Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thrift Shop Book Covers: "A Grue of Ice"

A Grue of Ice was published in the U. K. in 1962 as a hardcover, and it was released in the U. S. that same year with the title The Disappearing Island. The edition that caught my eye is a mass market published by Fontana in 1973. The art is vivid. It features a bright single engine float plane in the foreground and shadowy warship in a gray background. The artist: Chris Foss.

The opening paragraph:

“‘Drake Passage!’”

Geoffrey Jenkins was a second tier adventure writer during the genre’s golden age—1950s to the 1980s—which means his work, on average, was good, but a step below the genre’s best. His work is comparable to Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Jack Higgins, and Gavin Lyall. He was South African, and, according to Wikipedia, he wrote the first James Bond novel after Ian Fleming’s death, which was never published and is presumed lost.

Interestingly, Merriam-Webster defines “grue” as—1. “a fit of shivering…” and 2. “gruesome quality or effect”

This is a reprint of a post that originally went live November 22, 2014. It's been particularly busy at my house the last few weeks and the blog has been suffering. There will be new content soon. 

This is the tenth in a series of posts featuring the cover art ad miscellany of books I find at thrift stores and used bookshops. It is reserved for books I purchase as much for the cover art as the story or author.


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Ben, the cover art is good, indeed, and if his work is comparable to at least two of my favourite writers, MacLean and Higgins, then I'll probably like Jenkins' books too.

Ben Boulden said...

Prashant. Jenkins' work isn't quite at the level of MacLean and Higgins (two of my favorite writers, too), but it is enjoyable, and very much worth trying. He tends, at least in the four or so titles I've read, to have the common man protagonist, and the elements tend to play a significant role (much like MacLean's best work).