Every so often, one finds oneself reflecting on times gone by, reminiscing perhaps on days when the innocence of youth was blissfully unaware of the responsibilities of adult life. I have many fond memories of this time, but perhaps one of the most endearing is that of my father reading to me at bedtime. 'Just William', 'Stalky & Co,', even Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' were all dutifully read to the young, Master Awdry, but the favourites were always the rip snorting adventures of Biggles - Air Detective!
So it was that I caught myself perusing the pages of 'Fleabay' searching for copies of the fabled exploits, written by Captain W. E. Johns when I came across, 'Biggles Hunts Big Game'. Before long a reassuringly tatty edition found itself on the doormat of 'Awdry Towers'. The story sees our hero investigating some high quality counterfeit stamps and currency. When an attempt to bribe him fails the villains have little choice but to try and kill him. Avoiding their clutches, the Team track down the counterfeiting operation to an exclusive hunting lodge in Africa. There are twists and turns a plenty, with much derring-do and a spectacular comeuppance in the closing pages.
Although originally aimed at younger boys the story still holds some of its charm today and I have to confess that I thoroughly enjoyed been transported back to those halcyon days of childhood. I have no doubt that a couple more editions might find their way onto the bookshelf before too long, but this story receives a favourably three crowns from me.
Thanks or the interesting suggestion, Michael.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately I have too much stuff on the to-read-list to find a place for Biggles... ;-)
Oh Biggles!!! I know what you mean and I bought many of the books from my childhood while I was carrying my daughter. I wanted them on the shelve before she was even born. Reading those to her reminded me of my Gran and those memories were some of the best of my life.ReplyDelete
I've never read Biggles but I did receive a number of Doc Savages from my father very similar stuff.ReplyDelete
I was a comic book geek in the early '50s. So much for my intellectual upbringing.ReplyDelete
Nothing wrong with a little nostalgia!ReplyDelete
It is his exploits in the First World War that I enjoy the most. Have reread them recently and they stand the test of time. I enjoyed the storylines even now and Capt. W.E.'s experience of WWI aviation combat shows through. I bought my latest editions on Kindle, which has a fairly complete collection of all his novels. Also reading G.A. Henty and Talbot Mundy on the Kindle and although I never read either as a lad, I'm thoroughly enjoying them now. The stories I want to read again are P.C.Wrens tales of the Foreign Legion not the series of "Beau" stories but his short stories. I remember one of the compilations was called Dead Man's Boots and there was at least one more compilation of his Legion stories. Another of my favourites from childhood that I've again reread, courtesy of Kindle, are H.Rider Haggard's books. His Allan Quatermain books are a joy to read and possibly my least favourite is the best known King Solomon's Mines.ReplyDelete
Gawd... A blast from the past.. Biggles, Ginger and Algy...ReplyDelete
I collect the original Biggles Novels, I read them as a kid and was hook so it only seemed fitting to collect them again as an adult! Second hand book shops are a gold mine, I've found a fare few 1st and 2nd editions for not much at all.ReplyDelete
I never read Biggles because all of my reading was non-fiction or science fiction back then. Certainly some of the first novels I did read were his sf novels starting with the Kings of Space which had a fabulous cover painting!ReplyDelete