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Juggernaut Paperback – November 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus (November 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842320130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842320136
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,390,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the last novel left unpublished at the author's death in 1983, and, while it may not be the best of Bagley (The Golden Keel, Night of Error, the old pro's smooth yarn-spinning still works nicely. American narrator Neil Mannix is the corporate troubleshooter for multinational British Electric. Nyala, a former British colony newly rich with oil, hopes to prop up its shaky democracy and economy with a new power station near its oil fields. The Nyalans insist that British Electric must dispatch a 300-ton transformer for display to the populace, and Mannix is sent to supervise the travels of "the rig" on a huge flatbed. Civil war breaks out, and Mannix is bullied by a local doctor and an Irish nun into using the rig as a traveling hospital. He must deal with opposing armies, possibly unsafe roads and bridges, some untrustworthy crew members and Nyalans who trek after the machinery, which has taken on symbolic, even mythic meaning. The logistics are occasionally over-detailed, but the story, like the rig-juggernaut, keeps rolling through colorful West Africa and a lively cast of characters.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The original juggernaut was a huge idol of the Indian god Krishna. Once a year it was dragged through the streets while sacrificial victims were crushed beneath its weight. This last novel by Bagley (who died in 1983) is a modern action tale set in the West African state of Nyala, and in it the "juggernaut" is a huge 550-ton transformer to be conveyed up-country by a group of British contractors. American troubleshooter Neil Mannix must see that delivery occurs on time despite obstacles including the outbreak of civil war. His plans are further complicated when the giant rig is transformed into a mobile field hospital, which Nyalan victims of the war follow through the bush to safety. Though this novel is too long, it is a fairly diverting adventure yarn that Bagley's devoted readers will enjoy. Recommended for general fiction and YA collections. William C. McCully, Park Ridge P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on April 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Desmond Bagley is a fine author, one of my personal favorites. But every author, no matter how fine, has to have a least-impressive book, and this is Bagley's. It's a perfectly acceptable action story, but the characters and the setting aren't nearly as captivating as any of his other books. And the deus-ex-machina ending was certainly not up to his usual standards.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "klikk" on September 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Neil Mannix have a mission in a westafrican country. His mission is to drive a trailer to a oilfield, but that is easier said than done. It start with tribe unrest and develop to a civil war. Mannix is in the middle of the problems.
The book is exciting and nice to read if you don't have other things to do. If you like action, this book could be worth a look.
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Format: Paperback
British Electric need to transport a massive transformer across the African country of Nyala to a newly-constructed power plant, on an enormous rig, through wild terrain on poorly-maintained roads. The logistical nightmare, combined with growing political instability, results in "troubleshooter" Neil Mannix being dispatched to oversee things. But when civil war erupts in the country, Mannix and the crew become caught in the middle. Forced to deal with seriously wounded victims, shell-shocked civilians, and gangs of marauding rebels, the crew attempts to head to the border and safety. But the rig and its cargo has acquired an almost mythical status among the local people, while remaining a target for military forces on both sides of the battle.

'Juggernaut' was the last work begun by Desmond Bagley, and he died before completing it. The book has a very similar feel to other late-period Bagley works such as 'Flyaway' and 'Windfall', with the African setting and the more descriptive and character-focussed style. Being set in the middle of a civil war gives the book several action-oriented set pieces (bombings, shot-down planes, confrontations with the military), but if you're expecting an all-out action novel you will probably be disappointed. However, if you enjoyed 'Flyaway' and its focus on the journey more than the destination, you will probably find 'Juggernaut' an interesting and enjoyable read.

The main characters are well drawn; the coolly capable lead Mannix, the unimaginative Kemp, the ruthless McGrath, the weak-willed Jones, and the quietly competent Sadiq. Other highlights include the matronly Sister Ursula and the tireless Doctor Kat.
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