F. BOOK REVIEWS
F5. How Green Was My Father
F5.1. Beals, Carleton. Saturday Review of Literature 30, no. 27 (July 5, 1947): 26-27.
However, by his own account, he came pretty close to perfection as a general ignoramus and easy-mark, and it is precisely this Innocents Abroad, babe-in-the-woods approach that provides much of the hilarity of this little volume. ... Mr. Dodge has written a delightful, mirthful book, which was all he set out to do.
F5.2. Berrett, Jesse. What Im Reading, December 4, 2006. http://jesse_berrett.typepad.com/what_im_reading/2006/12/dodge_how_green.html
The really sad part is that the family ends up in Guatemala, which [Dodge] considers fairer, more clean, more efficient, and more generally honest than Mexico—a mere 7 years before the US-backed overthrow of the Arbenz regime, which led to more than forty years of dirty war against the people. Its a sad extra-textual gravity to add to the book.
F5.3. Bulletin from Virginia Kirkus Bookshop Service 15 (Mar. 1, 1947): 149 [citation verification needed]
Bright moments here for the progress, largely in reverse, to Guatemala, this is a really funny (vicariously to be sure) account of the authors attempts to transport himself and family into Mexico by car, with no help whatsoever from the various systems of transportation and communication ... The market, with the boom in Mexican travel business, should be obvious. Full review online | Additional review online | Additional review online
F5.4. New York Times Book Review 52, no. 18 (May 4, 1947): 20.
THIS BOOK COULD CAUSE A LOT OF TROUBLE (But its worth it). Thousands of disappointed American tourists may demand their money back from the Mexican government because THEY motored through Mexico and nothing funny happened at all ... Disputes over favorite passages may break out into physical violence now and then ... School kids may start playing hookey from their language classes ... American women will be outraged by what the author says about Mexican women ... Stout-hearted disciples of Benchley, Perelman, Thurber, etc., may start writing the critics poison-pen letters ... Hell hath no fury like the disciple of a great humorist when informed by a critic that another humorist is just as funny. Luckily our man Dodge isnt following in any footsteps buthis own (which gives his prose that weavy feeling) so let Benchley-ites, Perelmanites, and Thurberites just swallow the sugary pill that another fine humorist has come along. [Advertisement]
F5.6. Rogers, W. G. Psst! Differs from Whistle Below Border, Washington Post (June 1, 1947): S10.
For no reason, apparently, this author, whose home was in San Francisco, decided to move himself, his wife Elva and their young daughter Kendal to Guatemala....I cant figure out whether they had a good time getting there, but for the reader its a lot of fun....For a long time Ive read nothing quite so hilarious as the description of the difference between a whistle and a pssst!
F5.7. The Times Literary Supplement [London] 2,573 (May 25, 1951): 330.
The author, his wife and small daughter make difficult progress and the Mexicans provide a good many of the butts of Mr. Dodges humour, but there are some wittily described episodes for those who are undismayed by a sort of travel diary in colloquial American.
F5.8. Wedeck, Harry E. Que Tal, Hombre? New York Times Book Review 52, no. 18 (May 4, 1947): 43.
In essence this is a travel book, but with a difference. It is spontaneous, free from any trace of stodginess, and is even informative, in a distorted kind of way. Mature and wildly boisterous, it is the fantastic, zanylike and at all times unpredictable odyssey of the Dodge family—two adults and an inquisitive offspring—to Guatemala via Mexico.
F6. How Lost Was My Weekend
F6.1. Bulletin from Virginia Kirkus Bookshop Service 16 (Feb. 15, 1948): 94 [citation verification needed]
Again a fairly irresponsible itinerary of an engaging threesome, this is catchy, and a foregone conclusion for the market of the first, which did very all right. Full review online | Additional review online
F6.2. Carew, Dudley. Looking at Life, Times Literary Supplement [London] 2,468 (May 20, 1949): 330.
Mr. Dodges title is cheap and misleading. He spent a good deal more than a week-end in Guatemala and was sober-minded enough to be an appreciative observer of what he saw ... The humour is effective in its own not over-subtle way; the facetiousness, when he drops into it, bearable.
F6.3. James, Edith. Greenhorn in Guatemala, San Francisco Chronicle 166, no. 113 (May 7, 1948): 22.
Now come further funny words from Mr. Dodge in the form of another sort of travel diary titled How Lost Was My Week End ... The week end he lost in Guatemala (with side visits to Honduras and Antigua) was actually a year and a half, but according to the author, there were compensations. And there were ...
