboldt? Macelan, sure, the characters are shaken up and rearranged for our pleasure, but the stakes and setting are cogent.