The Dark Frontier

The Dark Frontier The Dark Frontier is Eric Ambler s first novel about whose genesis he writes Became press agent for film star but soon after joined big London advertising agency as copywriter and ideas man Dur

  • Title: The Dark Frontier
  • Author: Eric Ambler
  • ISBN: 9780445408050
  • Page: 166
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Dark Frontier 1936 is Eric Ambler s first novel, about whose genesis he writes Became press agent for film star, but soon after joined big London advertising agency as copywriter and ideas man During next few years wrote incessantly on variety of subjects ranging from baby food to non ferrous alloys Have travelled in most countries of Europe, been strandedThe Dark Frontier 1936 is Eric Ambler s first novel, about whose genesis he writes Became press agent for film star, but soon after joined big London advertising agency as copywriter and ideas man During next few years wrote incessantly on variety of subjects ranging from baby food to non ferrous alloys Have travelled in most countries of Europe, been stranded in Marseilles and nearly drowned in the Bay of Naples Decided, on a rainy day in Paris, to write a thriller Result was The Dark Frontier Based on the development in weaponry of the year 1936, The Dark Frontier was one of the first novels to predict the invention of a nuclear bomb and its consequences Ambler evidently had no knowledge of what producing an atomic bomb may involve even professional physicists at the time had only a vague idea The book makes no mention of uranium or any other radioactive material, and makes instead the assumption that setting off an atomic bomb would involve a considerable electric charge Still, Ambler could be credited with having become aware, before many others, of this coming weapon which was to have such a profound effect on the entire world, and his depiction of scientists in a secret hideout building such a bomb could be considered a preview of the Manhattan Project and he correctly surmised that refugees from Nazi Germany might get involved in such a project.

    One thought on “The Dark Frontier”

    1. “when you have been nourishing your soul on expectation, reality is apt to be disappointing.” ― Eric Ambler, The Dark FrontierEric Ambler's first novel is fun, playful, energetic and absolutely revolutionary. This is the first brick in Ambler's wall of reinvention/creation for the espionage thriller. In this novel he predicted the might and seductory qualities of nuclear weapons (in the early 1930s) and parodies the entire thriller genre at the same time. 'The Dark Frontier' also plays wit [...]

    2. Ambler's first novel was a parody of sorts and featured an odd but super-competent protagonist. It wasn't until he flipped the scenario upside down and portrayed a ordinary character trapped in extraordinary circumstances that he stumbled upon a formula that changed, and arguably pioneered, espionage fiction. This is not as smooth and satisfying of a read; fortunately, virtually all over his other novels fare better.

    3. This was a pleasant read for a number of reasons.First, Eric Ambler is apparently considered by many espionage writers to be the founding father of the field. John le Carré (The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) described him as "the source on which we all draw." Second, in 1935 he somehow took what little was publicly known about atomic theory and realized that E=Mc^2 indicated that a hypothetical "atomic bomb" would be massively destructive and politically destabili [...]

    4. Long before le Carre's George Smiley and Deighton's Harry Palmer there were Eric Ambler's accidental spies. In the 1930's the loosely defined adventure/spy genre was not much advanced from the earlier works of Erskine Childers and John Buchan Typically, Ambler would take an unassuming, unsuspecting spectator and immerse him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre-World War II Europe. The result was a series of highly entertaining and satisfying books that many believe set the stage for the lik [...]

    5. I read this because it appears that Ambler's Epitaph for a Spy may be an upcoming BYT group read. My library branch had this one and I thought I'd see how I like Eric Ambler's writing. I remember--very vaguely--reading A Coffin for Dimitrios back in high school, during a summer spent with Helen MacInnes, Dorothy L Sayers, and others.Dark Frontier was an enjoyable read that I raced through in an afternoon. I feel a little guilty giving it 3 stars, the same rating I just gave Lady Chatterley's Lov [...]

    6. There are certain names synonymous with the term Thriller. Craig Thomas the creator of the Techno-thriller. Tom Clancy perfected the Techno-thriller. Robert Ludlum, David Morrell and Eric Van Lustbader the Masters of the Spy Thriller. But if it hadn't been for Eric Ambler the bar would have been set very low.The Dark Frontier is Eric Ambler's debut. It was published in 1936. The novel follows Dr. Henry Barstow as he heads to the fictional Eastern European country of Ixania. He is the only man ab [...]

    7. An Eric Ambler abridged graded reader with an excellent action driven story that picks you up off your feet and doesn't put you down until the final pages. You better batter down the hatches because this storm of a story won't stop until you finish it! This version was released way back in 1982, but was originally published unbelievably way way back in 1936! For anyone who doesn't know Mr. Eric Ambler, he was the 'godfather' of the modern thriller writing and is synonymous with adventure, action [...]

    8. England, 1935. Physicist Henry Barstow is on holiday when he meets the mysterious Simon Groom, a representative for an armaments manufacturer. Groom invites the professor to Ixania, a small nation-state in Eastern Europe whose weapons program threatens to destabilize the region. Only after suffering a blow to the head – which muddles his brain into believing he is Conway Carruthers, international spy – does the physicist agree to visit Ixania. Barstow, however, quickly recognizes that Groom [...]

