Monday, January 14, 2008

Hell-Bent For Danger by Walt Grove

Hell-Bent For Danger by Walt Grove.
Gold Medal 134, Copyright 1950

One of the first Gold Medal books I remember reading. Finishing it, left an impression on me. There is something here that every man could relate to at one time. Walt Grove is able to make us feel it and understand it.

Robert Warren is in a rut. He is sick of his unexciting middle-class life
, his wife and kids, and tired of the rat race. Then Bobo, his old WWII squadron colonel, shows up at his office one day. He teases Warren about saving his life in the war and about his present comfortable life. Bobo is locating a plane for a shady shipping business and is looking for a co-pilot. He parades his girl Annie around to entice Warren. Warren itching for excitement takes some vacation to join up for a while-for the action and to keep Annie on the radar. Events don't go so well and they crash in northern Canada. The story turns to survival in the cold, rescue, and Warren's return home to face the consequences of his actions.

Surprisingly good. A story of a man's drive to escape and to pursue excitement through adventure. A drive so strong, that he is willing to throw away everything he has to reach it. In the end, Warren realizes that the past is past, and be content with what you have today. But, he is still haunted by a hunger that he knows can never be fulfilled.

Robert Warren could be the voice of all men who came home after fighting in war.

"They only want guys like me when there's a war. The rest of the time they keep us chained underground. But let a war come along, let them get in a position where somebody has to go out and die for them, then they call on us."

An excellent author. It's a shame that Walt Grove wrote only a handful of novels. His stories are mostly about pilots and ex-pilots. All novels are very good. Examples: "The Man Who Said No" published by Gold Medal, "Down" and "The Joy Boys" published by Dell. "Down" is a fantastic survival story. He also authored Gold Medal's "The Wings of Eagles," which is a tie-in for a John Ford movie.

3 comments:

John Hocking said...

I love how this cover puts the viewer into the picture, as you hoist a drink to the undraped doll.
Not unlike the cover of the month, in which we collectively spark up our lighter for the lady's cigarette.

August West said...

John: If you have a minute drop me an E-Mail. I have a question for you.
Thanks. August

Anonymous said...

Walt grove was a great writer, I read Down several times is an awesome novel