Eric Duthie (ed) - Stirring Stories For Boys (Odhams, 1968: originally 1960)
Jim Corbett - A Boy In The Jungle Captain W. E. Johns - Dawn Patrol Algernon Blackwood - Nightmare In New York C. S, Forester - The Examination For Lieutenant Sylvia Green - Adventure Underground John Pudney - April Fools Arthur Catherall - Sentanced To Die Philip McCutchan - Rescue Squadron Halliday Sutherland - The Dam John Keir Cross - See Luna And Die Wilfred Robertson - Two Tales Of Africa Anthony Buckeridge - A. N. Other Ross Salmon - Trapped By Wild Boar Lord Dunsany - Jorkens Practices Medicine And Magic Rudyard Kipling - The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes Gordon Langley Hall - A Nose Like A Dog Frank Knight - Most Quiet In The Garden Godfrey Williamson - Red Fingle's Treasure Arthur C. Clarke - Little Tales Of Tomorrow
Blurb: Stirring Stories FOR BOYS
With over 130 illustrations
However sophisticated the modern young reader may be he is still as keen on adventure round the world as was his father.
"Adventure round the world" is the right phrase for this collection. For not only are there stories set—as one might expect—in the British Isles but tales of adventure in France, Canada, and the U.S.A., two set in India, two in South America, three in Africa, one in Gibraltar, one in the Pacific Ocean, and even two on the Moon. What more could a boy desire!
In this thrill-packed omnibus the most famous of writers for adults rub shoulders with the best-known of contemporary writers for the young. Famous tales by Kipling, Dunsany, C. S. Forester and Algernon Blackwood (which introduce young readers to adventure yarns of high literary distinction) are happily blended with those of constant favourites like Captain W. E. Johns, Arthur Catherall and Wilfrid Robertson. Here, too, are Anthony Buckeridge, John Keir Cross, John Pudney and Ross Salmon, who are not only justly famed for their many books for boys but whose names are household words wherever boys listen to radio stories for the young. We start with the boyhood adventures of Jim Corbett, who is surely the most famous tiger-hunter of our century, and we end with four "Tales of Tomorrow" by Arthur C. Clarke, the best of British science-fiction writers; whilst in between come spirited adventures on land, on sea, under the ground, in the air, and beyond it in space—thrills galore for every adventure-loving boy.
The book is lavishly illustrated with line-drawings by a team of well-known artists, including Ralph Thompson, Bertoglio, W. Reeves, John Oliver, David Cobb and Gilbert Wilkinson.
I love the look of this amalgam of Jungle, Space, War, (hint of) supernatural and 'Boys Own' adventures and Mr. Duthie assembled a most impressive line-up, but the very first story I turned to is one of the worst acts of self-sabotage perpetrated in the name of a feel-good ending!
Algernon Blackwood - Nightmare In New York. (An Empty House, 1906, as A Suspicious Gift). A t first sight strange choice for a book of Boys Own yarns, but ...
Blake, an Englishman struggling to cut it as a journalist in the New York slum district, is paid a late night visit by a mystery man who hands him $10, 000, a gift, he says, from a well-wisher. Blake, who has been getting by on starvation rations, is wily enough to realise he'll need a witness to the transaction, as you hear all sorts of stories about blackmail. He calls on his upstairs neighbour, a reputed miser, to counter-sign his receipt. But Mr. Barclay doesn't answer his knock on account of his being dead: Blake is the victim of a convoluted frame up.
The police arrive to find Blake, blood on his hands and laughing like a lunatic, stood over the corpse, and then ... And then Blackwood ruins the story with the all too familiar worst cop out ever. I'm sure you know the one.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.