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Rogue Male (a/p/a: Man Hunt)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Rogue Male (a/p/a: Man Hunt).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Geoffrey Household(Author)

    Book details

Bantam (9), 1945., 1945. Soft cover. Book Condition: Acceptable. No Jacket. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION in paperback. Good or better - wear to spine edge.

Bantam (9), 1945., 1945. Soft cover. Book Condition: Acceptable. No Jacket. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION in paperback. Good or better - wear to spine edge.

3.2 (6295)
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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Geoffrey Household(Author)
  • Bantam Book Paperback #9; First Thus edition (1946)
  • English
  • 9
  • Other books

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Review Text

  • By David Perkins on December 12, 2009

    I read this book first in the 50's and found it a thrilling yarn. Decades later I saw the xx movie and was relatively pleased but felt that the book must have been better. So I read it again and have read it again twice, the last time going on to read several more books by this author. All of them have the flavor of a skilled man placed in an almost impossible situation and having to live on his wits, with constant improvisation and countering moves by opponents. In the later books the author brings a great appreciation of countryside and the advantages it provides in single-person maneuver.In this early book, the idea is that a skilled international hunter/author decides to make the ultimate stalk--to maneuver himself into position to get a foreign dictator in his sights. He does so, is caught, beaten, thrown off a cliff, and left to die. Not dying, he begins his attempt to return home, with his pursuers not far behind. The rest of the book involves his experience as a prey animal, hunted by another international hunter who has read his books, and must analyze or anticipate the moves of his pray.Needless to say, this is my favorite fiction book, its only rivals being non-fiction escape stories, equal in luck and unusual incident. A true classic.

  • By Richard R. Horton on June 15, 2006

    Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male is a classic thriller. Household was a British writer, born 1900, who spent some time in the US "just in time for the Depression". He began writing in the US, then returned to England. This is his second novel, published in 1939. He spent the War as an Intelligence Officer in Rumania, then returned to a fairly successful career writing. Rogue Male remains his most famous novel, though Arabesque (made into a movie with Gregory Peck, as I recall) is also well known.Rogue Male opens with the never named first person protagonist aiming a rifle with a telescopic sight from 550 yards at a certain Head of State. It's never made precisely clear who that is -- a country on one side or the other of Poland, which leaves two pretty evil candidates as of the late 30s. It's pretty likely that Hitler is the real target, but the book takes care never to reveal which of Hitler or Stalin was the target -- on purpose, I think.The protagonist claims he had no intention of shooting -- he was just "stalking the most dangerous game" for the fun of it, to see if he could be successful. This doesn't play well with the local secret police, who torture him and leave him for dead. But he rather incredibly escapes, and makes his way down a river, soon pursued by his enemies. He stows away on a boat for England, but soon is again pursued. When he is forced to kill one of his pursuers, he becomes wanted for murder by the British police. He flees to the country, planning to literally hole up for the duration. But even his careful plans aren't quite enough -- some bad luck leads to the British police getting a lead, and though he can elude them, the bad guys are able to track him down.It's pretty good stuff. Exciting, not too ridiculously implausible, and at least somewhat interested in exploring the moral basis of the protagonist's decisions. (Though there is plenty of guff, too, in particular lots of stuff about the wonderful ineffable qualities of the English Upper Class.) (Some of the book is the protagonist's own coming to terms with his real motives and intentions.) It helps of course that the protagonist's target is a real-life maximally evil sort -- even if we continue to disapprove of his assassination attempt, it's hard not to sympathize at some level. The book is also quite dryly funny on occasion. The ending is interesting in retrospect. The protagonist, having again escaped, decides his only recourse is to finish the assassination job. And there the book ends. But it was published in 1939. Then it was a very "open" ending. Now -- any time since 1945 really -- the ending has closed somewhat -- we can only conclude that the protagonist failed in his attempt and was presumable summarily executed. (Though I understand there was eventually a sequel.)

  • By Roger Brunyate on May 1, 2010

    I read this 1939 classic of British adventure writing as part of an occasional quest to revisit some of the books that were popular in my childhood. Or in this case, to visit for the first time, since although I had often heard of Household's book, I had never read it. It was a particular pleasure to do so in this beautiful NYRB reprint, with its splendidly evocative cover. Alongside the pleasant confirmation of a familiar world, it brought me an almost equal measure of disappointment and delighted surprise. Let me explain.The book was familiar because of its place in the family tree of spy/adventure stories with such ancestors as RL Stevenson's KIDNAPPED, Erskine Childers' THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, and the John Buchan series beginning with THE THIRTY NINE STEPS. The hero is typically an upper-class Briton possessed of independent means, an enquiring mind, and certain outdoor skills which he uses to great advantage. Household's nameless protagonist is even more independent, less a party man, more strikingly inventive. As a reviewer quoted on the cover suggests, the lineage to Frederick Forsyth's THE DAY OF THE JACKAL or (crossing the Atlantic) Stephen Hunter's POINT OF IMPACT is clear.The novel also took me to the vanishing countryside of my birth. Although it opens with the hero in an unnamed European state, stalking its leader (obviously Hitler, but note that this was written before the war) with a telescopic rifle, just as a sportsman's challenge to prove it can be done, most of it takes place in the fields and hedgerows of rural England. At the start of the book, the hero has already been captured and tortured, and survived an "accidental" death. He escapes to England, but finds himself pursued there also, and has to go to ground -- literally so, living for weeks in a burrow converted from an animal's earth. The spy-story elements at the start of the book soon give way to the situation of hunter and hunted each trying to use their knowledge of the countryside to outwit the other.Hence both my disappointment and my surprise. Although the protagonist will reveal more complex and believable motives later, you have to accept his initial exploit at face value, and moreover to agree with him that he cannot simply seek police protection when he gets to London. On the plot level, the book is thin. Yet what I had not imagined at all, and what intrigued me immensely, is that once all the spy and counterspy business drops away, one is left with a novel that comes as close to later Existentialism as to earlier adventure stories. As the interest focuses on the man living like an animal and virtually becoming one, it raises deep questions of humanity and ethics, so much so that it is almost a pity to see it turn back into a spy novel again for the finale -- though even that ends with a curious ambiguity that is as satisfying as it was unexpected.

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