Friday, June 18, 2010

Forgotten Books: MALAY WOMAN -- A. S. Fleischman

Obviously I cheat a lot on these Forgotten Books, and I'm cheating again. Malay Woman might be forgotten by most people, but Greg Shepard at Stark House remembers, and so do many of us Gold Medal fans. So does David Laurence Wilson, who provides the superb introductory essay included in the new Stark House edition, which also includes Danger in Paradise. This essay, and I seem to say this about all these Stark House editions, is worth the price of admission all by itself. There's even a short introduction by Sid Fleischman, who was still going strong as the book was being prepared for print, and Wilson adds a short eulogy for Fleischman, who passed away earlier this year.

As for Malay Woman, it's another dandy adventure story from Fleischman. It begins in the airport in Singapore, where Jock Hamilton is trying to get out of the country. He has a small problem. His wife is dead, he might have killed her (he can't remember), and the cops are after him. When the cops show up at the airport, Jock makes a run for it and stows away on a boat headed for Kuala Tang and the rubber plantation of Jock's friend Gabb.

After that it gets complicated by a beautiful woman, a couple of hired killers, another beautiful woman, terrorists (Reds!) attacking rubber plantations, and another murder. The local color's so strong you'll feel the humidity yourself, and the plot never slows down.

Stark House is to be commended, as usual, for another fine package. Nab it as soon as you can.


Todd Mason said...

Yep. The Stark House front cover is certainly better and more eye-catching.

I've heard of Fleischman, but don't think I've read his work...another thing to seek'd think this was the purpose of theis weekly exercise, or something.

Bill Crider said...

His books for younger readers are even better. Great stuff, indeed.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nifty setup. Always like the ones where the protagonist can't remember what he did.

George said...

I buy everything Stark House publishes. Thanks for the heads-up!

Unknown said...

Im a Malay woman from Malaysia. I just ordered this book from Penang Bookshelf!

Thank you for the blog X

Ana, Kuala Lumpur.