F6.4. Mellinger, Margaret. Coctels and Barracuda, New York Times Book Review 53 (June 20, 1948): 10.
Having successfully rollicked through Mexico, Mr. Dodge, erstwhile mystery-story writer turned professional traveler, moves southward in his most recent book to the banana republics. The ostensible purpose of his fifteen-month residence in Guatemala was to gather material for future murder mysteries. Thus, not without reason, much of the book is given over to the exploration of oddities of Central American custom.
F6.5. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review 25, no. 13 (Nov. 14, 1948): 38.
This vivid account of a mystery writers semi-holiday in Guatemala is complete with incidents, accidents and the usual troubles involving customs officials, auto licenses and Latin-American ways in general.
F6.6. Oakland Tribune (May 9, 1948): 5C.
San Francisco mystery writer finds Guatemala wilder and stranger and certainly funnier than anything he could have invented.
F6.7. Ross, Jean L. Library Journal 73, no. 7 (Apr. 1, 1948): 554.
This book continues the familys hilarious adventures as residents of Guatemala. It is really funny, often brash, but gives real information and some excellent pictures of life in Central America. Will be popular.
F7. The Long Escape
F7.1. Bulletin from Virginia Kirkus Bookshop Service 16 (June 1, 1948): 270 [citation verification needed]
Romps right along. Full review online
F7.2. Cuppy, Will. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review 24, no. 52 (Aug. 15, 1948): 10.
Mr. Dodge, an experienced baffler, is now working his way through Latin America with considerable effect.
F7.3. Doyle, Edward Dermot. A Check List of Some of the Better Titles of the Past Quarter for Christmas Giving, San Francisco Chronicle Christmas Book Issue (Nov. 28, 1948): 9.
Dazzling scenery and some equally dazzling doings en route.
F7.4. Doyle, Edward Dermot. This World [San Francisco Chronicle] 12, no. 14 (Aug. 8, 1948): 13.
I am a native of San Francisco. I still like San Francisco better than any place except possibly Guatemala City ... These words appear on the dust jacket of Traitor Dodges new book. For shame, Davy, for shame. Nevertheless, the new book is a honey ...
F7.5. Henderson, Robert W. Library Journal 73, no. 13 (July 1948): 1026.
Authors penchant for Latin American peregrinations obtrudes into his novel in which there is as much travel as plot.
F7.6. Maclaren-Ross, Julian. Detective Stories, Times Literary Supplement [London] 2,523 (June 9, 1950): 353.
Here are most of the ingredients made familiar to us by Mr. Dashiell Hammett, without the distinctive hallmark of the genuine article.
F7.7. New Yorker 24, no. 26 (Aug. 21, 1948): 80.
A neat puzzle, considerably enhanced by an authentic-sounding South American background.
F7.8. Saturday Review of Literature 31, no. 33 (Aug. 14, 1948): 24.
Plenty of punch and color ... Better grade.
F7.9. Sherman, Beatrice. New York Times Book Review 53, no. 32 (Aug. 8, 1948): 15.
Romance, shooting and even a bit of grave-robbing ...
F8. Plunder of the Sun
F8.1. Boucher, Anthony. New York Times Book Review 54, no. 23 (June 5, 1949): 25.
This trick of fitting your characters into what you know, plus an equal clarity and directness in the handling of language, may account for the vivid authenticity of all Dodges mysteries ... When youve recovered your breath at the end, youll know more than you did about the past and present of Peru and youll have read some fine, hard-packed, hard-hitting prose.
F8.2. Bulletin from Virginia Kirkus Bookshop Service 17 (Apr. 1, 1949): 189 [citation verification needed]
Never a dull moment, and many that are accelerated and absorbing. Full review online
F8.3. Cuppy, Will. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review 25, no. 42 (June 5, 1949): 12.
Mr. Dodge, a glutton for local color, loads his tale with same, including suitable reference to the llama, the alpaca and the vicuna. A readable travel-mystery, violent in spots, with a sketchy background deriving from The Conquest of Peru.
F8.4. Doyle, Edward Dermot. This World [San Francisco Chronicle] 13, no. 6 (June 12, 1949): 13.
For color and action and plenty of Dodge-Colby rip-snorting, try Plunder.
F8.5. Jackson, Joseph Henry. Notes on the Margin, San Francisco Chronicle 168, no. 113 (May 28, 1949): 10.
