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Passage at Arms Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2008

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glen Cook has authored dozens of fantasy and science fiction novels, including The Black Company series, The Garrett Files, and The Tyranny of the Night. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801195
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Freeman on April 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's probably important to know that this isn't the kind of book where there are huge battles in space, with ships blasting away at each other.
Instead, it's a book about tension, about waiting. Actions which may prove meaningless -- and sometimes do. Events incomprehensible even to participants. As such, Passage at Arms is a notably well-written book, but it's not an easy read. There's no break for the characters, and none for the reader either. There's no comic relief whatsoever. You're trapped in a tiny, hot ship with its crew and the narrator, a war correspondent. In first person present tense, the story seems to represent the correspondent's real, uncensored report.
Lessening the impact of this book were some loose ends (a blackmail subplot that never goes anywhere, which might be deliberate nihilism) and characterization which could have been deeper, especially of the narrator. Still, this is a good one.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Boyle on September 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cook writes in an over-the-top, yet intimate way about his intensely manifested characters. My favorite sentence of all time is in the first paragraph of this book, "Night fell like a sadist's boot." The designer of a troop transport is described as "a closet Torquemada." These quotes are still in my head 3 years after my last (third) reading of this book. He captures all the stench, abrasiveness and fungus of living in a closed container with a military crew. And if you like this one, try and find "The Dragon Never Sleeps", his other military SF stand-alone novel.

Based on his excellent writing and devoted fan-base, I would expect to see more of his books still in print.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joe Duarte on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Cook has mastered the first person, eyewitness, in the trenches viewpoint, and this one delivers the usual deadpan stuff with a new twist, a nearly never ending space war. Instead of a foxhole, in this installment, the "cage" is a spaceship, and the challenge is to make it back from a mission from which few ever return.

At times, as can be expected, Passage at Arms is reminiscent of the Black Company, but mostly it carves out new territory for Cook's usual set of premises,and wackos, revolving around the daily grind of fighting an unseen enemy, against ridiculous odds, and somehow staying sane through it all. As always there are consequences, and the usual knocks against authority.

As will all of Cook's books, this will likely remain a niche player, since the mainstream is not so fond of books that put every day people in the mundane events that eventually congeal into something bigger like a war. As with many of his recent works, it takes a bit of time wading through some rambling before the story congeals.

But once again, Cook is able to bring what seems to be random, into a nice chaotic blend of non linear order.

For me, Glen Cook always delivers the goods. And this time it's no exception.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Rossander on April 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A intense, hard sci-fi novel of warfare in the equivalent of a submarine corps. The story follows one Climber crew on a single combat mission. Cook writes an incredibly realistic and believable story of claustrophobia, terror, confusion and faith. The narrator, a war correspondent and eternal outsider, struggles to understand the motivations of the men with whom he is serving.
I found this to be an incredibly gripping book. The power of the emotions and the consistency of the details left me wondering about Cook's background. This is a story where you want to know how the author knows so much - did he serve in submarines or is he just that good a researcher?
This is not a cheerful book but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a very brief 150 pages or so Cook crashes you through a totally believable interstellar combat epic with a vivid depth of detail so involving that you will surely read it in one session ... approaches "Private Ryan" in immersive effect ... and as with that film, you may be relieved when it is finally over ... a very non-romantic vision of all-out warfare in deep space.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Monte Milanuk on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I initially picked this book up around 1990 @ a used book sale at my high school library. At the time I had been reading a lot of my older brothers sci-fi books by Frederick Pohl & Isaac Asimov. I was instantly enthralled by Cook's writing. Not too surprisingly a few years later I was in the Navy, in submarines! The parallels between this book and life on a boat are unreal. Now, over 15 years later, I've read this book so many times the cover is falling off and the binding is coming apart. I started looking for a new copy, and am delighted to find there are more books of a similar vein by the same author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris on October 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This would be an excellent choice to bring back to market. A fantastic Cook novel about deep space and warfare. Brings to mind many submarine novels and how men in tight spaces deal with pressure, warfare and waiting to die.
A must read if you enjoy legitimate Science Fiction and warfare.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A totally original book that shows Cooks excellent writing. The only story I have ever read that has a believable space analog to a submarine. Cook is also one of the few SF writers that seem to understand naval warfare and history. Unlike some other authors Cook's warships are designed and tasked for specific missions, not lumped into "small", "medium", and "large"
The coherent background means that the reader is drawn into the story and becomes part of the crew as they endure another mission on a climber. Starting with the pre mission parties, the pressure builds as the mothership races to drop them at their patrol area.....after that things get interesting. Read the book for more details:)
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