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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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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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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was stationed on two FRAM-II Destroyers. I am a "Blue Nose", a "Shellback", and earned a Combat Action Ribbon while a crewmember on the USS Ozbourn (DD-846) off the coast of Vietnam. I am tired of all these glorified ("gun-decked")stories and movies about submarines and aircraft carriers, usually written by retired admirals or authors who were never even in the military never mind the navy. This story tells it like it is. I've often times wondered how young Ensigns dealt with the crap and stayed sane never mind got advanced and survive to make successful Navy careers. I truly enjoyed this book. I'm reading "The Med" now and I have also got "Passage" standing by. Only a "Tin Can Sailor" could have written this book. The terminolgy and slang terms are right on. I can understand how a person who never served in the Navy would have a hard time with this book. Perhaps Poyer should have a glossary in the back of his books to help decipher Navy jargon. I highly recommend this book, especially to former Navy anchor clankers. To Mr Poyer, from one ol' Tin Can Sailor to another, I bid you fair winds and follwing seas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A frightening portrait Feb. 26 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's easy to take this book at face value, i.e. as a ripping nautical yarn. But for those of us who saw the military, particularly the Navy, in the late and post-Vietman era this is a disturbingly accurate picture of the nearly crushing material and morale problems that conflict caused, even in the "peacetime" or non combat deployed units. Drug dealing, race problems, severe undermanning, maintenance deferred, threadbare equipment... this is unfortunately what it was like then for too many units and servicemembers. Mr. Poyer has been there, and this book reads with an immediacy not present in his later books, which cover Dan Lenson's career at a point when Poyer was no longer on active duty. I suspect that young Ensign Poyer had the same kind of harrowing first tour that he put Dan Lenson into, right out of the Boat School. It also serves as a reminder that even peacetime service in the Navy is neither safe nor routine, as the surviving crewmembers of Belknap, Frank E. Evans, and Hobson can testify.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I served aboard an ammunition ship from 1958-61 and did quite a bit of steaming in the North Atlantic. Mr. Poyer's description of the drudgery and effort of working in rough weather and 15-25 foot seas is vividly described. Almost every character on the "Ryan" had a twin on the AE19, USS Diamond Head, right down to the whale boat crew and stewards. I certainly can relate to the collision having lived through one with, coincidentally, the aircraft carrier USS Independence. The shock, the terror, the confusion, every emotion that the mind can conjur up came crashing from the pages. It literally brought me to the seat of my chair. I could feel the power of the carrier and frailty of our ship through Mr. Poyer's words. This is a gripping novel writen by a man that obviously has been there before. For anyone who has respect for the sea, this is a must. I can't wait to begin "The Med". Thank you Mr. Poyer.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
They say the less you know about how laws and sausages are made, the better you'll sleep at night. After reading many of Poyer's books, I think I know too much about life in the Navy. Since I have no personal experience with the military, I can't comment on his accuracy with details. However, I can say that David Poyer is a powerful writer. His characters are very real, so much so that I'd like to slap a few of them upside the head. His descriptions of actions and environments are so vivid, I could feel the ship rocking in the storm, or the heat of the boilers.

I appreciate the way that he often incorporates explanations for jargon and practices, without insulting my intelligence. My only suggestion for future novels is to include a glossary, and perhaps diagrams of the ships' interiors
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
I started with The Circle and plowed through all of the David Poyer books I could find. I enjoy his writing. Read more
Published on July 13 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars First half great, second half drags
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. Read more
Published on July 13 2002 by A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The closest thing to being there
David Poyer's seminal naval work The Circle takes you directly in to the life of a young naval officer. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2001 by Bryce D. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Military TechnoThriller
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. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2001 by Samuel Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, character driven
I'm not an ex-Navy man, so the constant Navy jargon left me sometimes only vaguely understanding what was going on. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by Jon R. Schlueter
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked Me
Picked up this book as a paperback in an airport bookstore to read during the endless waiting one has to endure when flying. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2000 by Franklin Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Series
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2000 by A Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Stressful but realistic
A good account of life on older DDs. I served on three of them similar to this one, RYAN. Poyer perhaps puts this young Ensign in predicaments not normal, however it COULD... Read more
Published on Nov. 9 1999 by John Derr
4.0 out of 5 stars great story--with one technical error not affecting the scri
the back and front inside covers show whale boat dimensions as being 26" long. this would only be true if the story was about gulliver's traveling companions
Published on Feb. 22 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
I think this is a great book from a man that knows how it is to be out in the great white ocean and feel how it is to be in 25 foot seas and still do your job the way it should be... Read more
Published on March 2 1998 by ajw@oz.net
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