Monday, January 13, 2020

A Plurality of Eagles (Landing)

Jack Higgins’ The Eagle Has Landed thundered onto the book scene in 1975. It was published simultaneously in the United Kingdom, by William Collins & Sons, and the United States, by Holt, Rinehart & Winston. It was translated into a mediocre film released in 1976 starring Michael Caine, Robert Duval, and Donald Sutherland. The director was John Sturges. It has been translated into dozens of languages, published in myriad paperback editions and, I’ve read, it has sold more than 50 million copies.

The Eagle Has Landed is also one of my favorite thrillers. It is complex, exciting, with well-drawn and empathetic characters, and perfectly plotted. It’s also a book I have trouble leaving on the shelf of thrift shops and used bookstores (if the condition and the price are right). I’ve given more than a few away to fellow readers and right now I have four copies on my bookshelf, all mass market paperbacks. 

The first U.S. mass market edition published by Bantam in 1976.

The first U.K. mass market edition published by Pan Books in 1976.


This Bantam reprint, with new cover art, was published in 1981.

And the fourth is the most recent edition published by Berkley in 2000.

Now, if I had the Pocket Books edition published in 1991, I would be a happy man.

1 comment:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Ben, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED is one of my favourite thrillers too. I'd two of these (cover) paperbacks but gave both away. I have since been looking for some early editions for my bookshelf. I recall enjoying the film too and I wish someone would make a remake.