Take [C.E.] Scoggins material and work it over more or less in the style of Raymond Chandler, so to say, and youve got an idea of what Dodges Plunder of the Sun is like. Its pure escape, moves at a fast clip, and will provide its readers with an hour or two of suspense and excitement.
F8.6. Maclaren-Ross, Julian. Detective Stories, Times Literary Supplement [London] 2,554 (Jan. 12, 1951): 17.
Mr. David Dodge is a practitioner of the modern thick-ear transatlantic school, deriving more, in essence, from Nick Carter than Dashiell Hammett.
F8.7. New Yorker 24, no. 15 (June 4, 1949): 95-96.
Al Colby, Mr. Dodges resourcefully drawn private detective, is fast becoming our leading expert on South American skullduggery ... Good, solid stuff.
F8.8. Saturday Review of Literature 32, no. 22 (May 28, 1949): 34.
Struggle to get parchment that tells all about Inca hoard provides plentiful action, information, colorful backgrounds, and some romance ... Exciting.
F8.9. Washington Post (June 5, 1949): B6.
The tale is lucid and intriguing.
Reviews of the Hard Case Crime reprint.
Clarke, Craig. Craigs Book Club, [2005?] http://www.oocities.org/craigsbookclub/plundersun.html
Its a first: a novel from Hard Case Crime that I didnt particularly like ... [but] I liked Dodges style enough that I would likely try another of his books.
FFB: Plunder of the Sun by David Dodge. The Restless Kind, October 22, 2009. http://restlesskind.blogspot.com/2009/10/ffb-plunder-of-sun-by-david-dodge.html
This is ... one of the better examples of the kind of story that Indiana Jones was (and is) riffing on and inspired by ... all and all, a nice change of pace thats not too far off the beaten track for Hard Case Crime.
Fleming, Dan. The Long Con Week 27: Plunder of the Sun. My Year in Crime, July 8, 2010. http://myyearincrime.blogspot.com/2010/07/long-con-week-27-plunder-of-sun.html
A perfect read on a hot summers day, sitting by the pool wishing you were in some impoverished South American country, hip deep in dirt.
Hard Case Crime Files: Heart of Gold. Pornokitsch, March 13, 2012. http://www.pornokitsch.com/2012/03/peter-rabe-stop-this-man-david-doge-plunder-of-the-sun.html
Plunder of the Sun is a slow read, more concerned about the minutiae of the adventure than the excitement. For every shot fired, theres three pages of Colby secreting documents around small Peruvian towns. For every passionate kiss with a mysterious and foxy woman, there are paragraphs of explanation about Incan treasure, infrared film or using a shovel. It is never outright info-dumping, the result feels professional, not ponderous. [Reviewed with Peter Rabes Stop This Man! (HCC-059)]
Hartlaub, Joe. Review: Plunder of the Sun. Bookreporter.com, May 2005. http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews2/0843953586.asp
One cannot read the book without spending at least a few moments wondering how such a work could have gone out of print for so long ... This is a great story, by an under-acknowledged master. Highly recommended.
Lott, Rod. Bookgasm, [2005?] http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/thrillers/plunder-of-the-sun/
There are few thriller scenarios more fun than a treasure hunt ... Its amazing that PLUNDER, at more than 55 years old, is as vibrant and thrilling as ever.
Shurin, Jared. Underground Reading: Plunder of the Sun by David Dodge. Pornokitsch, March 20, 2013. http://www.pornokitsch.com/2013/03/underground-reading-plunder-of-the-sun-by-david-dodge-.html
And, on covers, the Hard Case Crime edition features more work from the legendary Robert McGinnis. Sadly, despite my undying love for the mans work, this one doesnt quite do it for me. Ana Luz (for thats the woman, presumably) is a very strange shade of pale ... With her Galactus-sized presence included, it makes you question whether all three figures are even in the same scene. However... awesome burro. [Reviewed as part of an ambitious—and impressive—project, begun in January 2013, to review each and every Hard Case Crime mystery—starting at #1 and working our way through! Track progress here.]
Siders, Robert. 52 Novels, August 30, 2006. http://www.52novels.com/archives/plunder-of-the-sun/
I enjoyed this read but there was something about it that didnt pull me in the way Id hoped.
Waltz, Douglas A. The Groovy Age of Horror, June 17, 2010. http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2010/06/plunder-of-sun.html
This thing reads like an out of control freight train ... Author David Dodge writes realistic situations and characters and puts them in exotic locales doing, well, some pretty weird stuff.
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