Athabasca by Alistair MacLean – book cover, description, publication history. Industrial sabotage in the Alaskan oil fields allows MacLean (Force 10 from Navarone, Ice Station Zebra) a ton of background padding—which. The nail-biting tale of sabotage set in the desolate frozen wastes of two ice- bound oil fields, from the acclaimed master of action and GE! THE.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Athabasca by Alistair MacLean. Athabasca by Alistair MacLean. One man, Jim Brady, is called in to save the life-blood of the world as unerringly, the chosen targets fall at the hands of a hidden enemy Mass Market Paperbackpages.

Published March 12th by Fawcett first published Alberta Canada Alaska United States. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Athabascaplease sign mavlean. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. This is not one of Macleean tightly-plotted masterpieces, but it does make a really satisfying head-movie on a hot summer day.


The oil fields of Alaska and the tar sands of Canada are being threatened by some shadowy and efficient terrorist organization. Our two intrepid investigators are out to find out what’s going on. You are a MacLean completist.

You love the cold books. You’re in it for the tight plotting. Apr 29, Laurel rated it it was ok Shelves: I decided to read Athabascato represent the province of Alberta, in my Read Across Canada challenge. Written by the famous thriller and grand adventure author: This was not the case. I forced myself to wade through the first pages, and was sorely tempted to quit, which I rarely do.

I needed this book for my challenge. The main characters are a trio of oil-fie I decided to read Athabascato represent the province of Alberta, in my Read Across Canada challenge. The main characters are a trio of oil-field sabotage investigators who are called in to deal with threats of sabotage to tar sand oil fields near Fort MacMurray, Alberta and to a pipeline which carries oil to Alaska.

So, two countries-Canada and the United States are involved, as are two oil companies, along with two sets of employees. In those first slow-moving pages, MacLean must set the scene in terms of providing the reader with page after page of technological information and jargon, regarding how the tars sands are accessed, how the pipeline works, and how the gigantic oil fields are laid out, over several thousand square miles. He introduces a plethora of characters, many of them minor.

I found it difficult to keep all of them straight. On a plus side, the tar sand fields of northern Alberta, in the depths of winter, make for an interesting location for solving sabotage and murder. Extreme temperatures, snow, and blowing snow that quickly covers an outdoor crime scene, or hides a body, are tough to deal with and cover evidence quickly. For those who may find themselves left outside for any length of time, the cold can be deadly. The remoteness of the crime sites and the need for helicopters to travel about in these difficult conditions, suggest that the threat is coming from the inside.


This book was written long beforewhen the world had a different take on security and threat levels to key resources such as the oil supply coming from these locations in North America.

As for the reasons behind the sabotage, MacLean says about a third of the way into the novel, “Surely they can’t be so naive as to try to convey the impression that Canada is trying to interfere with America’s oil supplies and vice versa. In theses times of an acute oil shortage, what have two friendly neighbours to gain by cutting each other’s throats?

Who has to gain? The answer is OPEC”. Later on a character says, “there are some certifiable loonies who would stop at nothing to achieve their own end”.

The last half of the book improves, but only marginally. There are a few exciting moments, but the resolution of the crisis is anticlimactic. My connection with the main characters was limited, and only on a couple of occasions was I really concerned whether one of them survived. All in all, not what I was expecting from this author. It was interesting to look at this book both through the lens of today’s worries about terrorism and sabotage, and thinking back to the fears that North American automobiles were atyabasca to run out of gasoline on highways in the 80’s.

Apr 07, Penny macleab it it was ok.

Not a particularly good thriller. Two oilfields, one in Alaska and one in Canada, are threatened with sabotage, so a crack team of investigators is sent in. Every time something happens at one of the oilfields, the entire team goes in response; something then happens to the other oilfield. Wouldn’t you think that they could split the team in two?