    9. "The Dark Frontier" is one of Ambler's first books, from 1936, and also the first Ambler I managed to finish. Of course many people like him very much, and I bought about half a dozen of his books for a half dollar each recently, so I'll have a chance to dig in more and see what I'm missing.In this one he does play a fine post-modern riff on readers' expectations for spy novels and mysteries, and has his main character assume the persona of a dashing James Bond type. Ambler is in fact well known [...]

    10. The father of the modern spy thriller according to Le Carré, Eric Ambler was a wonderful writer. This was his first book and is wonderfully engaging. Written in 1936, it's plot anticipates the coming nuclear age, as a slightly batty professor takes on the arms industry in a fictional Eastern European country. A little clunky in parts, as you'd expect from a first novel, it is still an excellent read. Had only read a couple of his better known stories before but now look forward to reading more. [...]

    11. I love Ambler everyone does whether they know it or not. He is the intellectual grandparent of James Bond and Rick Blaine of Casablanca etc etc. This is his first book, and the author hasn't quite yet found his bold feet. The hero is literally split between a couple Joe everydays and a super hero. In future books all traces of the super hero will disappear leaving only average guys to fight government conspiracies. This really needs to be updated and made a movie!

    12. The first novel from one of the first writers of detective fiction. What I thought was most interesting about this book is that it's centered around the making of an atomic bomb and was published in the 1930s when atomic bombs were still very much theory and not reality.

    13. Professore di fisica si crede James Bond e si comporta come tale. Una spy-story col sapore del bianco e nero alla domenica pomeriggio con arachidi, lupini e patatine. Troppo fumettistico per� e coi consueti Balcani d'epoca dove non mancano mai i Nanisha i Poveromovi? o i Stralounatou esperti delle classiche attivit� balcaniche: il cialtroning il complotting ed il velleitaring. Nonostante un corretto trattamento del traffico d'armi e la doverosa comparsa della misteriosa duchessa, vero mostro [...]

    14. Ambler is credited by some as the father of the modern thriller, so I wanted to go way back and read this, his very first book. It is superb! It was published in 1936--several years before the dawning of nuclear warfare--and I was amazed not only at how knowledgeable Ambler was on the science and technology of a nuclear bomb, but also at how well he wove the moral, ethical, and political sides of having The Bomb into the story. The book was such a good read that I want to read the rest of his bo [...]

    15. Eric Ambler's career, famous for its reinvention of the spy genre, appropriately began with a spoof of the field. In this one, a physicist in need of a good vacation reads a bad thriller and after hitting his head in the course of a car accident, believes himself to be superspy Conway Carruthers – just before he is swept up in a genuine intrigue surrounding a nuclear weapons program in a small Balkan country.The premise is hokey, and a bit after the midpoint the story seemed to me to read more [...]

    16. Eric Ambler's first novel is about a fictitious and authoritarian Balkan country in which a scientist has secretly invented an atomic bomb. Written in 36, this novel forecast that developments. Arms merchants travel there to steal the invention and the government wants to use it for aggressive purposes. Trying to prevent that is an amnesiac British scientist which add a humorous touch. By no means Ambler's best but you see in it many of the elements that would mark his best.

    17. I like Eric Ambler's pre-WW II espionage novels, so when I saw this at the local library book sale, I picked it up. It turns out to be his first novel, which he describes as a parody. In it, a mild-mannered professor has a car accident and is mysteriously, and temporarily, transformed into a dashing international adventurer intent on saving the world. The book reads like a standard action thriller, albeit a not very interesting one. Don't bother.

    18. The first Ambler spy thriller? Written in the 1930's and anticipating nuclear destruction, set in a fictitious Eastern Europe country, the pace is slow and more character study. There's a delicious passage where he describes the protagonist making his way through the hills and forests, following power lines, to find the hidden laboratory. The Countess could be played by anyone resembling Dita Von Teese or Bebe Neuwirth. I'll be reading more.

    19. I really liked it. I've got to say that it wasn't the first book by Eric Ambler I read and still, it was very entertaining.I love the psychological approach the author used in playing with different perceptions and roles in life.For me the ending was a bit too violent, so only 4 out of 5 from me.Still a very good read!

    20. I always like to read an authors first novel. This one is interesting, as it has many elements Ambler carries into later books, but is so obviously a young man's attempt. Almost funny, but also prescient and a hint of what is to come when Ambler comes into his own. The dramatic finish is just a hoot!

    21. Chi cerca un thriller d'azione dai ritmi concitati di quelli che balzano in testa alle classiche di vendita non legga questo libro. Quello che si trova qui � un'affascinante atmosfera anni '30, un po' mitteleuropea e un po' stile "orient express", una scrittura elegante e ricercata forse anche grazie alla traduzione di Manganelli.

    22. I started and gave up because it is just silly. The beginning is so promising that the bump on the head trip to Zovgorad quickly descends into the goofy. No amount of nostalgia could persuade me to go on with it.

    23. Thriller parody as a professor type imagining himself a secret agent tries to stop the development of atomic bomb technology in a small eastern european country.

    24. Readers must consider the publication standards of the 30's when this was written. You read the story many times since modern authors tend to borrow and spice it up again.

    25. Written before the end of WW2 this book eerily predicted the development of nuclear warfare and the implications of such weaponry.

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