Friday, May 28, 2010

Forgotten Books: THE SLAVERS -- Richard Telfair

I believe this is the fifth and final book in the Monty Nash spy series, but it might be the fourth. The last two were both published in 1961. Telfair was a pen name used by Richard Jessup for both westerns and crime novels from Gold Medal and Dell. I've read a lot of those novels and enjoyed most of them.

The Monty Nash books seem to annoy a lot of readers, but I get a kick out of them. I think Jessup deliberately set out to write an over-the-top spy series and have a good time doing it. Nash is so tough that he makes Matt Helm seem like a sentimentalist. Here's an example from The Slavers: "It takes a lot of man to shoot someone down in cold blood, especially a woman. I'm a lot of man."

These are Cold War thrillers:
"'We knew others were in on it."
"'The Reds.'"
"'Yes, there is only one enemy.'"

I'd go on to describe the plot, but the back cover blurb does a better job than I could, so you can just read it.  Note the reference to the "ladykiller with a Luger."  Nash is irresistible to women.  Would you have expected anything else?  The action's constant, and Nash's narration is amusing.  Throw in the Arab slavers, some Africans right out of Burroughs, and a bit of sentiment, and you have a pretty good idea of what's in the book.  I may be in the minority, but I had fun reading this one again.


Anonymous said...

There was a short-lived (14 episodes, according to imdb) Monty Nash TV series starring Harry Guardino (who I always liked) back in 1971.

I'm assuming the two were related.


Todd Mason said...

Does it take a Lot of Man? Hm.

wv: hubcox It takes a Lot of Man to pull that word off...

Paul Bishop said...

I'm not familiar with these. Love the cover. Have to try and find a couple . . .

George said...

I've read Richard Jessup's work, but I haven't read these. Time to find them and put them on the stack.

Juri said...

These are hilarious and most surely parody. In Jessup's serious novel A LONG VOYAGE HOME there's a scene in which someone is put into a jail in a ship and he reads "lurid paperbacks about a guy called Monty Nash who likes to beat people". (Or something along those lines, I read the book in Finnish translation.)