The investigators also make a federal case out of the fact that there is no alcohol allowed at these workstations and contrive to bring large amounts w Not a particularly good thriller. The investigators also make a federal case out of the fact that there is no alcohol allowed at these workstations and contrive to bring large amounts with them. And if you hire a woman, it’s because she’s pretty and you’ll likely get together with her.

I realize I’m reading a novel with eyes, but these cultural elements have not aged well. But OK, there are some suspenseful bits — murders, kidnappings, people falling out of maclewn. And MacLean does make you feel how cold Arctic oilfields can be. Plus, he knows his way around thriller language.

Here’s one quote, to ailstair you a sense of what MacLean does best: You are anchored to a steel ring set into concrete.

Athabasca (novel) – Wikipedia

The ring is directly in the path of Dragline One, which, as macoean can see and hear, is now only a few feet from you. The controls have been preset and locked in position so that the middle of the right shoe will pass over you. You have less than two minutes to live. But I’d start with other MacLean novels first, because this one is a bore for much of the time. Dibandingkan novel2 Alistair MacLean yg lain, kisah yg ini jelas mengecewakan. Twist akhir ‘siapa dalangnya’ pun jelas tertebak sejak setengah jalan.


Latar belakang industri perminyakan besar sebenarnya menarik perhatian, namun kmdn, alistairr untuk mengadu dombakan industri tsb dgn OPEC jelas terlalu keblabasan menurutku. Yah, alasan bahwa kisah ini dituliskan di era an mmg cukup masuk akal sih. Tp jk dibaca di jaman skrg, ya kmgkinan besar pembaca aku lbh lgs bisa menebak Dibandingkan novel2 Alistair MacLean yg lain, kisah yg ini jelas mengecewakan. Tp jk dibaca di jaman skrg, ya kmgkinan besar pembaca aku lbh lgs bisa menebak alasan keuangan jauh lbh dulu.

Poin yg lain, karakter utama novel ini gak jelas. Jim Brady jelas athanasca Brady Ent. Konsultan keamanan swasta yg katanya “punya reputasi tak terbantahkan”.

Lah sepanjang cerita kerjaannya cuman minum2 menjamu tamu doang. Brain sekaligus muscle malahan ada pd George Dermott, yg mencuri spotlite sejak halaman pertama. Harusnya sudah disorot terus aja sepak terjang si Dermott ini, gak pake tanggung2. Dua karakter lain yg ikut mencuri perhatian, Kapten Willoughby dan Lt. Cukup keren bgmn kepolisian lokal bisa berperan besar pada klimaks cerita.

Jauh lebih asyik, seru, tegang, dng twist yg lebih wah. Mar 30, Patrick DiJusto rated it it was ok Shelves: He also wrote this piece of crap. The action takes place in Maclean’s beloved Arctic. Someone is sabotaging the Alaska Pipeline and the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta.

Enter a bunch of “oil sabotage investigators”, who come across like a bunch of retired CIA agents. These characters are such one dimensional stereotypes, you really begin to appreciate what a well-rounded charcter James Bond really is. They’re tough-talking, alistajr drinking, ruthless, and so thoroughly despicable that the reader wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that these assholes are causing the very sabotage they’re being paid to stop.

But the plot of the book is so boring that not even that twist occurred to MacLean. The characters are supposed to be North American one is even from Texasbut that doesn’t stop MacLean — they’re all bloody well going to talk like Scotsmen, d’ye ken? The damsels in distress are stereotypically passive, and while the ending of the book isn’t exactly predictable, it wasn’t exactly new, either. What did I like?

The prologue was alistar Jul 24, spike marlin rated it it was ok. Maybe it was the year it was writtenmaybe it was the genre of the time spy and thrillerbut it has poor research, especially when it comes to the Canadian part of the book. The language is stilted and to much of the story relies on the superhero type investigators in Houston, when there where more then competent police services in both Alaska and Alberta who could have solved the crimes.

I wouldn’t recommend you waste your time on this book.