Friday, May 21, 2004

The Pantheon

In the Name of the FatherHe's alive! A.J. Quinnell, among the finest adventure novelists I've ever read, recently emerged in public on a fan's web site. AJQ is a pen name. Many of the other hard-core Quinnell fans figured he had passed on, since his most recently announced book ("The Scalpel") never made it to print and had been scheduled for release years ago.

You may know Quinnell from the popular movie Man on Fire. But the book has been out for more than twenty years. It introduces Creasy, the quiet and deadly ex-mercenary with a penchant for serious revenge. A whole series of Creasy books exist, but are mostly out of print in the U.S. A six month effort of international purchases over the web brought me the entire collection of both Creasy and non-Creasy books.

So imagine my surprise when I read this on Tony's site:

After having maintained this web site for 8 years and never having heard a word from A.J. Quinnell himself, imagine my surprise and excitement, when I received what appeared to be an email, with an attached letter from him. I have done some research and am satisfied that this is a genuine letter from A.J. Quinnell. The letter is reproduced below...

I was greatly interested to read Quinnell's book recommendations:

...American writer Charles McCarry whose 2 books 'Tears of autumn' and 'The secret lovers' I regard as masterpieces. Of course they are out of print, but if you can find them I urge you to do so. I also like Len Deightons early books, particularly 'Funeral in Berlin' and 'Horse under water'...

I was also excited to read that a new Creasy book is (hopefully) coming out soon. The working title is Priests of a dead God. There will also be a Creasy preqel, covering his experiences in Korea and Vietnam.

If you're wondering why myself and the other Quinnell fan-boys are so excited, it's simply this. With C.S. Forester, Raymond Chandler, and Lee Child, A. J. Quinnell ranks at the pinnacle of "The Pantheon". Those are the novelists who have never failed to write exquisite works of action and adventure. You can't go wrong with your purchase of any of their books *.


* And, no, Vince Flynn, we booted you out of the Pantheon with your release of "Executive Power".

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