15 May 2021

The Dustiest Bookcase: N is for Niven

Short pieces on books I've always meant to review (but haven't).

Old Soldier
Frederick Niven
London: Collins, 1936
256 pages

Twelve years of The Dusty Bookcase and I have yet to read a single book by Frederick Niven.

It isn't for lack of trying.

Regular readers will remember that I spent good money on an old Collins White Circle edition of The Flying Years, but couldn't make it past it's dull, dull, deathly dull cover.

I did better with The Three Marys – which I bought for its cover – only to give up after reading the publisher's description, in which it's revealed that the hero, portrait painter Robert Barclay, is involved in a rail accident: "Barclay is killed, and the books [sic] ends on this note of tragedy." 

Bit of a spoiler, right?

I own only two other Niven titles: Mine Inheritance and Old Soldier. The former is "a story based on the Red River Settlement, Canada," though you wouldn't know it from the jacket of the Collins first edition:

Leaving aside the fact that the clothing is from the wrong century, are those mountains I see?

Mine Inheritance appears to have been popular; plenty of cheap used copies are currently offered online. Sadly, mine is an abridged edition intended for use in Canadian schools.

This leaves Old Soldier, about which I know next to nothing. I say next to nothing because I made the mistake of hunting down 85-year-old reviews. The first mentioned something about a store... and then I smartened up and stopped reading.

What's the book about?

No idea. But I will read this Niven novel! What's more, I'm going to do it this year!

I wonder what the cover looked like.

Related post:

No comments:

Post a Comment