Book Report Of

“The Guns Of Navarone” Essay, Research Paper

The novel I read for this report is ?The Guns of Navarone? a old war book

written by Alistair MacLean which was first published in 1957 by William Collins Sons &

Co. Ltd. It tells the story of a specialized commando team organized in 1943, during

W.W.II, to sabotage and put out of commission the Axis firepower on the island of

Navarone in the Aegean Sea. MacLean?s depiction of a vivid setting and fascinating

characters are the most involving elements in this novel.

The story begins in 1943 during World War II in a Cairo interrogation room with

Brigadier Jensen the head of British Military Intelligence for the Middle East who

introduces the world famous mountain climber turned British army Captain, Mallory, to

the four men chosen to accompany Mallory on what Jensen considers an impossible

mission. The object of the mission is to destroy a pair of German guns nestled in a

protective cave on the island of Navarone, from where they can control a critical sea

passage for the Axis? ships. The four men are: Lt. Andy Stevens, a very young boy who?s

a excellent speaker and climber; Casey Brown, an experienced engineer; Colonel Andrea

Stavros, a veteran knife fighter; and Dusty Miller, a genius with high explosives. The

small group, dressed like Greek fishermen, take a fishing vessel loaded with high

explosives and equipment necessary for a period of hiding, and head for the island of

Navarone. On the trip there, they run into some nasty Germans, but they manage to

sink their ship before they are discovered. Also, they run into a huge thunderstorm

which shipwrecks them on the southern shore beneath a extremely steep cliff. They all

manage to make it up the cliff (even though Stevens breaks his leg on the way up) but

are unfortunately discovered by a German soldier. They end up killing the German and

when his post phone rings to check in on him, no one answers which causes the Germans

to go and check to see what?s going on. The party manages to make it out of harms

way with a ?few? confrontations with the German soldiers. The party then keeps

moving on and runs into a hut on the East side of the island where they meet Louki

and Panayis who live on the island of Navarone and like to help tip the Allies in order

to foil the Germans. They hide out there for awhile and then move a bit south and hide

in the ?Devil?s Playground? until the German?s some how find out their hiding spot each

time. Once the German?s are on to them they flee through the caves and then head

towards the town which is their new hiding spot. After the German?s finding them so

many times Miller watches Panayis and then finds out that he is a spy. When that

happens they kill him immediately. Mallory and Miller then go to a bar on the south

side of the town square where they rob some German soldiers of their uniforms. With

these uniforms they sneak into the fortress and set up the explosives to destroy the

guns and just barely escape the German soldiers on their exit. When they make it off

the property the whole party along with Louki board a boat and sail away. And shortly

afterwards just before a fleet of the Allied ships go to pass by Navarone the

explosives go off and destroy the guns.

MacLean does a particularly good job of in his portrayal of the setting in this

novel. With all of his clear descriptions and excellent uses of imagery I was seeing the

book even though I was reading it. It was so well written that it seemed like I was

looking at a picture album rather than making it up in my mind, even though I was. I

think that the setting of the story also makes the story more adventurous because it is

unfamiliar territory it makes it exciting to guess what?s going to happen next for the

reader. Also from watching W.W.II documentaries I have a idea of what the characters

look like and what the planes and ships look like.

I also found that the author did a great job in the characterization of Mallory.

Mallory is portrayed as a pretty decent smart man who was sort of the skeleton of the

group, he kept the group all together as one. Yet he was a reasonable man as well, like

when Stevens got his leg broken and it became infected he didn?t want the boy to die

but he also didn?t want the rest of the group to die either from Stevens holding the

group back. But, he only gave up on him when the infection was at its peak and

Stevens was going to die soon. That was a pretty honest and noble thing to do to wait

until the end for his friend.

Although that book had a very, very slow start to it and it was very, very long

it managed to turn out to be a very interesting story once you got past the first five

chapters and I would recommend it to others only if they skip the first five chapters

because it is a pretty interesting and action-filled novel.


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