Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Harry Patterson!

Also Hugh Marlowe, James Graham, and Jack Higgins. The first novel I read by Patterson was Passage by Night, published under the Hugh Marlowe name. I still have the Avon paperback I bought in 1965 or 1966. I wasn't terribly impressed, but I must have liked it well enough. It was some years later that I bought The Savage Day, by Jack Higgins, when Patterson's U. S. publisher became Fawcett. I bought everything I could find by Higgins after that, and after reading about two pages of A Game for Heroes, a Dell paperback, I realized that Higgins had to be Graham. The styles were just too similar for any other explanation. So I bought the Graham books, too. I've found that for my tastes, the middle period Higgins/Graham books are the most entertaining. The Higgins books these days seem to me as if they're written by someone on autopilot. They're fun, but nothing like the earlier stuff, which is right at the top of the line.

I don't understand why Patterson hasn't been named a Grandmaster by the Thriller Writers of America. I mean, Sandra Brown has. Nothing against her. She's a Texan, and I like her. She sells a lot of books. Good books. But she's no Harry Patterson. Or James Graham or Jack Higgins. Read The Savage Day, Toll for the Brave, A Prayer for the Dying, The Last Place God Made, East of Desolation, The Khufra Run, The Run to Morning. You'll see what I mean.

5 comments:

Jake Murdock said...

I always liked the term "deadly action" describing Jack Huggins' storytelling. The first novel that I read by Patterson was "Wrath of the Lion." That was many moons ago, I forgot the plot but I remember being amazed.

Thanks for reminding me about "The Run to Morning." Talk about an explosive novel....

Anonymous said...

No she's no Harry Patterson, though Jackie likes her books.

And Happy Birthday to you too, Bill!

I share a birthday with the late Bill Buckley, among others - Scott Joplin, Lucky Luciano, Forrest Ackerman, Howard Duff, Charles Starkweather, Ted Bundy (I'm seeing a pattern here), Spider Robinson (same year), and Linda Tripp.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

Despite rumors to the contrary, it's not quite my b-day yet. At my age it doesn't do to rush these things.

Jerry House said...

Well, dang! Have a very happy unbirthday, Bill!

George said...

I really liked the early Jack Higgins work under all those pseudonyms. Right around THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, I started to lose interest. I have some of Higgins' later books, but I haven't read them.