Friday, July 10, 2009

Forgotten Books: A TWIST OF SAND -- Geoffrey Jenkins

This is ThrillerFest weekend, right? Then what better time to celebrate one of the great thriller writers of 50 years ago, Geoffrey Jenkins. Jenkins' books came along at just the right time for me. I'd discovered Alistair MacLean a few years earlier and was looking for more in the same vein. Jenkins filled the bill. As you can see from the blurb on the cover, he impressed Ian Fleming, and the reviewers were equally impressed.

A Twist of Sand is the first-person account of the adventures of Captain Geoffrey Peace, who really goes through a lot. There's a lovely female scientist (should be played by Denise Richards in the movie, considering how great she was as a nuclear physicist in The World is Not Enough) whom someone is trying to kill, there's the Skeleton Coast ("the most dangerous shoreline in the world"), there's a killing journey across 30 miles of desert, there's mountain climbing, and there are wild animals: strand wolves, black lions, hyenas, and maybe a few more.

The local color's great, the action is fast, and the hero's competent and steadfast. Prime stuff for people (like me) who like old-fashioned wide-screen high adventure. As far as I know, none of Jenkins' books is in print in the U.S., but you should be able to find the paperback editions easily enough. Any of them would be worth a look.

10 comments:

  1. Rick Robinson2:15 PM

    I found a used copy (different cover) and ordered it. Couple of bucks for the book, twice that for the postage, getting a "classic thriller" delivered to my door: priceless.

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  2. Finding out that you hate it, even more priceless.

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  3. Read a lot of MacLean but not this fellow.

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  4. Brian Drake3:51 PM

    Jenkins was, allegedly, once considered to carry on James Bond after Fleming died, and here's a link to a great article on the subject which also goes into some more of Jenkins's background, which may be of interest to y'all.
    http://spywise.blogspot.com/2008/03/geoffrey-jenkins-his-lost-007-thriller.html

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  5. Great link, Brian. Thanks.

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  6. Anonymous6:14 AM

    There was a movie, Bill, which I believe starred Richard Johnson and had Honor Blackman in the Denise Richards role, but it's been 40 years since I've seen it and details are way more than fuzzy.

    I remember it as being pretty boring.

    Jeff

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  7. Anonymous6:15 AM

    There was a movie, Bill, which I believe starred Richard Johnson and had Honor Blackman in the Denise Richards role, but it's been 40 years since I've seen it and details are way more than fuzzy.

    I remember it as being pretty boring.

    Jeff

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  8. Karin M4:23 PM

    Very modern of the to name his protaganist after himself.

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  9. Anonymous9:36 PM

    I'm in serious talks with the Geoffrey Jenkins estate to turn what there is of his "lost" Bond manuscript, Per Fine Ounce, into a novel.

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  10. Hope this works out!

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