Saint Goes West (Coronet Books) Paperback – 1 Sep 1989
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The Saint is back - the thirty-five original books starring the debonair classic crime hero are being republished in print and ebook with new introductions and extra content.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Leslie Charteris was born in Singapore and moved to England in 1919. He left Cambridge University early when his first novel was accepted for publication. He wrote novels about the Saint throughout his life, becoming one of the 20th century`s most prolific and popular authors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't know if this is some sort of record, but I'm happy to say that in the intervening 30 years, this book has, if anything, improved. It's a classic. Frankly, "The Saint Goes West" is so consistently enjoyable that I don't want to spoil it by giving anything away, but essentially, if your idea of the perfect escapist thriller is something that lies on the exact continuum between Raymond Chandler and "Goldfinger", then this is the book for you.
It's one of life's great mysteries that Leslie Charteris is now in eclipse, while Hollywood lavishes millions on clunky, linear plots-by-numbers like the most recent Bond. If you feel short-changed by the way Ian Fleming's hero has gradually been stripped by screenwriters of glamour, intelligence and erotic wit then all I can say is: read this book.
There are three novellas:
In ARIZONA, the Saint foils an attempt by the Nazi-American Bund to take over a mineral-rich ranch. There are intriguing hints that Charteris knew of the Manhattan project, since the Saint says:
"[O]ne day thousands of men will be killed will be killed and cities will be blasted with what there is on this ranch."
The mineral concerned is later (sensibly) stated to be cinnabar; but cinnabar is not found in quantity in Arizona, and pitchblende is.
In PALM SPRINGS, the Saint bodyguards a spoiled playboy who has received a threat on his life.
In HOLLYWOOD the Saint solves the murder of an obnoxious film producer, commenting:
"I feel rather satisfied about Ufferlitz getting killed... Once upon a time, before the Hays Office got hold of me, I might easily have killed him myself."
These last two stories do not sit well in wartime scenario, and, after the first one, lead one to wonder what on Earth the Saint can have been thinking of. It wouldn't surprise to learn that they were actually written in peacetime, and used here as filler.
However that may be, all three stories are rather formulaic.
P.S. For a list of all Charteris's Saint books (in two sections, because of length limitations) see my Listmanias.