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Archangel [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Gerald Seymour

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Book Description

June 1989 Charnwood Library Series
Doing a small job for British Intelligence turns into a major nightmare for a young man when he is arrested by the Soviet Secret Police and is sentenced to fifteen years in a bleak labour camp. A reissue from the author of A LINE IN THE SAND and A SONG IN THE MORNING.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books; Large Print edition edition (June 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708981356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708981351
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 14.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,157,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'As good as the best of the masters - Greene, Ambler, Le Carre' -- Los Angeles Examiner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

They never told Michael Holly the risks of espionage in the Soviet Union. They never said that if he was caught he would be facing fifteen years in a gulag in the midst of a frozen tundra. It was supposed to be a simple handover and he never imagined that he would be caught. But when the unimaginable happens and he finds himself staring certain, inevitable death in the face, Holly has to find the strength to gather his resources to fight the camp's brutal regime in any way he can and with the limited means at his disposal.

But life in the camps is not like life in the outside world. It is the place where dreams are brought to die. Like the eight hundred inmates of Camp 3, Michael Holly has a dream of living through this hell. But against the might of the Soviet state, is he strong enough to keep his dream alive? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very believable tale of one man against the sysem Dec 10 1999
By Doug Vaughn - Published on
Gerald Seymor's books all have a certain thing in common. They inevitably deal with one person (or a very small group of people) pitted against a formidable enemy and tasked with some single purpose to which they devote all their energy. Perhaps because he was once a journalist, these books all have the ring of truth. The smell of reality is thick on every page and the protagonists, though often 'heros' in some limited sense of the term, are very real and fallible human beings. Sometimes they don't succeed and often they don't even survive. And even when they do survive, there tends to be a tragic sense of the cost involved.
In _Archangel_, the protagonist, imprisoned in a Soviet prison camp in the Gulag, wages a one man war against the camp and the system that supports it. His victories, even the small ones, provide a great deal of pleasure to the reader. Unlike the typical stoic inmate portrayed by Solzhenitsn in _One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch_, Seymor's protagonist is a 'free' man who feels the unjustness of his imprisonment deeply and fights it at every turn.
I really enjoyed this odd departure for Seymor, whose books have provided me with some of the most satisfying espionage and political thriller reading of the last two decades. Though the Cold War is past, this behind the scenes human drama in the cold Siberian winter, is a satisfying reminder of what was, ultimately, an unsuccessful attempt to crush the human spirit.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holly goes to the wire Feb. 23 2003
By Joseph Haschka - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In ARCHANGEL, the Cold War is still frigid.
Oleg Demyonov, a convicted Soviet spy, suffers a fatal heart attack in Her Majesty's prison, Wormwood Scrubs. He was soon to be exchanged for Michael Holly, and the deal is now off.
Holly, an engineer for an English manufacturing company, was recruited by MI6 to deliver a clandestine package on his next business trip to Moscow. A piece of cake, according to his Secret Intelligence Service recruiter. But Holly was caught and convicted of espionage. Now, the swap for Demyonov off, Holly is sent to a Correctional Labor Colony in the heart of the USSR for 14 years. Because Holly was born Mikhail Holovich of Russian parents who'd escaped to Britain after WWII, he's classed as a Russian - a traitor - for the purpose of imprisonment. It's to be Camp 3, Zone 1(Strict Regime).
Back in the UK, the head of MI6 charges Alan Millet, Holly's recruiter, with investigating Michael's background. Is his agent likely to crack under continued interrogation and embarrass Her Majesty's government? As Millet discovers the mettle of the man he sent into harm's way, the reader begins to feel sorry for Michael's gaolers.
In Camp 3, the resident Political Officer, KGB Captain Yuri Rudakov, sees Holly as a giant step up the career ladder if he can extract from the new prisoner the confession the Moscow bumblers couldn't get. In the meantime, Michael fires the first shot in his own personal war with a plastic baggie of machine oil, the page from a magazine, and some coal dust.
This is the best of the several Gerald Seymour thrillers I've devoured to date. The reader's sympathies are focused solely on Holly and are rarely sidetracked, though one is tempted to feel an occasional pang of compassion for Millet and (even!) Rudakov.
As I've stated before, the charm of Seymour's novels is that he doesn't deal in absolutes of right or wrong. His venues of conflict are patterned in shades of gray. As Holly rattles the bars of his cage, both he and the reader question the moral responsibility of his actions as the consequences for his fellow prisoners mounts. This is good stuff that transcends the bulk of the genre.
With delicious anticipation, I contemplate the seven other Seymour books lined up on my shelf to be read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Archangle Oct. 11 2012
By Steve D - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Exciting with good interpersonsl action, provides insite as to what it was like in the USSR during the cold war years.

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