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The Circle [Mass Market Paperback]

David Poyer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 15 1993 Dan Lenson Novels (Book 3)
For four years at Annapolis he prepared for this, pledging his youth, his ambition, and even his life. But when junior officer Dan Lenson finally gets his commission, it's an aging World War II destroyer. Now, with a mix of pride and fear, he heads into the world's most dangerous seas.

As the Ryan plunges into the dark waters of the Arctic Circle at the height of storm season, Lenson and the crew pursue a mysterious and menacing enemy. But he soon discovers a foe even more dangerous within the Ryan, advancing a shocking agenda that drives the ship closer and closer to disaster-testing Lenson's life and loyalty to their very limit.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the early 1970s, Poyer's impressive techno-thriller tells of an obsolete destroyer that meets an unhappy fate while tracking a renegade Soviet missile sub in the teeth of an arctic storm. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Each of Poyer's books is a treat: timely, exciting, deeply affectionate and respectful of the naval men, women, and traditions he portrays. Here he describes the first tour of duty for Dan Lenson, series protagonist last seen in The Gulf ( LJ 8/90). Dan's ship, the destroyer Ryan , is a worn-out veteran; the men he must learn to supervise are a rag-tag group who test his every order. First Arctic storms, then catastrophe culminating in court martial test Dan's courage. Vivid scenes of shipboard life and duties--refueling, navigating under zero visibility, maneuvering the destroyer as part of a fleet of ships--serve as a backdrop to moving conflicts among the Ryan 's men. The author (who has a naval background) infuses his books with authentic detail, but his special gift is the creation of complex characters, among them the insolent Lassard and the mystical Evlin. Most highly recommended.
- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svces., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great naval chiller Oct. 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In "The Circle", a young Junior navy officer finally goes to sea. Unfortunately for everybody aboard, the officer is Dan Lenson, the hero of a series of books by Dave Poyer. I've only read a few of the Lenson books, but I've enjoyed them (though I'm pretty sure I wouldn't last a day trying to live through one). Befitting his rank, Lenson's first assignment is the Ryan - an aging destroyer that can barely pull out of port without losing power. Once underway, Lenson begins to learn the art and toil of running a USN ship - its complex mechanics and the labyrinthine passages of its crew. Instead of the Russians (the novel is set in the late 1960's) Lenson must fiercely contend with hustlers among his crew - who deal drugs or otherwise act in manner unbecoming of USN personnel; there are also some officers who prefer sailing with a criminal element, and never stop dreaming of ways to exploit it. Ryan's commander is a sage and noble captain, but Poyer makes it clear that even he may not have a full grasp on what his ship is up against. Soon, with all of its inner pressures kept under control, the Ryan heads for the stormy arctic waters of "The Circle". Lenson must now face the horrors of the polar seas, a possibly rogue Soviet submariner, the shift ones on his own ship and his own inexperience.
"The Circle" was a great read. Poyer inundates you with naval jargon yet manages to sustain a narrative of rare emotional force (for technothrillers anyway). Even if you don't know what's going on, you can at least taste the salt spray. The story is actually composed of two halves, and I agree with the reader who found the first half the better one. Still, Poyer's prose and characters keep you from going into skim mode, and keep "The Circle" from becoming one of those novels whose story seems lifted from an issue of "Jane's all the world's ships". If you loved "The Bedford Incident" or "HMS Ulysses", you've got to get "The Circle".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book July 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I started with The Circle and plowed through all of the David Poyer books I could find. I enjoy his writing. Some times it gets a little technical for me, but I have actually picked up some information along the way because of his writing and I have been able to enjoy other authors of military books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars First half great, second half drags July 13 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first part of the book is men versus the relentless sea. An aging World War II era destroyer sails into the Arctic circle in the middle of winter. It is a savage story of men against the sea and men against each other. You can see the ice building up on the decks and feel the wind cutting through their foul weather gear.
But the book turns on the accident that occurs later in the book and the subsequent court-martial. I thought the ending dragged a bit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The closest thing to being there Oct. 24 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
David Poyer's seminal naval work The Circle takes you directly in to the life of a young naval officer. Of all the books I have read about my profession, US Navy Surface Warfare Officer, it is the closest thing to actually being there. The long hours of watch and work, the mistakes you make being over-tired, and the lessons you learn from men who have spent their lives at sea are all contained within this book. In addition the, Poyer paints a vivid image of the environment of shipboard life and the perilous sea. Reading this book makes me cringe and want to return to sea duty as soon as possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Military TechnoThriller Oct. 19 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For those of you who crave highly detailed and very technical military action-adventure, David Poyer is the one of the very best writers in this genre. Poyer not only gives the reader an exciting naval story, but he packs the novel with tons of technical details about naval destroyers, weapons systems, sonar, propulsion systems, engine rooms, descriptions of bridge operations, etc.
He also gives the reader a very interesting main character, Dan Larsen, who although vulnerable, always triumphs over his adversaries. All in all, a great book to snuggle up to the fireplace with on a cold, wintry night.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, character driven Nov. 19 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not an ex-Navy man, so the constant Navy jargon left me sometimes only vaguely understanding what was going on. Nevertheless, I had the sense that this was what I would really experience if I were hidden, watching action from the back of the bridge of a Navy destroyer, and I valued that authenticity. But the setting was only a pallate for what was the deeper part of the book: men striving with tremendous stress and moral dilemmas. How do they cope, what do they think and do? Mr. Poyer is a keen explicator of human nature. After reading this novel, you'll feel as you had been there and struggled as the characters struggled.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked Me Feb. 21 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Picked up this book as a paperback in an airport bookstore to read during the endless waiting one has to endure when flying. Reading it hooked me as I became fasinated with Dan Lenson. I have since read all of Poyer's books about Lenson and like them all (I am currently reading his latest about pirates in the South China Sea.
Lenson is not a typical hero - which is what I really like about his character. He does remain bound by honor and trying "to do the right thing". He is a character anyone can identify with; not a superhero like the James Bond's of the fictional world.
I read with interest the comments by former Navy types; I am glad Poyer got the details right.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Series Feb. 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of Mr. Poyer's novels about the Navy, and thought this one was the most realistic - except for the Tom Clancy-ish business with the sub. Still, Poyer has the ability to write about ships, sailors, and the post-war US Navy better than any other writer I've encountered. The book was especially good at capturing the Vietnam-era Navy's problems with drug abuse, alcoholism, and poor discipline. Reminded me of my first ship!
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