Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Remembering a “Master Storyteller”

Earlier today, my retrospective piece about the life and abundant output of Scotland-born adventure-thriller writer Alistair MacLean was posted on the Kirkus Reviews Web site. That full column is here.

In the course of researching MacLean’s history, I collected an extensive variety of cover images from his 28 novels, which were published between 1955 (HMS Ulysses) and 1986 (Santorini). Rather than let those go unused, I have created a gallery of the various books fronts below. These are certainly not all of the covers I found--but they are, perhaps, the most interesting. Included here are dust jackets from first editions of MacLean’s fiction, which I found on the AlistairMacLean.com site. (Terry Zobeck pulled those images together, and he’s given me permission to reuse them here. “Anything to help spread the word on MacLean,” he told me in an e-note.) The other images I discovered over many hours of searching the Internet. Steve Holland’s Bear Alley blog offered a particularly rich trove of MacLean fronts.

You’re invited to give your opinions about these covers in the Comments section at the end of this post.

And click here to participate in The Rap Sheet’s poll asking readers to name their favorite works among MacLean’s classic oeuvre. If you have not already made your voice heard in this survey, you have until the beginning of November to do so.

Click on any of the images below for an enlargement.

READ MORE:Alistair MacLean Spin-offs Cover Gallery,” by Steve Holland (Bear Alley).


Bill Crider said...

Great covers. I have some of them.

Terry Zobeck said...

Excellent essay. I was introduced to MacLean through my father's copies of his books. Later my girlfriend (now my wife) would buy me his new book each year for my birthday (starting with Puppet on a Chain).

His books, especially his early ones, deserve to be re-discovered.

Bob The Wordless said...

I love some of those covers. That's what would entice me to buy a book, you know. The cover.

Look at this cover


And this


Now look at the, I think, US cover


Which one would you pick up and at least read the back?

And, this last one? That's not hyperbole on the cover. Oh,no, it is all true.


Anonymous said...

I have read South by Java Head and The Guns of Navarone. They were both excellent thrillers.

Thanks for sharing the great covers.

TracyK said...

Some very nice covers there. I will have to try to find some of these to add to my collection.

Calum Macleod said...

OK, so why does one of the covers for Guns of Navarone, set in Greece, have our commando heroes apparently scaling an iceberg?