Best 1942 Adventures (8)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 12, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1942 adventure novels. Happy 75th anniversary!


Kenneth Fearing’s political thriller Clark Gifford’s Body.

Paranoid political noir in an experimental fictional style! Clark Gifford, a disaffected politician in an unnamed, media-driven modern state, rallies a band of guerrillas to seize a few radio stations; they broadcast a call for freedom and rebellion. The government quickly puts down the insurrection — but twenty years of civil war ensue. The narrative skips around in time — before, during, and (long) after the radio-station attacks. Newspaper clippings, magazine think-pieces, and court transcripts are interspersed with the voices of politicians, military officers, businessmen, journalists, participants in the attack, soldiers — in a pastiche that invites us to be suspicious of “fair and balanced” news coverage.

Fun fact: Fearing is best known for his poetry, and for his 1946 existentialist crime thriller, The Big Clock. He was one of the founders of the leftist anti-Stalinist journal The Partisan Review.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1942 adventures that you particularly admire.


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