Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Acclaim for MacLean

This seems to be a day for reporting poll results. First, I brought you the findingsfrom a new survey--conducted by the British Crime Writers’ Association--to choose the “best” authors and works available in this genre. Now I can provide the results of a survey we’ve been running over the last month in The Rap Sheet, intended to pick readers’ favorites from among Scottish writer Alistair MacLean’s 28 classic adventure-thriller novels.

With 487 votes having been cast, here are the 10 MacLean novels that received the most support from Rap Sheet readers:

The Guns of Navarone (1957) -- 71 votes, or 14.58%
Where Eagles Dare (1967) -- 65 votes, or 13.35%
Ice Station Zebra (1963) -- 53 votes, or 10.88%
Breakheart Pass (1974) -- 39 votes, or 8.01%
Puppet on a Chain (1969) -- 36 votes, or 7.39%
Fear Is the Key (1961) -- 29 votes, or 5.95%
Night Without End (1959) -- 23 votes, or 4.72%
Bear Island (1971) -- 22 votes, or 4.52%
When Eight Bells Toll (1966) -- 20 votes, or 4.11%
Circus (1975) -- 19 votes, or 3.9%

All of the big vote-getters were published during the first 20 years of MacLean’s fiction-writing career. None of the nine novels he penned during the final decade of his life received more than five votes in this survey. That supports a statement I made, in a recent column for Kirkus Reviews, that his later books “were of considerably less quality than their predecessors.”

The full results of this survey can be found here.

1 comment:

david hartzog said...

This ranking sounds about right. Hiis later books were not very good