Books: On Location

BEAR ISLAND by Alistair Maclean. 273 pages. Doubleday. $5.95.

Alistair MacLean is a craftsman of a special product: the instant bestseller and "soon-to-be-made-into-a-major-motion-picture" novel.

His previous efforts composed simultaneously with typewriter and viewfinder include Ice Station Zebra, The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare. This time the scenario actually concerns the making of a movie. A film company presided over by an evil Germanic butterball named Otto Gerran embarks on a refitted trawler to shoot on location at Bear Island in the Arctic Circle. Unlike, say, Ian Fleming, who was content with swift...

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