Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some British Writers

A writer from England whose works I enjoyed was Eric Ambler who passed away in 1998. I remember reading This Gun For Hire. Coffin for Demetrios (U.S. edition of The Mask of Demetrios), and others, some of which were made into films. His books were prominently displayed on the racks of the U. S. stores and he was a popular author. He wrote some books as Eliot Reed with Charles Rodda among which were The Maras Affair and Passport to Panic.

Everyone, just about, has heard of P. G. Wodehouse, author of the Bertie Wooster stories and Jeeves. I read all of these I could find and ran across over the years because of their comedy. Anything that was written that I found to be funny was immediately procured and I devoured it with relish. I still enjoy reading Wodehouse and read a collection of his stories not too long ago. They crack me up.

Tobias Smollet from Scotland was another writer whose stories I enjoyed and The Expedition of Humphry Clinker remains on my shelf in a paperback edition. First printed in 1771 it was the last of his novels and, I think, one of the funniest.

Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and the Descent of Man even had some comedy in it, at least, there was some of it that was funny to me when I read it years ago. Not his theory, of course, but his wording in some instances. When I began reading it, I remember thinking that this is going to be a BORING book, but it wasn't all that bad or as technically diffiicut as I thought it would be.

George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm. I guess his predictions didn't pan out in 1984 exactly as he had propounded, not from my understanding and perspective over 25 years later, but his book was interesting at the time it came out and caused a lot of philosophical rewiring it seems to me. He wrote only six novels according to Wikipedia, so I'm thinking he was more of a deep-thinker than the average bear. Just look at the number of references listed on Wikipedia concerning Orwell and it gives you an idea that he had mucho on his mind beside entertaining the public with his novels. I wonder how he would have gone about writing a shoot-'em-up. The main character would have much to think about as he went about his business.

Clinton Virgefield, author of The Beaches of Clunchyshire, a romantic intertwining of lives in a small seaside village on the English coast near Duverdown.  I'm not too much on books about romance and such, but I found this one to be particularly fascinating on the whole, an interesting collection with a smattering of comedy and serious drama thrown in. Most of the stories are about Midge Shewly, a pretty blond of 26 years and her hoped-to-be future husband, Rommelly Fybush, a devil-may-care aristocrat who is only looking for a good time most of the time. The other times, he is deeply engrossed in researching crime and police misbehaviour, a pastime that gets him into trouble and mayhem. A very good ending is well described and Midge has found her t........, well, you'll just have to read the book. One of the better writers on the English scene, Virgefield covers all aspects of romance, mystery, and suspense in a beach setting with amazingingly beautiful sunsets in the way a British writer only could uniquely compose. I came away thinking I had read another masterpiece of short-story writing.      


  1. JOURNEY INTO FEAR is my favorite Ambler work. The Joseph Cotten film ain't bad either.

  2. I never cared for J. Cotten much, but I don't recall the movie and maybe that's why.