Alistair MacLean, the son of a Scots minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941 he joined the Royal Navy. The two and a half years he spent aboard a wartime cruiser gave him the background for HMS Ulysses, his remarkably successful first novel, published in 1955. He is now recognized as one of the outstanding popular writers of the 20th century, the author of 29 worldwide bestsellers, many of which have been filmed.
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