12 February 2018

HBC as Murderers of Men and Killers of Dogs

The Land of Frozen Suns
Bertrand W. Sinclair
Chicago: Donohue, 1910
309 pages
A Scottish transplant by way of the United States, Bertrand W. Sinclair wasn’t Canada’s most prolific pulp magazine writer; I know of two hundred and ninety-four appearances, which is nowhere near the fifteen hundred or so (I lost count) logged by Ontarian H. Bedford-Jones. Sinclair isn’t our best-known pulp writer, either; that title belongs to Thomas P. Kelley, author of The Black Donnellys, Vengeance of the Donnellys, I Found Cleopatra, and, of course, The Gorilla’s Daughter
Sinclair’s distinction rests in being our best pulp writer. Though his plots are invariably marred by melodrama — a prerequisite in pulps — he usually brought something to his stories that shook convention. My favourite Sinclair novel is The Hidden Places. Serialized in The Popular Magazine (Oct 7 - Nov 20, 1921), it concerns a disfigured war veteran who seeks sanctuary on the remote BC coast from Vancouverites disgusted by his appearance. By great coincidence, he finds his nearest neighbour is his wife, who believes he'd died in battle. She is now married to another man. 
As I say, melodrama.
So begins my latest Dusty Bookcase review, posted today on the Canadian Notes & Queries website. Here's the link.

The Land of Frozen Suns was Bertrand W. Sinclair's second novel. It tells the tale of a Texas rancher's son who eludes American frontier justice by fleeing to Canada. Once there, he must contend with a company of murderers from which I once purchased a Braun coffeemaker.

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