Books: Derring-Documentary

THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (320 pp.)—Alistair MacLean—Doubleday ($3.95).

Early in World War II a character called Alistair Digby-Vane-Trumpington (in Evelyn Waugh's Put Out More Flags) asked his wife if she would mind if he joined the Commandos: "They have special knives and Tommy guns and knuckle-dusters; they wear rope-soled shoes."

"Bless you," said Sonia.

"They carry rope ladders round their waists and files sewn in the seams of their coats to escape with. D'you mind very much if I accept?"

"No darling. I couldn't keep you from the rope ladder. Not from the rope ladder I couldn't. I see that."

Like Digby-Vane-Trumpington, many writers cannot...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!