Mary's Library

Friday, June 16, 2006

Father's Day (cont.)

There is a certain class of books that you see men reading, but seldom women. Among them are westerns, which are having a bit of a revival these days. The two names you see most often are Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey, whose Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) is perhaps his best-known book.

Then there are the Flashman Papers. The eponymous hero, a minor figure in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days (1870), is a cad and a bounder, a coward and a liar, and yet, somehow, he manages always to come out on top with another girl in another port and another medal on his tunic. Written by George MacDonald Fraser, the series starts with Flashman (©1969), and continues with Royal Flash (©1970), Flash for Freedom (©1972), Flashman at the Charge (©1973), and several more.

Then there is W E B Griffin, whose many works are almost a genre in themselves. He writes mostly about Marine and Army officers during World War II. The Corps series is his best: Semper Fi (©1986), Call to Arms (©1983), Counterattack (©1990), and others.

Griffin’s Brotherhood of War series, which Wilhelm calls the Brotherhood of the Peacetime Army, begins with Lieutenants (©1982), and goes on with Captains (©1983), Majors (©1983), and so on.

Any of these would make a dandy Father’s Day gift.


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