A Perfect Example of a Seventies Paperback

The next book in my reading of that pile of paperbacks from the (mostly) seventies is Morris West’s The Concubine.  And I can’t think of a better example of the breed.

Morris West - The Concubine

To start with, the naked woman on the cover just shouts 70s to me (even though, to be fair, this edition was released in 1969, although my own copy was of the 1973 printing).  Naked lady, huge yellow flower.  Yep, the seventies.

And then you get to the book.  I went into it thinking I was heading into another super-sexy adventure like the Rosemary Rogers book, but I was wrong.  This one was a thriller about an Irish oilman who falls for another man’s woman while on a criminal job in the islands of southern Asia.  And it takes up the torch for fun reading again–reminding us of the days when books were fun and very much not politically correct.

This one has the added interest of having been written in 1958, at a time when the far east still had a frontier-like quality to it, replacing the Wild West at a time when the actual Wild West was being lotted out into suburbs.

The ending to this particular book was so outrageous that you’ll have to read it to believe it.  Not what I was expecting, even though the writer foreshadowed it correctly… More fitting to a lost world fantasy tale from the thirties.

Interesting side note is that the novel was originally published as McReary Moves In, under the pseudonym Micheal East, only to be republished under the author’s real name when he became a bestseller…  You can’t make stuff like that up.

Anyway, a great way to spend a few hours.  Nostalgic and entertaining… as most of this pile of junk books was.

Of course, the last one in the pile won its author a Nobel prize, but that is the subject f a different post.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine author who will likely never win a Nobel Prize.  When people ask him why he thinks he won’t win, he points at his most recent novel, Ice Station: Death and says: “That book will disqualify me for life.”  If you’d like to see why, you can check it out here.

 

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